Bill would ban natural gas in new buildings, homes in NY state

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 5:53 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Most buildings are powered by electricity and natural gas. But, a bill in the state Legislature is aiming to ban gas hookups in new buildings beginning in 2024. One local developer says it’s unrealistic and too expensive.

The All-Electric Building Act would ban gas hookups. That means new homes and commercial buildings can’t have natural gas, propane, or oil heaters beginning in 2024.

Developer Mike Lundy says the technology isn’t good enough to make that transition in two years.

“If that’s something that was introduced over, say, a period of ten years, yeah, maybe over time that something could be done,” he said.

Lundy says it would take time for an electric company - like National Grid - to increase the capacity on its electric grid to make this happen. Lundy says a fully electric system isn’t cheap either.

“It’s definitely going to be a cost burden on the consumer. No question,” he said.

The bill is being sponsored by a couple of New York City Democrats: Senator Brian Kavanagh, and Assemblywoman Emily Gallagher.

New York City passed a similar law last year, requiring all new buildings to be fully electric beginning in 2027.

“And you just can’t look at what’s good for New York City. What’s good for New York City may not necessarily be good for Watertown, New York, or the rest of the state,” said Lundy.

The bill only requires new buildings to be all-electric. Existing buildings would not have to change. Lundy thinks it will make existing buildings more valuable.

A spokesman from Senator Brian Kavanagh’s office says the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in new projects and to have the bill be a part of Governor Hochul’s budget, which is due April 1.

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