Bill Memo: NY HEAT Act

Major benefit rating


This legislation amends the Public Service Law and the Transportation Corporations Law to ensure that state regulation and oversight of gas utilities realize the climate justice and emission reduction mandates established by the CLCPA


The purpose of the bill is to give the Public Service Commission (PSC) the authority and direction needed to align gas utility regulation and gas system planning with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) mandates. Overall, the bill removes the legal basis and subsidies driving the expansion of gas systems and requires the commission to adopt rules and develop a statewide gas service transition plan that is consistent with decreasing gas reliance and, where appropriate, decommissioning gas systems.

Fossil fuels burned in buildings for heating, hot water, and cooking account for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Additionally, heating and cooking with fossil fuels like natural gas quietly impact our indoor air quality, contributing to cases of asthma and heart disease.  The Public Service Law, as is, promotes gas system expansion in its stated obligation to serve customers. This undermines the important climate justice directives and binding emissions limits in the CLCPA. Instead of letting this incompatibility issue continue, this bill better aligns the rules and direction of the PSC with reduced gas reliance, transition to more sustainable utilities, and prevents energy bill burden among low-income ratepayers.

A key provision of the legislation removes the utilities obligation to serve gas. This opens opportunities for utilities to provide more affordable, clean energy heating systems, like thermal energy networks, at a community scale.  The bill directs the PSC to integrate “the utility sector achievement of the CLCPA” as a core planning objective to its public service responsibilities. Notably, this bill codifies the state goal that low-to-moderate income customers must be protected from bearing energy burdens greater than 6% of their household income.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Major Benefit

Memo #: 16