Statement from the Renewable Heat Now Campaign – Earth Day 2020

The Renewable Heat Now campaign applauds the NY Public Service Commission (PSC) for considering the role of methane gas in New York’s energy future via an official proceeding launched on March 19th. In so doing, the Department is acknowledging the growing body of evidence that demonstrates the outsized atmospheric warming impact of methane gas when upstream emissions and leaks are accounted for. The continued build out of gas infrastructure by the utilities is irresponsible from both a climate and fiscal perspective and if unabated will prevent New York State from meeting its greenhouse gas reduction targets outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. 

It is gratifying to see the PSC taking this action which we see in part as a response to the tireless advocacy of scientists, advocates, and energy policy experts including our campaign who have been raising the alarm about New York’s growing reliance on gas for home heating, cooking, and electricity generation. 

Our campaign has been at the forefront of bringing the issue of gas emissions, energy efficiency, and beneficial electrification to the attention of the PSC. In the past year alone we:

  • Held a “Heat Pumps Not Pipelines” demonstration outside a National Grid conference in Albany and delivered a letter signed by 150+ organizations and thousands of postcards to Governor Cuomo’s office
  • Organized dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals to submit comments to the Energy Efficiency Proceeding docket
  • Members of our coalition intervened in National Grid, Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland, Con Edison and NYSEG/RG&E rate cases to fight gas infrastructure and win incentives for heat pumps
  • Mobilized the grassroots to testify at utility rate case hearings across the state
  • Coordinated demonstrations and press conferences at six consecutive Public Service Commission meetings September 2019 – February 2020 to call for Heat Pumps, Not Pipelines. 

We call on our allies across New York to participate in this proceeding which will determine whether the utilities can continue to plan for gas infrastructure expansion and could compel them to decommission their gas infrastructure and invest in energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, and renewable heating.