New Yorkers May Be Forced to ‘Electrify Everything’ From 2030

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According to a proposed scoping plan, New York residents might be forced to—as early as 2030—replace their boilers with electric heat pumps, drive electric cars, and switch to electric appliances for cooking, drying clothes, or heating water.

Environmental advocates staunchly support the draft scoping plan. But the plan has drawn widespread criticism from residents, energy experts, lawmakers, and some local governments.

In 2019, then-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act), “one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world.” The law aims to reach a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. It also pledges to reach 70 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent zero-emissions electricity by 2040.

On Dec. 30, 2021, the Climate Action Council created by the law released a 341-page draft scoping plan for public comments. Early this month, the council extended the public comment period from June 10 to July 1 due to “significant feedback” with more than 18,000 public comments.

The draft plan estimates that three sectors—building, transportation, and electricity generation—are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in New York. So the plan’s key strategies are focused on electrification in buildings, transportation electrification, and zero-emissions electricity generation.

Future of ‘All-Electric’

“Electrification of space and water heating with high-efficiency heat pumps is a viable, cost-effective approach to decarbonizing operations for nearly all buildings in New York,” the draft scoping plan stated.

The plan suggests to “prohibit gas/oil replacements (at end of useful life) of heating and cooling and hot water equipment for single-family homes” by 2030 and “prohibit gas appliance replacements (at end of useful life) for cooking and clothes drying” by 2035.

It also called for “all-electric State codes” to prohibit gas/oil equipment or appliances for new construction of single-family and low-rise residential buildings by 2024 and the same restrictions for residential buildings over four stories and commercial buildings by 2027.

By Harry Lee

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