Huge Progress in Reforming New York's Energy Vision

On January 16th 2020, the New York Public Service Commission issued an order which sets New York on a path to implement one of the most ambitious energy efficiency portfolios in the country.

The order is part of New York State’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (or REV) initiative, which is making energy efficiency and distributed energy resources top priorities as the state aims to meet its climate and energy goals. New York has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050 and generating 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040. The order reflects the state’s recognition that energy efficiency is a critical tool for helping policymakers and utilities reduce electricity emissions and costs at the same time.

The order adopts energy efficiency savings targets for the investor-owned utilities that, when combined with targets for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, amount to 3 percent of electricity sales and 1.3 percent of natural gas sales by 2025. Further, the order allocates $454 million to investments in heat pumps, with a savings target of 3.6 TBtu. Heat pumps have a growing role in decarbonizing building and water heating while improving the lives of residents and reducing utility bills. The order also establishes a novel framework to promote building electrification—another critical component of decarbonization—and dedicates 20 percent of new energy efficiency funding to programs for low- and moderate-income customers. 

Synapse has been providing technical and policy support to the Natural Resources Defense Council for several New York Public Service Commission proceedings, including analyses of energy efficiency and distributed energy resources targets and policies for the Reforming the Energy Vision plan. 

This order represents a major step forward for the State of New York as it strives to reach its climate and emissions goals. It is also a major win for clean energy advocates on energy savings targets. For more on New York’s plans for a more energy efficient future, read the Synapse brief on the Commission’s recent order.