The Renewable Heat Now Campaign today filed a letter signed by 54 organizations and businesses calling on the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to require
utilities to file accurate cost information on a specific gas subsidy called “the 100-foot rule.” This rule, which stems from a State law intended to promote gas expansion,
forces current utility gas customers to subsidize the full cost of gas service for new gas customers if they are 100 feet from the gas system.
There is currently no publicly accessible data on the statewide cost of this subsidy. NY-GEO, the geothermal heating and cooling trade association, estimates the cost of the
subsidy to ratepayers at upwards of $960 million over a 5-year period. In April, NY-GEO filed a request for the Commission to calculate the costs of the subsidy. The
Renewable Heat Now letter filed July 1, 2020 reinforces that request.
Betta Broad, Director of New Yorkers for Clean Power and a signer of today’s letter said: “We’re asking for greater transparency and disclosure of data regarding the costs
incurred by all customers to pay for the infrastructure required by the “100-foot” rule, currently there are no disclosure requirements and no way to analyze the issue
statewide; in just one example, costs in Con Edison’s territory average $33k, while Central Hudson states the cost could be as low as $4,500.”
Irene Weiser, Coordinator of Fossil Free Tomkins noted: “In its order starting a new gas planning proceeding the PSC called on utilities, ‘…to meet current customer needs
and expectations in a transparent and equitable way while minimizing infrastructure investments and maintaining safe and reliable service.’ The 100-foot subsidy
maximizes and reinforces infrastructure investments at a dangerous time to do so, both for ratepayers and for the stability of our climate. And the costs of that subsidy have
been anything but transparent. Let’s find out what it costs.” Billii Roberti of Mothers Out Front stated: “The heating and transportation sectors are
responsible for the majority (80%) of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Our climate goals require us to rapidly replace fossil fuel heating with renewable heating
technology like heat pumps. The 100-foot subsidy creates an obsolete and unlevel playing field where gas is encouraged and heat pumps are discouraged. We need to
repeal the 100-foot rule and having accurate data on its costs is an important first step in that effort. We have to consider the health, climate and financial future of our