Bill Memo: Expanding the Energy Efficiency Workforce
This bill amends the public service law by adding a new section 66-t which will require the Public Service Commission to establish an energy efficiency program for utilities to expedite the adoption of energy efficiency measures, and to promote hiring and training of individuals in disadvantaged communities. This bill also amends the Public Authorities Law to require NYSERDA to implement energy efficiency programs and identify workforce development opportunities in disadvantaged communities.
This bill will help New York achieve emissions reductions goals by establishing energy efficiency programs for utilities to implement within environmental justice communities. Communities will further benefit from this bill as it requires program funds for job training and employment opportunities to serve those living within disadvantaged communities.
In 2019, New York State became the national leader on climate change by passing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), which set an aggressive target of 85% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Reducing greenhouse gases directly benefits communities by decreasing the amount of harmful co-pollutants in the air. Communities of color, low-income communities, and immigrant communities have historically faced the worst impacts of air pollution, with people of color experiencing 66% more air pollution than white residents. Fortunately, the State is taking steps towards reducing emissions, and one of the near term and affordable ways to limit pollution is by upgrading buildings through energy efficiency and weatherization. This bill will not only help reduce emissions and energy bills, but will do so in disadvantaged communities, ensuring that vulnerable communities are not left behind in the transition to renewable energy.
Another benefit of reducing emissions through energy efficiency upgrades is that these programs put people to work. By establishing energy efficiency programs and requiring the job training and employment opportunities to be filled by people within disadvantaged communities, those who are most in need of employment will be provided opportunities to work. Reaching emissions reduction goals and prioritizing disadvantaged communities can both be done while getting New Yorkers back to work, and this bill can help achieve that.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial
Memo #: 39