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New York Legislature passes building and appliance efficiency bill

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New York Legislature passes energy-saving bill

National business organization Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) applauded the New York Legislature for approving a bill last week that has the potential to further the deployment of energy-saving technologies and that can deliver significant utility bill savings for consumers.  

The “Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022” updates the state’s energy building codes to include considerations of climate impact and mitigation strategies, and expands the list of appliances and products that need to meet energy-saving standards. The Act is expected to deliver $15 billion in utility bill savings for New Yorkers, with $6 billion of those savings going to low- and moderate-income households. The legislation also sets up New York for success in achieving the emissions reduction targets set by the state’s landmark climate law.

New York’s power demand is expected to increase by at least 65 percent by 2050. Meeting this growing need for electricity while also achieving the state’s decarbonization goals requires a diverse mix of energy-saving technologies. This commonsense, forward-thinking legislation by Senator Parker and Assembly member Fahy will help ensure that homes and businesses across the state are equipped with technologies that will make New York’s energy system more flexible and cost-effective.

Leah Meredith, policy principal at AEE, who had urged legislators to support the bill (PDF file)

The legislation, which passed the Senate 44-19 on May 31, requires important energy and water efficiency updates for seven products already regulated by the state, and sets new standards for another 30, including air purifiers, electric vehicle chargers, and restaurant equipment. It also allows regulators to set energy codes for new houses and commercial buildings that exceed national model codes, and changes a rule that will allow regulators to consider lifetime building energy savings when determining whether a building code is cost-effective. 

When appliance standards are widespread and robust, New York consumers can be confident their newly purchased appliances won’t cost them more than is necessary to run. New technologies are also empowering consumers to participate in programs that reward them for actions that also reduce their energy bills, such as preheating water when electricity is cheapest, and these new standards could ensure that more appliances come standard with these kinds of cost-saving tools.

 Leah Meredith

More than 120,000 New Yorkers are employed in the energy efficiency sector, and that workforce is poised to grow as policymakers implement building and appliance codes and invest in next-generation high-efficiency technologies, notes AEE. 

Find out more about AEE initiatives and the “Advanced Building Codes, Appliance and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022” on the respective websites.