Eyes on New York: Empire State Poised to Be First State to Legislate Path to All-Electric Buildings in New Construction

Final budget must include clean language without industry loopholes

ALBANY, NY — In response to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announcement of a “conceptual framework” that would phase in requirements for all newly constructed buildings to be powered by electricity, Evergreen Action State Program Director Justin Balik released the following statement: 

“The climate movement is watching New York as the state is poised to take nation-leading action toward ending reliance on fossil fuels in buildings, curbing climate pollution, and protecting public health. By ensuring that all new buildings are built on clean energy, New York can reduce carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions, pollution-related illnesses and deaths, and energy costs across the state. Direct pollution from fossil-fueled heating and home appliances is America’s fourth-largest source of carbon pollution and accounts for 32 percent of New York’s carbon emissions alone. In addition to reducing pollution, the measure reported to be included in the final state budget would help address disproportionate health impacts and energy costs from fossil-fueled buildings facing communities of color and low-income communities. 

“Governor Hochul and the Legislature have the chance to cement New York’s continued leadership in addressing the climate crisis and advancing environmental justice. This announcement, like last year’s heat pump mandate in Washington state, will provide an example for the rest of the country to follow—but only if the final language is free of exemptions and loopholes sought by the gas industry.”