NY HEAT and the RAPID Act: A Winning Clean Energy Combination

As state budget negotiations continue, two important measures – interconnected and both key to our clean energy transition – are being debated by Governor Hochul and the State Senate and Assembly leadership. 

One is the NY HEAT Act, which would push gas utilities carefully in a new direction while helping customers switch to affordable and reliable zero-emissions heating and cooling. The other is the RAPID Act, which would address the urgent need to build out electric transmission and improve the interconnection process.


The NY HEAT Act is necessary in order to enable gas utilities to comply with New York’s Climate Act and it will help customers switch to affordable and reliable zero-emissions heating and cooling.  The bill will ensure energy affordability by capping costs for low-income customers, and by avoiding billions of dollars in costly and unnecessary new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure. 

However, the NY HEAT Act alone will not wean us off of dirty fossil fuels. We need to green our grid with more clean energy from offshore and onshore wind, solar, and hydro power, and as we do this, we need to ensure we have the transmission capacity in place to deliver that clean energy to homes and businesses across the state.  

What lawmakers need to realize is that there is no transition without transmission. This is where the RAPID Act comes in by streamlining the buildout of transmission infrastructure for a flexible, reliable and clean grid. 

Placing the Office of Renewable Energy Siting in the Department of Public Service, which the RAPID Act would do, is a wise decision that would create a smarter, more nimble and efficient environmental review and permitting process for major renewable energy and transmission facilities.

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“The state’s transmission permitting process will now feed into a clear statutory framework that balances transparency and environmental protection with the need for fast decision-making, while continuing to be responsive to community feedback and environmental considerations,” the administration said in a statement. 

Our clean energy goals are not arbitrary. We need to hit those targets in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate. But there is no single solution. We need more renewable energy coming online, we need to ensure the transmission capacity does not lag behind, and we need to provide the framework for gas utilities to transition to this new reality while saving ratepayers money in the process. 

NY HEAT and the RAPID Act are dual measures that together will smooth the path toward our clean energy future, and we call on the governor and legislative leaders to pass these measures in tandem as part of the state budget. 

04.12.24 // AUTHOR: admin //