Bill Memo: The GAP Fund

Major benefit rating

Summary

This bill amends the public authorities law to authorize and direct NYSERDA to administer the Green Affordable Pre-Electrification Program. This program funds upgrades to buildings that are currently unfit for weatherization and electrification, removing a significant barrier to entry to existing electrification programs.

Explanation

This legislation amends the public authorities law to establish the Green Affordable Pre-Electrification Program (GAP Fund). The program would be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

In 2019, New York State enacted the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), mandating that we achieve 70% renewable generation by 2030 and 100% zero emissions electricity by 2040. According to the Climate Action Council’s Scoping Plan, the buildings sector is the largest source of statewide emissions at 32%. NYSERDA estimates that the state must electrify 250,000 buildings per year to reach our goals, and significant investments have already been made to expedite the process and incentivize electrification technology.

However, a major obstacle on the road to building electrification is the need for retrofits for outdated or structurally unsound buildings. New York State is home to many historical buildings that may require upgrades before electrification is possible. These upgrades are expensive and burdensome on low to moderate income residents, creating a barrier to access electrification technology that creates cost savings in the long run.

The GAP Fund solves this problem by funding building upgrades not currently supported by existing programs. This would close the existing “gap” between outdated historical buildings and energy efficiency, weatherization, and electrification programs.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Major Benefit

Memo #: 25