Sign this petition to call on Governor Cuomo to implement a Green Jobs Stimulus
for New York!
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State had 159,000 private sector renewable and energy efficiency jobs. The energy efficiency sector alone employed 123,000 New Yorkers and that number rose 11.5% from 2016 to 2018, more than double the average job growth in the state. These industries took a real hit in March and April when more than 20,000 people lost their jobs in the clean energy sector and these losses have continued.
Governor Cuomo is leading our state through the COVID-19 crisis and has rightly emphasized renewable energy as a way to rebuild our state’s economy. While the state waits for a federal stimulus, there are a number of immediate actions that the Cuomo Administration can take right now that will save New Yorkers money and create jobs. We can start the NY Green Jobs Stimulus today with these actions:
Keep Clean Energy Programs – Reject Multiple Intervenors’ Petition
Reject Multiple Intervenors’ Petition to halt the collection of clean energy surcharges and return unspent collections to customers. These surcharges for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are used not only to transition our state off fossil fuels but also provide clean energy jobs and training in New York. Also, by investing in energy efficiency we can lower utility bills and keep more money in the pockets of working families.
Open the ORES & Expedite permitting
Set up the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) as quickly as possible so that dozens of projects, which will employ hundreds of local union workers, can move forward. Wind and solar projects that are in an advanced stage of review under old siting rules should be expedited so they also can advance to the construction phase. There are a number of projects that could even begin construction in fall 2020 if permitting is accelerated. This would create hundreds of family-supporting jobs, local economic activity and significant new revenue for local communities.
✓ Release the RFPs that invest in clean energy
(We are thrilled that since launching this petition the RFPs were released)
To demonstrate a commitment to New York’s ongoing renewable energy progress and retain companies in New York State, NYSERDA must issue the past due Request for Proposals (RFPs) for large renewable energy projects (Clean Energy Standard Tier 1 Solicitation). NY should also release its Port Infrastructure RFP in coordination with the State’s Phase 2 Offshore Wind RFP. These projects are necessary to meet the state’s legally mandated renewable energy goals, and will provide good paying jobs, local tax revenue, and other community benefits.
✓ Support increased investment in Energy Efficiency
(We are pleased that since launching this petition Governor Cuomo announced several hundred million dollars in funding for energy efficiency updates to low and moderate income households This is a great step towards expanding energy efficiency investment!)
Protect energy efficiency funding, needed more than ever now, and accelerate deployment of funds by utilities and NYSERDA. The open PSC proceeding on the impacts of COVID-19 on utilities and consumers should protect the clean energy investments that support the State’s long term affordability and climate goals. Request additional federal funding for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and increase the percentage of HEAP funding directed to WAP.
Direct the NY Green Bank to expand financing opportunities, lower barriers to borrowing, and create a credit facility or revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects for small commercial businesses and residential buildings, including multifamily buildings, with a set-aside for low income, affordable housing. As we saw with the incredibly successful 0% financing pool introduced in May, incentivizing New Yorkers to invest their own funds in projects across the state with affordable financing options will put contractors back to work, and create cash and carbon savings for years to come. There should also be an expansion of program incentive levels, piloting of innovative program designs, and flexible qualification for low- and moderate-income programs for participants that now face financial hardships due to the economic crisis. Let’s enable families, small businesses, and building owners to help the green economy get back on track.
Approve investment in the “no-infrastructure” options for National Grid’s downstate capacity needs
Confirm that “no-infrastructure” investments are the only appropriate solution for long term capacity balancing in National Grid’s fossil gas service area in New York City and Long Island; new demand will be offset by energy efficiency, demand response and heat pumps. According to National Grid, customers switching from heating oil to geothermal heat pump systems could save $1,000 – $1,500 annually while reducing nearly 6.75 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
National Grid also calculated that the energy efficiency and heat pump investments included in the “no-infrastructure” option could represent $3.5 billion in local stimulus, driving clean energy job creation in the clean heating and cooling sector.
Invest in workforce development
Support workforce development, training and certification by qualified non-profit practitioners in energy efficiency and distributed generation. Training opportunities should include grant-funded on-the-job training and apprenticeships for new entrants and also established workers transitioning to the clean energy economy or retraining for new technologies (e.g., heat pump installation). Funding is also required for training providers to purchase equipment and update curriculum to provide awareness of and technical understanding of renewable energy. Special consideration and opportunities should be provided for members of frontline environmental justice communities. A Workforce Development Task Force should be established immediately to create an implementation plan for these and other solutions to expand training and job creation in the clean energy sector.