Pass the New York Codes & Standards Bill
Eleven states have already passed higher standards, pushing energy hogs out of their markets. It’s time for New York to do the same.
UPDATE: The Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022 passed the Assembly on June 1, in the waning hours of this legislative session, having passed the Senate on May 31. Thank you to the Legislature for delivering this huge win for New Yorkers and the climate! And we look forward to Governor Hochul signing the bill soon so the benefits from utility bill and emission reductions can begin.
This month a fossil fuel front group, New Yorkers for Affordable Energy, ran an ad campaign blasting fossil gas ban initiatives as being unaffordable (not true, see this LIPA fact sheet– but of course the heaviest hitter in the front operation, the American Petroleum Institute, has been running disinformation... or “spin” campaigns for over a century, pushing climate denial, killing the Kyoto Treaty, strangling Build Back Better etc.).
The gas bans fell to the legislative wayside but the New York State legislature has an opportunity to pass a bill, supported by Governor Kathy Hochul, that will mandate a broad appliance efficiency program saving New York consumers $15 billion in the next 15 years, $6 billion of those savings for low-income consumers.
Stronger efficiency standards for appliances has long been a winning policy for consumers, the environment and the climate. A simple axiom – if appliances use less electricity, consumers spend less and fewer greenhouse gases are emitted when those products are used.
The current bill, sponsored by Senator Parker and Assemblywoman Fahy, designs advanced standards for an array of products like air purifiers ($646 million in savings), computers ($161 million), televisions ($322 million) and general service lamps/bulbs (a stunning $3 billion). All these products are readily available for sale today, the bill will just make sure the worst performers won’t be sold in New York any longer.
- These standards will save 164,000 MWh (megawatt hours) of electricity – more than New York State used in 2020.
- The greenhouse gas savings, at a time when the IPCC has declared the climate crisis a code red for our only planet, would be the equivalent of taking 3.7 million cars off the road for a year.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), New York state’s landmark climate law passed in 2019 which shapes the state’s energy, environmental and transportation policies for the next generation. These advanced standards are part of the 185 Tbtus of efficiency savings mandated by CLCPA by 2025.
The bill also enables future building codes to align with the CLCPA and incorporate greenhouse gas savings and lifetime savings from efficiency measures, creating healthier, more comfortable, climate-friendly homes into the future.
Because many of these appliances, especially TVs, computers and lamps are owned in high saturation across the New York (and national) economy, the favorable climate impacts will be substantial. New York will hardly be in the vanguard in setting these standards—11 states have already passed higher standards, pushing energy hogs out of their markets. It’s time for New York to do the same.