Governor Hochul, along with the U.S. Climate Alliance made an announcement last week regarding new commitments to combat climate change in New York with the NY HEAT Act.

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The focus is on eliminating carbon emissions from buildings and expanding the installation of heat pumps.

The NY HEAT Act is a bill currently under consideration, which would play into the state's emission reduction goals. The NY HEAT Act would help to transition New York away from the fracked gas system in a move that the governor says would help ensure a cleaner and more affordable energy future for New Yorkers.

If passed, the NY HEAT Act would offer cost savings for low and middle-income families. Those in favor of the bill say that the average energy bill could be reduced by up to $75 per month, preventing families from spending more than 6 percent of their income on energy.

Experts say the bill would save gas customers in New York $200 million annually by ending the 100-foot rule, which currently requires regular subsidies for gas system expansion. Additionally, it would redirect an estimated $150 billion intended for gas pipe replacements over the next 20 years toward neighborhood-scale building electrification. The shift would free ratepayers from price spikes caused by reliance on fossil fuels.

This summer, New York experienced high temperatures, heatwaves, flooding, and smoke from wildfires which all had severe consequences, affecting public health and the environment.

In addition to extreme heat, New Yorkers also faced toxic air pollution due to wildfire smoke from Canada. Respiratory problems, such as asthma, were exacerbated, leading to increased visits to emergency rooms. Flooding events, like the one that occurred in the Hudson Valley, resulted in the loss of lives, infrastructure damage, and significant costs.

The NY HEAT Act passed the Senate in the previous session and received support from 70 co-sponsors in the Assembly.

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