This week Governor Hochul announced that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) started their implementation of the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act. This legislation was a NYLCV priority in the past legislative session and will help New York move into the future of building decarbonization. In New York State buildings produce the most greenhouse gas emissions out of all sectors. Improving building efficiency and ultimately decarbonizing buildings will help us reduce our statewide greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goals set under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Under this legislation the PSC will task the largest investor-owned utilities in the state to create thermal network pilot projects. These projects will be organized with the goal of constructing a network to provide thermal energy instead of fossil-based natural gas to meet customers’ heating and cooling needs.
This program also sets strong labor standards for the jobs that are created and will invest in pre-apprenticeship programs. These programs will help train the workers who are transitioning from fossil fuel related jobs to new clean energy careers. These careers will be good paying middle class jobs that will allow the workers an opportunity to receive fair wages and the opportunity to retire with dignity.
We are excited to see the Governor and PSC’s initiation of this legislation, and we look forward to seeing the results of the future pilot programs!