Heat Pump Manufacturers and BDC Urge PSC to Update the NYS Clean Heat Program

Date: 21 May 2024
Heat Pump Manufacturers and BDC Urge PSC to Update the NYS Clean Heat Program

The Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) and six leading heat pump manufacturers – A.O. Smith, Fujitsu General America, Carrier, LG Electronics USA, Inc., Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. and Daikin U.S. Corporation – filed comments with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) as part of the Commission’s interim review of the state’s New Efficiency: New York (NE:NY) portfolio of energy efficiency and building electrification (EE/BE) programs for 2026 – 2030.

Launched in 2020, funding for the NE:NY portfolio of EE/BE programs is estimated to total at least $1 billion per year through the period 2026–2030, for a total of $5 billion.

The group’s comments focus on New York’s primary building electrification program, NYS Clean Heat, which combines market development efforts with customer incentives to help lower the cost of installing heat pumps for New Yorkers.

“We urge New York’s Public Service Commission and utilities to incorporate lessons learned from the 2020-2025 New Efficiency: New York program delivery period and make program design improvements that would speed the State’s transition to clean heating and cooling, setting the State on a course to meet its Climate Act targets and commitments, including Governor Hochul’s promise to deliver two million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030,” said Malak Nassereddine, NY Senior Manager – Utility and Regulatory Policy at BDC.

“These improvements to the NYS Clean Heat program will help reduce climate pollution, lower New Yorkers’ energy bills, and improve health outcomes, while also helping to expand New York’s clean energy workforce and its heat pump market,” said Nassereddine.

Growing New York’s Heat Pump Market and Workforce

As described in the comments submitted by BDC and the heat pump manufacturers, the PSC should update the NYS Clean Heat program with cost, payment, and program delivery improvements that would “meet people where they are,” by making it easier for New York households and contractors to participate in the program.

For example:

  • Simplify and speed the application process by creating a single uniform application with an easy-to-navigate database of all eligible incentive programs, reducing the amount of research and other work building owners and contractors need to do to apply for Clean Heat incentives.

  • Create an optional pre-approval process that would enable building owners and contractors to ensure they are eligible for incentives before installing heat pumps or conducting related EE/BE work.

  • Bridge the energy gap by having utilities provide homeowners the option to temporarily rent heating equipment to address their immediate heating needs while their heat pumps are being installed.

  • Create a statewide “Emergency Replacement Protocol” encouraging building owners to preemptively replace fossil-fuel heating equipment nearing the end of its useful life by offering them electrical service and similar building upgrades that would make their heat pump installations easier.

  • Provide wrap-around program offerings that address major barriers to electrification, such as electrical panel upgrades and building envelope improvements, that would make heat pump adoption possible for more New Yorkers and lower these New Yorkers’ energy bills after their heat pumps are installed.

  • Create opportunities for neighborhood-scale decarbonization by encouraging cross-utility and cross-program collaboration that leverages economies of scale, coordinates efforts, and minimizes neighborhood disruptions, reducing the total cost of the energy transition while delivering additional energy savings to New Yorkers and encouraging a more equitable distribution of clean energy benefits.

“By updating the NYS Clean Heat program, the PSC can not only accelerate New York’s transition to a clean energy future, but make this transition easier, more affordable, and equitable,” said Nassereddine.

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