Mothers Out Front team member Megan Dyer took her daughter out of school for the day to attend a rally for Renewable Heat in Albany on December 6th. The rally was organized by our friends at Alliance for a Green Economy and other allies.
Heating buildings accounts for almost 40% of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change in New York.
After the rally, we paid lobbying visits to our legislators. Here's a photo of Southern Tier organizer Lisa Marshall and constituents paying a visit to State Senator Tom O'Mara's office to discuss Renewable Heat with his staff. Senator O'Mara holds a powerful committee position as chair of the Environmental Conservation committee.
In order to meet our state climate goals of at least 40% greenhouse gas reductions below 1990 levels, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from heating our buildings and heating our water by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Technologies to achieve these goals are available today, and we cannot afford to wait. We must immediately begin mass conversion away from fossil-fuel heating to renewable-ready heat pumps, such as geothermal and cold climate air-source heat pumps.
The state must create policies and incentives designed to meet these climate goals, including:
- Rebates and incentives for households, businesses, and municipalities that install heat pumps. Rebate and incentive levels should be based onthe efficiency of the technology, with the most efficient receiving the highest incentives.
- Additional incentives for low-income households to ensure the transition is equitable and because there are additional social benefits derived from reducing low-income energy burdens and fuel volatility.
- Building codes that eliminate fossil-fuel heating in new construction starting in 2020.
- Reversal of New York’s gas expansion policy, which incentivizes utilities and customers to convert households from fuel oil to gas.
- The scale of heat pump adoption needed to meet our climate goals is enormous, estimated at 126,000 buildings per year (approximately 10,500 per month). State policies must reflect this scale and urgency.