NYS Senate Energy Committee Advances NY HEAT, Moving One Step Closer to Relief for Families

ALBANY, NY (02/06/2024) (readMedia)-- In response to the NYS Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee's vote to advance the NY HEAT Act, Jessica Azulay, Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy, a member organization of the Better Buildings New York Coalition, issued the following statement:

"After Governor Hochul included key pillars of the NY HEAT Act in her executive budget, today's vote marks another milestone towards bringing New Yorkers the much needed cleaner heat and lower bills we deserve. Across the state, utilities are raising rates on New Yorkers, and investing billions in the dirty fracked gas system that both climate science and our climate law mandate we transition away from. The NY HEAT Act would finally put in place protections that help reduce future gas rate hikes, save struggling New Yorkers from choosing between eating or heating, and help us leave fracked gas behind for good. Lawmakers must continue this momentum and include this crucial legislation in their one-house budgets to help struggling families in need now."


According to a September 2023 Siena Poll, 8 in 10 New Yorkers across party lines agree that the high cost of living in New York is a major problem. Higher energy costs, worsened by double-digit rate hikes from ConEd, National Grid, RG&E, NYSEG, National Fuel Gas, Central Hudson, and O&R have only exacerbated the cost of living problem.

Last month, Governor Hochul included key provisions of the NY HEAT Act, which stands for Home Energy Affordable Transition, in her Executive Budget proposal. The HEAT Act will end more than $200 million in annual subsidies paid by existing gas customers for new gas hookups, accelerating fossil fuel-generated climate change.

Crucially, the NY HEAT Act would mandate the PSC to implement the state's goal to limit energy bills to 6% of household income, which would save low and middle-income New Yorkers not participating in utility Energy Affordability Programs up to $75/month on their energy bills. NY HEAT will also reduce future rate increases by prioritizing clean energy investments, instead of spending billions of dollars on new gas pipes.

The bill previously passed the NYS Senate during last year's session and now has 75 sponsors in the Assembly. Last month, lawmakers and advocates held a rally at the Capitol calling on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to include the HEAT Act in the Assembly's one-house budget.