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.
Ithaca Raises $100 Million for Building Decarbonization – “Building owners won’t make the transition from fossil-fuel energy all by themselves and state-funded incentive programs are often complex and sluggish, said Aguirre-Torres, Ithaca’s new director of sustainability. Aguirre-Torres has helped Ithaca… raise $100m by offering investors entry to a large-scale program he pitched as low risk with the potential for lots of cashflow. The goal is to create a lending program providing low- or no-interest loans and quick implementation of sustainable technology… The city is…trying to reduce risk. It aims to create an economy of scale by sizing the program for 1,000 commercial and residential buildings in the first 1,000 days, which will mean more consistent work for contractors and lower material costs. Ithaca plans to use a $10m loan loss reserve, backed by New York state, that would act as a guarantee for lenders in case any borrower defaults. Because the loans will be backed by the city, low-income families can participate, even though their credit history might disqualify them for private loans.” Full Article here. Thanks to Lisa Marshall, Program Director of Heat Smart Tompkins for this tip.
California Fossil Fuel Sunset – The California Air Resources Board recently launched a series of workshops to develop its 2022 Scoping Plan, which lays out the path to meet the state’s ambitious climate targets. Previous scoping plans included few, if any, provisions to decarbonize buildings. Now, for the first time, CARB is considering a range of targets for the buildings sector aimed at aligning the state with carbon neutrality by 2035 or 2045. The most ambitious of these options would include: all new buildings use electric appliances by 2026, 100% all-electric appliance sales for all buildings by 2030, and all buildings retrofitted to electric appliances by 2035. Thanks to Denise Garb, Manager of the RMI Carbon-Free Buildings Program for this analysis. In general the CARB sunset recommendations look quite similar to ones advanced to New York’s Climate Action Council by its Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel.
Zero Emissions Homes Act of 2021, H.R. 4872 was filed on July 30 and has been published. NY Rep. Paul Tonko is a co-sponsor. The act would provide up to $14,000 in combined rebates for homes that install heat pumps for space or water heating and for clothes drying, electric cooking, etc. Thanks to NY-GEO member Bob Wyman for this tip and to Rachel Grace of Rewiring America for the chart below.