THANK YOU TO THE NYS LEGISLATURE FOR THE UTILITY THERMAL ENERGY NETWORK AND JOBS ACT VICTORY FOR NEW YORK!
CLIMATE PROGRESS MADE REAL IN NEW YORK WITH THE PASSAGE OF THE UTILITY THERMAL ENERGY NETWORK AND JOBS ACT
S9422 (PARKER) / A10493 (JOYNER)
Thank you to the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate which overwhelmingly voted to support the Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act!
The Assembly voted 183-5 and the Senate passed it unanimously with 63-0!
A coalition of labor and environmental leaders came together with the Legislature to craft sensible energy policies to facilitate a smooth transition to a clean energy future. Coalition supporters include, but are not limited to:
1. United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters and Sprinkler Fitters
2. New York State Pipe Trades Association
3. Building DeCarbonization
4. Clean Energy Jobs Coalition-NY
5. AGREE – Alliance for a Green Economy
6. ALIGN – Alliance For A Greater New York
7. Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York – AFL-CIO
8. New York State AFL-CIO
9. Utility Workers Local 1-2
10. WeACT For Environmental Justice
11. Sierra Club
12. Energy Coalition
13. New York League of Conservation Voters
14. Con Edison
15. National Grid
16. National Fuel
The Thermal Energy Network Bill, under the lead sponsorship by Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner, will protect and increase good union jobs while decarbonizing buildings at a scale that aligns with New York’s climate law.
We were extremely encouraged to see Senate Co-Sponsors include:
• Senator Michelle Hinchey
(D, WF) 46TH SENATE DISTRICT,
• Senator Liz Krueger
(D, WF) 28TH SENATE DISTRICT
• Senator Sean M. Ryan
(D) 60TH SENATE DISTRICT
On the Assembly side, we are deeply grateful for Assembly Co-Sponsors including:
1. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal [D]
2. Assemblymember Amy Paulin [D]
3. Assemblymember Jo Simon [D]
4. Assemblymember Patrick Burke [D]
5. Assemblymember Monica Wallace [D]
6. Assemblymember Karen McMahon [D]
7. Assemblymember Albert Stirpe [D]
8. Assemblymember Thomas Abinanti [D]
9. Assemblymember Sarah Clark [D]
10. Assemblymember Judy Griffin [D
11. Assemblymember William Conrad [D]
12. Assemblymember Deborah Glick [D]
The Utility Thermal Energy Network and Jobs Act will transform New York’s electric and gas utilities by enabling them to build emissions-free thermal energy networks. These utility-scale networks connect multiple buildings together with each other and allow transfer of energy with thermal sources like geothermal boreholes, surface water, and wastewater. Thermal energy networks will help New York scale building electrification and decarbonization, reduce costs for customers, and minimize impact on the electric grid. By enabling utilities to construct these projects, the legislature will provide a pathway for the gas utility and building trades workforce to apply their highly skilled craft to the work of decarbonizing New York’s buildings, which are the largest source of greenhouse gasses in the state.
You can learn more about “How to Construct Thermal Energy Networks” in an expert opinion piece here by Jay Egg.
Benefits of the Legislation
Thermal Energy Networks are good for the environment and allow customers to access clean energy, while providing a transition pathway for gas utilities and their workforce. Utilities in most regions of New York have been proposing thermal energy network demonstration projects, but have been in many cases unable to move forward due to legal barriers that the Utility Thermal Network and Jobs Act will remove. By utilizing multiple sources of renewable thermal energy from our environment and reusing and sharing thermal energy among buildings, thermal energy networks are highly efficient and help bring down peak energy needs of the electric grid. Utilities will be able to reduce the cost of electrifying buildings by spreading the costs of these networks across many customers and many years. Thermal Energy Networks can be installed under the street, and the building trades workforce is trained and ready. Thermal Energy Networks help reduce the upfront costs of building decarbonization for building owners and provide access to the most efficient forms of renewable thermal energy for people who cannot easily install geothermal energy on their own property.
We hope that New York Governor Kathy Hochul signs the bill to enact it into law without delay.