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.
NYPSC Rejects Corning Gas Plan to Depreciate Gas Piping in Line with NY’s Climate Goals
– From the Commission order
: “By far the largest issue in this case, amounting to nearly half of the requested rate increase, is the Company’s proposal to depreciate its long-lived assets by 2050, a 30-year period. The Company argues that, because the CLCPA mandates the reduction of statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 85% of 1990 levels by 2050, the statute ‘effectively shortens the effective life of the Company’s existing and future investments in infrastructure.’ The Company asserts that the proposed shortened lives ‘will allow the Company to continue its systematic replacement program with more internally generated funds.’ The Company also asserts that delay in adjusting its depreciation rates in this case ‘effectively kicks the can down the road’ and would only lead to higher rates in the future.
The Commission’s response – “The implementation of the CLCPA by the Commission will be difficult, complicated and potentially expensive, but however it is implemented the plan will not look like what the Company has proposed here.”
This begs the question: When will the Commission begin implementing the CLCPA, and how much deeper will we dig ourselves into the climate crisis hole in the meantime?
NY Building Carbon Emissions Increased since 1990
– New York’s Climate Action Council (CAC) was recently presented with emissions figures for the buildings sector. The figures exclude the electric generation sector, which is treated separately, so building emissions are mainly for space heating and hot water production. The figure below from the CAC’s consultants includes methane leakage emissions per the accounting method required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). It shows building emissions increased 11.65% between 1990 and 2018 from 103 to 115 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMCO2
e). Under the CLCPA, New York’s economy-wide emissions are legally mandated to fall 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. It is currently hoped that some sectors, such as electric generation, will exceed those goals and will make up for sectors that fall short. The figure below shows the building sector cutting emissions 27% by 2030 and 83% by 2050 under recommendations
presented by the Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel.
EPA Electrification Initiative–
from a White House announcement
: “EPA is launching new residential and commercial sector partnerships to accelerate efficiency and electrification retrofits with a focus on underserved residential households through the ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade program, accelerate building electrification through an advanced ENERGY STAR certification for new residential buildings, and recognize commercial buildings through a new zero-carbon commercial building certification. It will also launch a new Greenhouse Gas tool linked to its Portfolio Manager tool.”
Mass Save Now Offering Ground-Source Heat Pump Rebates
– Mass Save is now offering rebates to existing residential customers for installing qualified ground-source heat pumps. Customers who currently heat with oil or propane are eligible for $2,000 per ton, with a maximum rebate of $15,000. More information about Mass Save’s rebates can be found on their residential rebate page