A study recently released by the Empire Center for Public Policy warns that New Yorkers may be bracing for a significant increase in heating expenses due to the state’s new environmental initiatives.
The analysis suggests that the state-mandated transition to electric heat pumps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could come with a hefty cost ranging from $14,600 to $46,200 for installation and home weatherization, despite state and federal subsidies.
Furthermore, the report, titled “In Cold Reality: The Cost and Challenge of Compulsory Home Electrification in New York,” questions the actual environmental impact of the policy, suggesting that the reduction in emissions might be minimal.
Highlighting the economic implications, the study states, “The costs of heat pump installation and building shell weatherization are high and will place a substantial economic burden on many homeowners, even with state and federal subsidies.”
It also points out the likely strain on New York’s power grid from the increased adoption of electric furnaces as an alternative to heat pumps.
The Empire Center report criticizes the state’s Climate Action Council for its one-size-fits-all approach to reducing emissions, arguing for a more nuanced strategy.
“By choosing a single model for all homeowners to follow, the state’s Climate Action Council closed the door on the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of clean fuel standards using fuels supplied by an existing distribution system,” James Hanley of the Empire Center remarked.
Governor Kathy Hochul’s office has responded to the critique, defending the state’s strategy and its focus on affordability.
“Under the status quo, New York consumers are stuck with dramatic fluctuations on utility bills and sky-high costs after extreme weather events,” a representative for the governor contended, highlighting the governor’s commitment to ensuring the clean energy transition is economically feasible for residents.
The spokesperson remarked, “Governor Hochul is making sure the clean energy revolution is affordable for New Yorkers, which is why she’s invested nearly $1.6 billion on energy affordability initiatives.”
The state budget also allocates $200 million in funds to assist low-income households in upgrading to more energy-efficient systems.