New York accelerates energy efficiency ambitions


New York state governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new energy efficiency target to meet the state’s carbon emission reduction goal and to combat climate change.

The state governor has set a target for the state to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion British thermal units below the forecasted energy use by 2025.

The new plan accelerates energy efficiency savings by more than 40% over the current plan.

If achieved, the new energy efficiency plan will save enough energy to power 1.8 million New York homes.

The announced plan will help reduce consumer energy bills and help building owners reduce their carbon footprint.

To date, New Yorkers pay $35 billion for electricity and heating fuels annually. Buildings are responsible for 59% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Meeting the new energy efficiency target will deliver nearly one third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet New York’s climate goal of 40% reduction by 2030, according to a statement.

The state government has set a target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050 in its Reforming the Energy Vision programme.

New York has through its Clean Energy Standard policy set a target to generate 50% of its total energy from renewables by 2030.

The development will also help consumers to achieve annual electric efficiency savings of 3% of investor-owned utility sales in 2025.

The governor is confident the new plan will boost job creation within the state’s energy management sector. More than 110,000 New Yorkers are currently employed in the energy efficiency sector in New York.

The government through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will direct $36.5 million to train over 19,500 New Yorkers for clean energy jobs to support this rapidly growing industry.

The new energy efficiency target and the $36.5 million investment are expected to support the growth of private sector energy efficiency businesses and their partnership with utility companies.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “While the federal government continues to shrug off its responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the threat of our changing climate, New York is accelerating progress toward a cleaner and more resilient state… Energy efficiency is an effective tool to battle climate change that will benefit New Yorkers by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, saving consumers money on their energy bills, and protecting our natural resources.”

David Hepinstall, Executive Director of the Association for Energy Affordability said, “We are pleased Governor Cuomo has embraced energy efficiency as a key component of his clean energy and climate vision. Establishing energy efficiency targets for the utilities is a necessary first step in valuing efficiency as an energy resource…”

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.