- Calling it the "most cost-effective" energy strategy on the table, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Friday announced a significant expansion of the state's efficiency goals along with $36.5 million in clean energy job training investments.
- The new efficiency target calls for investor-owned utilities to achieve annual efficiency savings of 3% of sales by 2025, which represents a 40% acceleration of efficiency in the next seven years.
- The expanded targets are expected to allow private sector energy efficiency businesses to grow, and will expand opportunities for third-parties to partner directly with utilities, while helping New York meet climate goals.
Cuomo continues to roll out initiatives that broadly support the state's Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which aims to rethink how the utility sector delivers power and makes money. The efficiency goals are intended to create business opportunities, train almost 20,000 New Yorkers for clean energy jobs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In January, the governor announced a "comprehensive agenda to combat climate change" that called for increases in energy storage, development of at least 800 MW of offshore wind resources, and adopting regulations that phase out coal-fired power plants in the state by 2020. The plan also called for new energy efficiency targets, which were to be set later.
The state is targeting a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and 80% by 2050. The new energy efficiency target is expected to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs below forecasted energy use in 2025.
There are more than 110,000 people employed in efficiency-related jobs in New York, and Cuomo's plan also seeks to boost that figure. His announcement says the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority "will commit an additional $36.5 million" to train over 19,500 New Yorkers for clean energy jobs.
NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton called the targets "bold policy leadership" that, along with the workforce training investments, "will inject greater momentum into the state's fast-growing clean energy sector."
The announcement was hailed by efficiency advocates, including Advanced Energy Economy and Alliance for Clean Energy New York. In a statement, Lisa Frantzis, senior vice president of AEE, called it "a big commitment." The two groups said the updated targets mean a 50% increase in efficiency efforts.