All-Electric Construction Part of New York Budget Talks
by Mindy Cohn
Democratic state lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul are pushing separate agendas with different timetables but with the same end goal: ending fossil fuel use in new residential and commercial construction.
Both plans are under consideration as lawmakers and Hochul negotiate a $227 billion state budget this month.
Democratic state lawmakers and advocates want the measure to help curb climate change's effects and change New York to cleaner, more renewable forms of energy over the coming years.
Republicans and utility companies are leery of the plan, warning of its effect on ratepayers and voicing concerns as to whether the state is not rushing toward a goal that might prove disruptive.
Supporters of the duo plan argue it will save New Yorkers money in the long run while utilizing cleaner fuel to power homes and commercial buildings.
The governor's all-electric plan would take effect in 2026, while the Democrats want it to happen a year earlier. The Senate plan includes buildings that are seven stories or less, while the governor's plan is for three stories or less. Both claim they will save the environment from hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon.
Neither plan will affect existing homes and businesses, although gas-powered appliances like stoves, boilers, and water heaters will also be phased out.
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