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We’re Still Expanding the Natural Gas System — And There’s a Good Chance You’re Paying for It – from Canary Media by Sherri Billamoria and Mike Henchen of RMI – “The natural-gas delivery system is growing across the United States, and gas utilities are adding new customers at a rapid pace — more than one every minute — despite the fact that natural-gas use needs to be slashed dramatically to maintain a livable climate. There’s a good chance that you’re one of the gas customers subsidizing this expansion to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year.” Full article here.
Governor Proposes to Green the Real Estate Tax Abatement Program – “End the 421-a Tax Abatement and Establish a New Program That More Effectively Uses Public Dollars to Drive Affordability – There is a critical need for affordable and market-rate rental housing in New York City. Real estate tax abatements have historically driven the development of new rental units across the city with 200,000 apartments currently covered by the 421-a program. Since 2010, nearly half of all new residential units built in New York City took advantage of this program, which has spurred housing construction and the creation of thousands of affordable units. With 421-a set to expire in 2022…Governor Hochul will propose a new tax abatement that aims to achieve these goals:
• Create deeper affordability that services lower income households than 421- a
• Create longer-term affordability to provide more stability for low-income households…
• Align with city and state climate goals by requiring carbon-neutral technologies, electrification, and electrification-ready building systems.
Thanks to Deb Peck-Kelleher from the Alliance for a Green Economy for this tip. For space we have listed only a few of the goals of the new program – the full list is in Governor Hochul’s State of the State
book – p.133
The Next Front in Fighting Climate Change: Your Home
– Opinion by Glenn Kelman for CNN Business
Perspectives – “When we think about our home’s carbon footprint, most of us think of solar panels, but switching to electricity from fossil fuels for heating our home’s air and water may be even more important. More than half of the energy homes use is for heating and air conditioning, and nearly two-thirds of US homes rely on fossil fuels for heat. Switching from natural gas to electricity for heating a home has a dramatic impact on its carbon output. In a place like Sacramento, for instance, that switch would reduce its emissions by 45% today. And the benefits would only increase over time. Unlike the furnace burning gas in your basement, the power plants generating electricity for a heat pump will get more efficient, getting more power from the sun and other sources of renewable energy. So that Sacramento home would, if electrified, emit 82% less greenhouse gases by 2050. The home would also have lower utility bills.” (From Sage Welch at the National Building Electrification Network and Sunstone Strategies) Full article here