State of the State Proposal Outlines Energy Affordability Plan to Save Half a Million New York Households up to $500 Each Year
Introduces RAPID Act to Streamline the Buildout of Transmission Infrastructure for a Flexible, Reliable, and Clean Grid
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a comprehensive energy affordability plan and actions to accelerate New York’s clean energy future as part of the 2024 State of the State. The proposal lays out several actions that will save half a million New York households up to $500 each year on utility bills and facilitate New York’s transition to clean energy. In addition, Governor Hochul introduced the RAPID Act which will streamline the buildout of transmission infrastructure for a flexible, reliable and clean grid.
“With bold actions to deploy renewable energy swiftly and transition away from fossil fuels, we are not only charting the course for a cleaner and healthier New York State, but we are making important changes that will reduce costs for our most vulnerable New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Energy affordability will continue to be a top priority of my climate agenda because we need to combat climate change and protect all New Yorkers.”
Energy Affordability Agenda
Governor Hochul has made affordability a top priority of her energy agenda over the last two years, which has resulted in an average savings of $1,400 per eligible utility customer. As New York continues to lead the way on climate, Governor Hochul is taking historic steps that will result in up to $500 in savings for more than half a million New York households. Actions include:
- Introducing legislation to support responsible, equitable and effective gas system transition planning. The Affordable Gas Transition Act will empower the Department of Public Service (DPS) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to direct utility companies to manage the transition to clean energy sources responsibly and affordably. This legislation will protect utility customers from bearing the cost of unwarranted investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, establish new rules and guidelines applying to the extension of gas service in alignment with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, and will not impact the safe and reliable provision of service to existing customers.
- Launching Statewide Solar for All, an innovative program that will combine two successful state programs – the utility-managed Energy Affordability Program and Community Solar – to efficiently deliver clean energy savings to low-income households. The new program can deliver an electric bill credit of $40 per year to more than 800,000 households.
- Launching the Smart Energy Savings Initiative, allowing New Yorkers to save on their utility bills by better managing daily energy usage. For participating households, smart technology will help schedule periods of significant energy use to take place when electricity demand and costs are lowest. Depending on the utility and the household, participating New Yorkers with electric vehicles could save upwards of $200 per year, and New Yorkers with heat pumps could save between $100 and $500 per year.
- Directing DPS to harness innovation by initiating the NY Grid of the Future proceeding. The proceeding will deliver a NY Grid of the Future Plan by the end of the year which will lay out investments that build a truly affordable, resilient and clean grid.
Accelerate Transmission Infrastructure Buildout for a Flexible, Reliable and Clean Grid
To address the urgent need to achieve the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act targets, build out electric transmission, and improve the interconnection process, Governor Hochul is proposing the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment (RAPID) Act.
The RAPID Act creates a one-stop-shop for the environmental review and permitting of major renewable energy and transmission facilities within the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) at DPS. The state’s transmission permitting process will now feed into a clear statutory framework that balances transparency and environmental protection with the need for fast decision-making, while continuing to be responsive to community feedback and environmental considerations.
Further, Governor Hochul will direct DPS to open a proceeding to improve the interconnection of distributed energy resources. The proceeding will consider incentives, penalties, and other mechanisms for New York State utilities to facilitate faster and more efficient interconnection.
Break Ground on New York's Largest Solar Carport
Governor Hochul has also directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to begin construction of New York State’s largest customer-sited solar plus storage project: a solar carport canopy at JFK Airport, also the largest solar carport in New York State. The combined 12.3-MW solar energy installation will include 7.5 MW of battery storage which will help reduce airport energy use during peak periods. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 6,000 metric tons annually and provide the benefits of clean power both to the airport and to nearby low-income neighborhoods in Queens.