Assembly Passes Legislation Building on New York's Leadership in Energy Efficiency

New financing options through Green Jobs Green New York will make it easier for homeowners and small businesses to lower energy costs
December 2, 2010

Albany – Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster / Dutchess), Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, announced that the State Assembly passed two key measures aimed at furthering New York State’s leadership on energy efficiency. The bills will offer homeowners and small businesses new financing opportunities through the Green Jobs Green New York Program and require the State to update the Energy Building Code.

“Our work on energy efficiency has established New York as a national leader in tackling the tough challenges of climate change and employment opportunities in the 21st Century," said Assemblymember Cahill. “The bills passed by the Assembly will make it easier for New Yorkers to lower their energy costs while promoting green building practices as the norm, rather than the exception, throughout the State.”

The first measure (A.42013) will enhance the Green Jobs Green New York Program by directing NYSERDA to coordinate with electric and gas utilities to offer energy efficiency loans to homeowners and small businesses to be paid back through their utility bills, a practice commonly known as “on-bill recovery.” Individuals that take advantage of this option can obtain upfront financing to make energy efficiency improvements and use the energy cost savings to pay off the loan through their utility bill.

"The on-bill recovery legislation provides the perfect compliment to the energy efficiency financing options already offered through the Green Jobs Green New York Program,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “The upfront costs associated with making buildings more energy efficient often times get in the way of making these common sense investments. This is another tool homeowners can utilize to lower their energy costs without increasing their monthly expenses.”

The Assembly also approved legislation (A.42012) requiring the Department of State to update the Energy Building Code to meet current industry standards for energy efficiency and address requirements established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The bill encourages the conservation of energy in the construction and operation of new and renovated commercial and residential buildings. Under the Recovery Act, New York received approximately $200 million in State Energy Program and Energy Efficiency Block Grant funds. One of the requirements to receive this funding was the implementation of energy standards of equal or greater stringency than the latest national model codes – currently, the 2009 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (2009 IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.

“Residential and commercial buildings account for approximately 40 percent of total energy use,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “Energy conservation is central to meeting our energy challenges in New York. Adopting green, sustainable building standards are critical to achieving energy conservation and pollution reduction targets.”

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