Steven Nadel, Executive Director
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in connection with his State of the State address today, announced a plan to create new energy efficiency targets and appliance standards. He directed the state’s Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to propose new 2025 energy efficiency targets by Earth Day, April 22, 2018, and also announced the state’s plans to develop new appliance efficiency standards for products not covered by federal standards, coordinating efforts with other states. According to the Governor, the targets will be “achieved through cost effective implementation strategies and innovative approaches from both utilities and the [New York State] Clean Energy Fund.” With this announcement, the discussion should move from whether to set new targets (a subject hotly debated in the state for several years) to what the specific targets will be and how to hold utilities and other implementers accountable for meeting the targets.
Prior ACEEE research has found that energy-savings targets are perhaps the most important state policy for achieving large energy savings. However, in recent years, following the expiration of a 15% savings by 2015 target, New York State has fallen behind many other northeastern states on the level of energy efficiency investments and savings. As a result, and as other states in the region set aggressive targets, New York slipped from third place in the 2013 ACEEE State Energy Efficiency Scorecard to a tie for seventh in the 2017 Scorecard.
With these announcements it appears that New York may be reinvigorating its energy efficiency efforts. Governor Cuomo noted that the new target-setting and standard-setting processes will engage both public and private stakeholders. ACEEE stands ready to support the development of strong, implementable, and enforceable targets and standards.