Speaker Carl Heastie and Energy Committee Chair Didi Barrett today announced that the Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 Budget includes provisions to phase out the use of fossil fuels in new buildings and invest in new renewable energy projects to help New York State meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
“Changing the ways we make and use energy to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels will help ensure a healthier environment for us and our children,” Speaker Heastie said. “The provisions in this budget will help us do that and meet the ambitious climate goals we set in the CLCPA.”
“In this budget, we are taking important steps to reduce our state’s carbon emissions and move us away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, while at the same time providing much-needed relief to ratepayers across New York State,” Assemblymember Barrett said. “We will continue to fight for innovative, affordable renewable energy solutions that will help us to become a greener and cleaner state.”
“We must take action to provide our kids and grandkids with a cleaner, safer environment,” said Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Deborah Glick, sponsor of the Assembly’s cap and invest legislation. “This budget, with its focus on climate and the environment, particularly the establishment of the Climate Action Fund, will help make sure we are on track to meet our climate goals while also investing in a greener New York.”
“Expanding the New York Power Authority’s ability to build, own and operate renewable energy projects will make New York a nationwide leader in the just and sustainable transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. It will transform NYPA into the most dynamic builder and owner of public renewables in the nation,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll, Assembly sponsor of the Build Public Renewables Act. “These provisions will make investments in sustainable energy across the state and help make renewable energy rates more affordable for New Yorkers.”
Included in the enacted budget is a provision that will help New York State transition away from fossil fuel consumption by phasing in requirements electric construction for new buildings to be all electric beginning in 2025. Hospitals, critical infrastructure and commercial food establishments are exempt from the requirements, as are buildings where the local grid is not capable of handling the load. Existing buildings and appliances will not be affected by this legislation.
Climate Action Fund
The spending plan will establish a fund to receive revenues generated from regulation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). At least 33 percent of the fund would be set aside for consumer and small business rebates. Any resulting projects would be subject to Buy American requirements, and projects that receive $100,000 or more would be subject to prevailing wage and labor peace agreements.
Renewable Energy Projects
The budget authorizes the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to build renewable energy projects to fill the gaps in meeting the goals of the CLCPA, create the Renewable Energy Access and Community Help (REACH) program which would provide bill credits to low- and moderate-income customers in disadvantaged communities and maintain an adequate and reliable supply of electric power and energy. The provision also includes labor protections, including prevailing wage and Buy American requirements for all renewable projects. The provision will also phase out the New York City peaker plants in 2030 if reliability standards can be maintained.
The CLCPA was signed into law in 2019. The comprehensive bill set critical environmental standards, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy in order to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.