As part of New York’s ambitious plan to fight climate change, a state committee approved plans today to start getting rid of furnaces that burn fossil fuels as soon as 2025. This will be done in accordance with the plans.

Every new home that is constructed in 2025 or after must be equipped with an energy-efficient electric heat pump or another type of non-combustion heating system, according to the proposal that was approved by the state Climate Action Council today.

After the year 2030, homeowners who use heating systems that burn fossil fuels will be required to replace them with systems that produce no emissions if the units break down.

These are just two of the many policies that are included in a 445-page plan that was adopted today by the state Climate Action Council. The state Climate Action Council is a 22-member commission made up of leaders of state agencies, environmental experts, and leaders in the energy industry, among other people.

Some of the policies that were agreed for inclusion in the “final scoping plan” of the Climate Activity Council today require more action before they can be put into effect. The state building code will need to be updated in order to accommodate, for instance, the new restrictions for heating systems. Other alterations could call for whole new laws.

However, the “final scoping plan” developed by the council is now the official policy for how the state government will accomplish objectives for the reduction of greenhouse gases that are mandated by a state legislation that was approved in 2019. According to Robert Howarth, a professor at Cornell University and a member of the Climate Action Council, state policies need to adhere to the council’s recommendations.

According to Howarth, a professor of ecology and environmental biology, “beginning of next month, agencies are meant to go ahead and start executing the plan — establishing laws, doing whatever it is that has to be done.”

Prepare yourself for some information about electric heat pumps.

Officials in Central New York are making preparations for a large housing boom in order to provide accommodations for the thousands of people who are anticipated to be employed in the construction and staffing of new semiconductor fabs by Micron Technology. It’s possible that making the switch to modern technologies for heating homes will be extremely important.

There are now just a small number of homes that are heated by high-efficiency heat pumps. However, the plan that was developed by the Climate Action Council forecasts that one million to two million of the state’s 6.1 million buildings would adopt the technology by the year 2030, which is only eight years from now.

More than eighty percent of the homes in Onondaga County are heated by either natural gas, propane, or fuel oil. According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the percentage is somewhere around 85 percent across the state.

Howarth described the transition as “a significant shift.” And I believe that people ought to be aware that it will genuinely be beneficial for new homes.

Heat pumps often have lower long-term operating costs than conventional furnaces, despite the fact that their initial installation costs are higher. According to research, they are significantly better for your health compared to sources that rely on combustion, which has been linked to asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Currently, about 18% of homes in Onondaga County are heated with electricity; however, this type of electric heating is the more conventional resistance heating. Heat pumps are a considerably more efficient technology than the earlier technology being used. According to the state plan, the use of resistance heating as a backup alternative to support air-source heat pumps in exceptionally cold weather is to be maintained.

As part of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which was passed in 2019 and signed into law, the state of New York has committed to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050, compared with the levels that existed in 1990. By legislation, the Climate Action Council was given the responsibility of formulating the specifics of how to proceed with it.

Today, a vote of 19-3 was taken in the council to adopt the scoping plan.

Buildings are responsible for around one-third of the state’s total carbon emissions at the present time. In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, the climate action plan asks for a significant shift in the manner that they are heated.

Heat pumps and other high-efficiency, zero-emission heating systems are going to be required in all newly constructed single-family houses and multifamily dwellings in the state that are up to three storeys tall by the year 2025, according to plans developed by state officials. Beginning in the year 2025, the rule will apply to each and every unit that submits an application for a construction permit.

In 2028, the same rule will also apply to commercial and residential structures of a greater size.

There are primarily two different kinds of heat pumps. Heat pumps that draw heat or cooling from the earth are known as ground-source heat pumps or geothermal heat pumps. These heat pumps work by pumping fluid via subterranean pipes to extract heat or cooling from the ground. The more common air-source heat pumps take heat from the outside air and pump it into the home, functioning in a manner somewhat similar to that of an air conditioner operating in reverse.

Significant financial incentives are being implemented by the state in order to encourage the installation of heat pumps.

The provisions of the climate plan dealing with buildings are just one part of a much larger document that also includes new policies for transportation, renewable electricity, industry, agriculture and forestry, and waste. The provisions dealing with buildings are just one aspect of the climate plan.

According to members of the council, the approval of the plan marks only the beginning of the process of modifying aspects of everyday life that contribute to climate change. The proponents of this view stated that it is critical to take decisive action right now.

Basil Seggos, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation and co-chair of the council, stated, “In my perspective, today we are making history.” Basil Seggos is also a co-chair of the council.

Donna DeCarolis, who is the head of the Western New York gas provider National Fuel Gas, was one of the council members who voted against the proposal. According to DeCarolis, the plan places an excessive amount of dependence on a single kind of energy, namely electricity, while the natural gas networks that are already in place might offer balance.

According to what she said, “Consumers might end up paying more for electricity that is less dependable.”

The scoping plan that was approved on December 19, 2022, is likely to stay in the news for a while. At the time that this report was being written, the Climate Action Council meeting was in the midst of continuing.

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