Just In! is NY-GEO’s weekly news feed for members. NY-GEO’s calendar-year memberships are open to everyone and available for as little as $35. See more information on memberships here. Click here to see some of the work a NY-GEO membership supports. We also feature three of the top news item summaries on the NY-GEO home page every Monday.
Con Edison to Restart Incentives – At a September 8th stakeholder session of the Utility Joint Management Committee (JMC), Con Edison announced they will restart incentives for larger “custom” geothermal installations, as well as air source heat pump installations, with a target date of January 1st, 2023 following an August Public Service Commission decision to provide some funding for these incentive programs. Residential geo installations have continued to receive incentives, although they will now be capped at $50,000 per project. The Commission approved $518 million in funding transfers, which will likely primarily go to projects whose applications are already in the Con Edison pipeline. The Commission also approved $10 million per month in new funding for the programs, which had been receiving applications at an estimated clip of $25 million per month, indicating that incentive levels will need to be scaled back.
Con Ed will be holding listening sessions with small groups of stakeholders over the next month to get feedback on final aspects of the restart which may include reducing incentive levels, allocating portions of the $10 million to different program sectors, and requiring ASHP and GSHP installations to be designed to meet 100% of heating demand. The schedule for the listening sessions is below, along with contact information to signing up.
The JMC also announced “GSHP startup/design document requirements will be clarified in a forthcoming communication.” It was announced that the meeting slide deck would be posted here, although it is not up yet as of the early morning of September 10th.
Who Will Pay for Stranded Gas Infrastructure? – Sarah Shemkus – Energy News Network via Canary Media – “As some cities and towns across the U.S. prepare to ban new residential fossil fuel systems, advocates say now is the time to create a long-term strategy to make sure lower-income residents aren’t left to pay for a sprawling and aging natural gas system they can’t afford to opt out of…’If we don’t start planning now, if we’re not thinking long-term as we start these steps, then we aren’t going to do it in the smartest way…[or] the cheapest way.’ ” noted Dale Bryck, former NYS Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment from 2019-2020 and current Senior Attorney and Director of State & Regional Climate Policies at the Harvard Law School Environmental and Energy Law Program. This article focuses on the issue in a Massachusetts context. New York has initiated a Gas Planning Proceeding which should be addressing this issue, and in the last legislative session Sen. Liz Kreuger and Assembly Member Pat Fahy had introduced the Gas Transition and Affordable Energy Act – (S8198/A9329) which was designed to address the issue. That bill didn’t advance out of Committee consideration in the Legislature. Full article here.
‘Heatflation’ Hits the Farmers Market – Colin Kinniburgh – NY Focus – “This summer’s heat and drought have driven New York farmers’ input costs up and their yields down, straining their finances and further pushing up food prices…Rick Osofsky is sick of hearing about the beautiful weather. The owner of Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, Osofksy has spent the summer listening to news anchor after news anchor touting the nonstop sunshine just as it’s been torching his business. Cows ‘ate the heat,’ Osofsky said. They normally stay outside at pasture much of the year, but they’ve lately had to spend most of their time in the barn, with extra fans and sprinklers to keep them cool. The few bouts of rain that have come through the area lately have done little to change the situation, Osofsky said, because it’s too late in the season. ‘There’s nothing that rain is going to do now to change the crop production that we’ve had. Nothing.’ ” Full article here.