HEAT Act Heats Up NY Energy Debate

Learn more about New York's Heat Act and how its faring with lawmakers.

NY Government Can’t Agree on HEAT Act

The Heat Act debate continues in spite how much it could save NY natural gas customers and speed the green transition.
New York’s proposed Heat Act is fanning the flames of debate among lawmakers. It may benefit consumers and green energy, but utilities face costs they’ll pass to their customers.

Are you one of the many New Yorkers concerned about covering energy costs each month, like a NYSEG electric bill? The NY HEAT Act could help. Unfortunately, our state government has been unable to come together on what parts of the act will make it into the state budget. Although the senate passed the act in March, the assembly and Governor Hochul are still holding things up. So, let’s see how the HEAT Act is heating up NY energy debates.

What’s in the HEAT Act?

Supporters of the HEAT Act aim to keep energy costs down as the state transitions away from natural gas to meet NY’s green energy requirements. The HEAT Act manages energy costs in a couple of ways, according to Spectrum News.

Firstly, there is the cap on utility costs. The cap would affect low-moderate income households. In other words, people who make less than 80% of the state median income. For these people, utility costs would max out at 6% of your income. At 79% of the median income, the 6% cap comes out to about $156.23 per month for utilities.

In addition to the cost cap, the HEAT Act removes a utility rule that costs New Yorkers millions of dollars each year. More specifically, we’re talking about the “100 foot rule.” It mandates that utilities add a gas hookup for any new customer who lives within 100 feet of an existing gas line for free. However, the cost of the added line is passed on to ratepayers to the tune of $200 million dollars per year. This rule also makes it more difficult and costly for utilities to switch to green energy sources.

Where Does the Act Stand Now?

Although the state senate passed the act, our assembly and governor still don’t agree on it. Opponents of the act worry it pushes for the transition away from natural gas too fast, according to the Washington Examiner. These opponents worry a rushed transition could put jobs at risk and energy reliability on the line.

For her part, Governor Hochul has added the elimination of the “100 foot rule” to the state budget. However, the utility cost cap is currently not part of the budget. Furthermore, just this week, finalizing the budget was extended for the fourth time. So, the fate of the HEAT Act is still up in the air.

For more NY energy related news and information, visit us today at https://www.nyenergyratings.com.