Newsletter May 2022

Electrify Brooklyn

Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn encourages you to visit our website to explore how our programs could make your home cleaner and more comfortable and energy efficient. To date, we have installed air source heat pumps, hot water heat pumps and done some envelope improvements in over 60 smaller buildings with 1-4 units. We are currently working on several projects with multifamily buildings with 10 to 40 units. We also offer information and advice on NYSERDA, Con Edison and National Grid incentive programs supporting a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits for all building types. Visit us at: https://heybrooklyn.org.  

Con Edison Clean Heating and Cooling Funding Exhausted

From ConEd’s NYS Clean Heat Program Notice, May 9, 2022:

Due to tremendous response from the market, as of April 2022, the Con Edison Clean Heat Program exceeded its 2025 energy savings target and has exhausted all available funding for the program. To keep the program running through today, Con Edison has already transferred millions of dollars of additional funding from other energy efficiency programs. Nevertheless, stronger than expected program participation will soon exhaust this additional funding.  

The New Efficiency New York (NENY) Proceeding, issued January 16, 2020, provides funding for Energy Efficiency and Building Electrification Portfolios through 2025 (NENY) but Con Edison now projects that it will both reach its cumulative (2020-2025) NENY Clean Heat savings target (97% as of January 31, 2022, or 965,700 MMBtu) at a lower cost than authorized, fully expending the $227 million budget by the end of the first quarter of 2022. 98% of all funds were used to convert residential homes of 1-4 units.

As a result, Con Edison must pause incentives for air-source heat pump projects for space and water heating effective immediately. The Company will continue to accept applications for ground source heat pump projects. . HCSB will work with contractors to ensure that projects with contracts will move forward. 

In the interests of continuing Con Edison’s ASHP program, the Company has filed a request with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). This request is to transfer a total of $418 million, $348 in 2022 and up to an additional $70 million in 2023, if necessary, from unspent funds in the Non-LMI Electric NENY Program. To allow for program continuation until the end of the mid-program review scheduled for 2023, Con Edison also requests a Continuity Funding Mechanism of $32.5 million each month in 2023 if the review is not completed.

Governor Hochul announced new goals of one million homes to be electrified and one million to be electrification ready by 2030. As Con Edison’s share of the one million is 350,000, the amount of funds even with the increased fund shifting is woefully inadequate to meet these goals. The original NENY Order allocated funds for the conversion of approximately 20,000 homes in Con Edison territory. The requested transfer will fund the conversion of approximately 16,800 homes, leaving an unmet goal of 313,200 homes to be completed from 2025 to 2030.

The Commission is currently accepting comments from the public on this petition that will be addressed at the June 14, 2022. If you would like to comment on this petition, you may do so by emailing your comments to Michelle L. Phillips, Secretary, Public Service Commission, at secretary@dps.ny.gov

Multi-Family Green Retrofit Meeting April 28th

HCSB held a virtual Multi-Family Green Retrofit Meeting with property stakeholders and expert panelists. We heard from representatives of nine properties from 6 to 72 units in size, and a variety of ownership and building types. Sy Cohen of SC Engineers and Kawi Energy Group’s Leutrim Cahani presented their experiences from the field of building retrofits.  

Shreya Bedi, a Pratt graduate student, conducted polls and presented a study in progres on Small-Medium Multi-Family Properties which is being conducted under the Fund for the City of NY Urban Planning Fellows Program in conjunction with Heat/Cool Smart Brooklyn and NYC 2030 District.

Links to the meeting recording, presentation deck and polls are available on our website: https://heybrooklyn.org/2022/05/multi-family-green-retrofit-meeting/

Legislative and Budget Updates:

Mayor Adams Releases Executive Budget for 2022/23

Mayor Adams released his $99.7 billion Executive Budget on April 26th with revisions that include increased funding for public safety initiatives, renewal of organics recycling and more social services.  Increased by $1.2 billion from the preliminary budget, the budget contains some requests of the NYC Council and will be further negotiated with the City Council prior to the fiscal year start on July 1, 2022.

Compost collection and drop off sites at schools was restored as part of a $35 million compost operation. The city’s Independent Budget Office found that a city-wide composting program with universal pickups across all five boroughs could incur $33 million in savings annually by lowering prices with contractors with the greater volume.

The Department of Building’s  Fiscal 2023 budget increased by $14.6 million (6.7 percent), from the Preliminary Plan ($216.1 million). The increase is the result of a number of actions taken, most significant of which are: 

• $2.4 million for the Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance (OBEEP); 

• $1 million for the Office of Special Enforcement; and •

 $312,000 for SoHo-NoHo Rezoning

The added funds to OBEEP will add at least five additional staff to this department tasked with the implementation of LL97. 

State Legislature Passes Legislation to Combat Climate Change

The Advanced Building Codes, Appliances and Equipment Efficiency Standards Act of 2022, A8143/S7176 sponsored by Assembly Member Patricia Fahy and Senator Kevin Parker, was passed this session. It will help New York meet the goals of the CLCPA by adding the promotion of clean energy and the implementation of the climate agenda to the state energy conservation code to increase the efficiency standards of appliances and equipment. NYSERDA projects the increased appliance energy efficiency standards would save New Yorkers $15 billion by 2035, with 40% of savings accrued by low- and moderate-income residents.

S.23A/A.4386, introduced by Senator Anna Kaplan and Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, promotes the development of new electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles. They require that any parking garage or lot accommodating 50 or more cars and receiving state capital funding will be capable of supporting EV charging stations at 20% of the parking spaces.

Take ACTION!

Draft Scoping Plan for the Client Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA)
The Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) was signed into law in 2019 as one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. The law created the Climate Action Council (the Council), which is tasked with developing a draft scoping plan that serves as an initial framework for how the State will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy usage, and ensure climate justice. Public comments can be made until June 10, 2022. 

Here is the link to read the document and comment https://climate.ny.gov/Our-Climate-Act/Draft-Scoping-Plan

Additional information, including instructions for joining each event remotely to view the proceedings, will be made available prior to each event on the Climate Action Council Meetings and Events page.
 

Advocate for the Renewable Heat Now Legislative Package 

Renewable Heat Now is a coalition of 17 organizations working towards an equitable transition to clean energy in all buildings. Reducing use of fossils fuels in our buildings is essential to meeting New York State and City’s targets to reduce carbon emissions by 85% by 2050.  While buildings emit one-third of New York State’s gas emissions, in New York City they emit 68%. Statewide, the Climate Action Council estimates 1-2 Million homes must convert to heat pumps or geothermal systems if New York is to reach its targets. Renewable Heat Now developed a legislative and budgetary agenda to address these needs:Legislative Package Materials can be accessed here:  https://renewableheatnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/RHN-legislative-package_final.pdf

News From our Partners

DSNY’s Curbside Composting Program
Celebrate Earth Day all month long by joining fellow New Yorkers in signing up for DSNY’s curbside composting program! The program has returned to Brooklyn Community Boards 1,2,6,7; Manhattan 6, 7; and Bronx 8. Already signed up? Share the sign-up form on social or send it to a neighbor @ nyc.gov/curbsidecomposting!

Three reasons why composting is so important for our city and the environment!
1) Food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste comprise one third of all the trash New Yorkers throw away. All of these items can be composted in your brown bin!
2) By using the sturdy brown bin and its latching lid, you can keep your neighborhood clean and healthy by reducing rodents, pests, and street litter.
3) By reducing waste to landfills and creating compost, you can make NYC more self sufficient and resilient. 

Don’t just take our word for it! Hear from both new and experienced composters from small family homes to high rises who are currently composting! 

Barrio Solar: Affordable Solar for Brooklynites
Nonprofits Solar One, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) and Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) have partnered on Barrio Solar, a new solar campaign designed to support 1-4 family homeowners, particularly Low-Moderate Income (LMI) homeowners, in the direct acquisition of solar energy.  

The campaign provides FREE technical assistance to individuals on solar basics, installation viability for their buildings, costs, savings, financing options, and the permitting and installation process– all of the guidance one needs to determine if solar is the right choice for their families. Interested homeowners are bundled together to achieve greater purchasing power and reduced installation costs. So ALL Brooklyn Homeowners are encouraged to submit an interest form. Homeowners that make less than 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI), for example family of 4 should make less than $143,160 a year, to be eligible for a $3,500 cash subsidy toward the cost of their solar installation, which can be used for related expenses like roof repairs or electrical system upgrades. This program is designed to support equitable access to the benefits of solar for all homeowners.
If you have any interest, to fill out a very brief form on: https://fifthave.org/affordable-solar/ or call 646-820-1301!

Upcoming Events:

Join Regional Heat Smart TeamsRenewable Heat Now, community partners, and special guests for a lively and interesting webinar series on building electrification. We’re kicking off the series on St. Paddy’s day with a presentation on induction cooking by chef Rupert Spies of Ithaca and a cooking demonstration by sustainable fishmonger Sasha Bernstein Skon of Tarrytown who will be frying up some Guinness Battered Pollock.
Spring Webinar Series Schedule-All events are at 7 pm
May 26 – Getting to Scale: Welcome to the GeoGrid
REGISTER HERE