Unpacking Governor Cuomo’s New Energy Efficiency and Energy Storage Goals

Last month, Governor Cuomo and the Department of Public Service (DPS) moved to implement landmark new energy efficiency and energy storage targets that will help decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that New York State consumed about 3662.9 trillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2016. Governor Cuomo plans to combat New York’s significant energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency or using less energy to do more work. The goal is to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion Btu by 2025, which is equivalent to the energy it takes to fuel and power 1.8 million New York homes annually.

With such an aggressive energy efficiency target, DPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) identified a set of actions to meet the desired goal. These include upgrading heating and cooling equipment, enforcing new building retrofits, and implementing innovative technologies to increase energy savings.

Governor Cuomo’s second goal focuses on energy storage, aiming for a deployment of 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025 and another 3,000 megawatts by 2030. In December the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a $310 million bridge incentive to stimulate the energy storage market while NYSERDA, utilities, and other stakeholders study how best to integrate large-scale storage into the electric grid. Meeting this ambitious storage goal will help to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy in New York by allowing wind and solar energy generated at times of lower energy demand to be saved and released at times of higher demand.

Taken together, the energy efficiency and storage targets will help New York meet Governor Cuomo’s recently announced commitment to having 70% our power come from clean energy by 2030 and 100% by 2040.

What does this all mean for New Yorkers? We can expect $15 million in consumer savings and 50,000 new jobs by 2025 from the energy efficiency initiative and 30,000 news jobs from the energy storage initiative. Along with a sizable increase in jobs, cultivating a clean energy economy will also improve energy affordability for New Yorkers.

What does this all mean for the environment? With less energy consumption and more energy storage, these initiatives will make New York a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pollution while stimulating investment in renewable resources.

NYLCV will continue to advocate for policies that increase efficiency and reduce emissions.