This Valentine’s day, NRDC, along with 48 organizations, sent a letter to Governor Cuomo expressing support for energy efficiency and urging him to show his love for clean energy jobs and fighting climate change by adopting a nation-leading energy efficiency plan that is as ambitious and equitable as possible. In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo promised to release a “comprehensive and far reaching energy efficiency initiative by Earth Day, April 22,” including a new 2025 energy efficiency target. The letter signatories, which included environmental organizations, labor organizations, building industry companies and advocates, and environmental justice groups, expressed support for the Governor’s vision and urged him to follow through with aggressive actions to boost energy efficiency in the State.
The coalition has come together to support this clean energy resource because of its many diverse benefits: lower utility bills, reduced carbon and other harmful pollution; new, local jobs for New Yorkers; and, a more reliable electric grid. Investment in efficiency is cost-effective and furthers the avoidance of expensive grid investments. It is a critical tool in the fight against climate change, improves air quality and public health, and can help address energy affordability. As explained in a previous blog, setting ambitious targets to increase energy efficiency is essential to goals such as reaching 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and closing the Indian Point nuclear plant without increasing carbon emissions.
New York’s utility regulator, the Department of Public Service (DPS), is working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to engage utilities, efficiency companies, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders to implement the Governor’s plans to develop a comprehensive energy efficiency initiative. Leading up to Earth Day, DPS and NYSERDA have organized two roundtable discussions on February 23rd and March 5th to get input on a range of energy efficiency policies and programs. NRDC has advocated for a strong, comprehensive statewide energy efficiency program, and will be actively engaged in these discussions along with other signatories of the letter to make sure the governor’s initiative realizes the incredible potential New York has to become a leader on energy efficiency.
As the letter shows, many stakeholders care deeply about energy efficiency and are looking forward to Governor Cuomo’s announcement and in engaging in the process to set an equitable and progressive target. NRDC is confident that together, we will be able to work towards an energy target that can provide benefits to the state’s economy, health, and climate goals that New Yorkers (and the planet) will love.