I Am Affected by the Westchester gas moratorium. What Can I Do?
The ConEdison natural gas moratorium went into effect on March 15, 2019, affecting many towns in southern and eastern Westchester. This means if you are a resident or business-owner in the affected areas of Westchester, you will not be able to establish a new gas connection until the moratorium is lifted.
To assist with the transition, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Department of Public Service (NYDPS), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced a $250 million Westchester Clean Energy Action Plan. The goal of the Clean Energy Action plan is to provide immediate relief to the county’s businesses and residents impacted by Con Edison’s moratorium on natural gas hookups, as well as to reduce fossil-fuel reliance through clean-energy programs and demand-reduction solution.
The new energy plan includes funding for clean energy alternatives like electric heat pumps and high-efficiency appliances. The state estimates that these programs will reduce an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of gas necessary to heat 90,000 homes. The $250 million set aside for the Clean Energy Action Plan is divided in three parts:
- $165 million to improve energy efficiency and heat pumps in residential, multi-family and commercial and industrial customers.
- $53 million will be divided amongst new and existing customers ($28 million and $25 million, respectively) to help new customers get set up with alternative heating and cooling systems and energy efficient solutions, and to help existing customers free up capacity in the region by increasing efficiency. This funding is provided by NYSERDA.
- $32 million will be available for NYPA customers in low-cost financing services to retrofit heating systems with clean energy alternatives. NYPA will provide energy audits and screenings.
If you are affected by the moratorium, you have a few options. First, you can participate in any of the programs listed above for which you are eligible. We will be working closely with NYSERDA on this process and will have more information available in future blog posts. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Additionally, you can apply for “interruptible” gas services, which requires a secondary source of energy, thereby allowing you to switch off of natural gas during peak hours. Some municipalities have been actively pursuing this option: Mount Vernon’s mayor announced that all new developments will be required to have dual-fuel systems.
The moratorium is an impactful act but is a good way to jumpstart the path to energy resiliency. Many resources are available to incentivize new, sustainable clean energy and energy efficiency options – it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you.