DEC Head Urges State to Reduce GHGs NOW; NY HEAT Act Would Make Critical Progress Towards Cleaner Future

NY HEAT Act would reduce future emissions, encourage new investments in cleaner energy sources while saving NYers money on their bills; Senate has already passed NY HEAT Act, and now Gov. Hochul and Speaker Heastie have opportunity to include full bill in final state budget

NEW YORK, NY (04/10/2024) (readMedia)-- Yesterday, during an appearance on Inside City Hall, outgoing Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos reiterated the need for urgent, sweeping changes to address the state's climate crisis:

"We are experiencing the effects of climate change every single day in this country [and] around the world. We have no choice but to ask... Do we want to pay later for adapting to a violently changing climate, or do we want to make the investments now? And I think the people, legislators, government, scientists... have said let's do something about this now. So I think we have to hit these [emissions] targets."

The NY HEAT Act (A4592-B / S2016-B) is the signature climate bill in Albany this legislative session and is the successor to the All-Electric Building Act that passed into law last year. The All-Electric Building Act will require a shift to zero emission heating and appliances in new construction, but it does not address the 30% of New York's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing buildings. The NY HEAT Act will help facilitate the state's full transition away from fracked gas and reduce emissions for all existing buildings not covered under the All-Electric Building Act.

The bill would curtail new investments in the dirty, outdated, fracked gas system, paid for by customers, that's accelerating fossil fuel-generated climate change and would amend utilities' obligation to serve fracked gas and other heating sources with the Climate Act to begin NYS's transition off of fossil fuels. The NY HEAT Act would also protect New Yorkers from rising energy costs by limiting household utility bills to 6% of a family's income, and would remove the unfair 100-foot rule, which forces New York families to subsidize new gas hookups to the tune of $200 million every year.


In January, Governor Hochul included key provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her Executive Budget proposal. Last month, the Senate reaffirmed its support for the NY HEAT Act by passing the full bill, and for the first time, the NY HEAT Act has 76 sponsors in the Assembly-majority support in the chamber. It is a budget priority for the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus. Now, Governor Hochul and Assembly leadership have an unprecedented opportunity to pass legislation that would modernize New York's utility regulations and include critical language to save New Yorkers struggling to afford their heating bills more money for other crucial expenses.

About Better Buildings New York

BBNY is a coalition of organizations working for the equitable decarbonization of homes and buildings in New York State. We are committed to environmental justice and a just transition to all-electric homes and buildings.