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Just In! (from NY-GEO)

Below are G.E.T.’s top picks from NY-GEO’s weekly “Just-In” newsletter.  Just In! features three fresh news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday.  NY-GEO members get the full newsletter, which includes an advanced look at the website articles, plus event listings and job openings and several bonus article summaries with links, usually on the Saturday before website publication.
1. NYSERDA – $10 Million Demonstration Study for Heat Pumps in LMI Buildings – NYSERDA is making a $10 million investment to spur electrification in the low- to moderate-income (LMI) housing sector. The funding will provide a pool of real-world projects to use to study practical barriers and measure impacts on and benefits to LMI households from the installation of heat pumps as part of comprehensive energy efficiency programs.  The demonstration effort is expected to see funds awarded within the next year and will see project implementation and evaluation that takes place over a 1 to 3 year period.   $5 million is available to qualified contractors to install heat pumps in approximately 500 LMI single family residential homes through NYSERDA’s EmPower and Assisted Home Performance Programs. An additional $5 million is available to serve approximately 3,000 multifamily affordable units through NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program. These projects will allow the state to study and develop best practices and incentive structures for increased heat pump adoption for the LMI housing sector across the state – helping those who need it most.
For single family, there is a contractor resources page that includes required project documentation and Frequently Asked Questions.  For multifamily, Multifamily Building Solutions Providers can download information on participation and Frequently Asked Questions  or via the MPP Provider Portal.

2. Timely Rebate Payments – NY-GEO has been working with the Joint Management Committee, which oversees the utility heat pump rebate programs, to resolve issues that have developed and to make the program a success. One issue we’ve been working through is the timing on payments for rebates. The JMC has recently reviewed their records and reports the following:

  • National Grid payments before August were taking up to 30 days, but are now being completed in 21 days or less – with the average being 10-14 days
  • The other utilities are all averaging at or below 20 days now as well. There are a few special cases with Con Edison that are taking a bit longer to sort out – but not with NY-GEO members
  • NYSEG/RG&E is transitioning implementation contractors and has projects with installers that are taking more time. They are expected to submit a summary with resolution dates soon.
The JMC has asked us to remind NY-GEO member contractors to work with the utilities to provide all required documentation at the time of project application, as they’re seeing that as the main barrier to projects being paid.  They stress that utilities are unable to stat the rebate payment process until applications are complete. If you experience delays please communicate directly with your utility representative or their implementation contractor and if problems arise, please let us know at nygeoinfo@gmail.com.
3. Your Electric Utility Gets Its Power From? NY-GEO member Gerri Wiley has compiled the chart below showing the source power for each of New York’s major utilities.  New York has committed to essentially decarbonizing its power supply by 2030 meaning electrification = decarbonization for the heating sector. In the meantime, electric generation sources such as fossil gas and oil (part of the “other” category) will result in some emissions when New Yorker’s install heat pumps, which are powered by heat pumps. It will be less in almost all cases than burning gas or oil on-site, and will decrease over time and come to zero when the electric sector reaches full decarbonization of the heating sector. While coal continued to show up in small percentages in 2019, the Somerset coal plant – New York’s last – stopped operating on March 14, 2020.
4. Developers No Longer View Healthy Buildings as Luxury; It’s Now a Necessity – Because of Covid-19, developers are realizing that incorporating health concerns in a building’s design isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity. This article, while not mentioning ground source heat pumps or geothermal specifically, does describe the near future business environment and need for clean heating and cooling. The IWBI (International Well Building Institute) Institute TM describes itself as “leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive”. Thanks to Ken Steir Poughkeepsie based journalist for this tip.

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