New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced an emergency rebate program for renewable heating and cooling technologies such as geothermal systems, applicable throughout NYSERDA-administered areas of New York State (essentially all of the state with the exception of Long Island—comparable PSEG rebates are still in effect on Long Island). The program sets aside $15 million over two years for rebates for residential and commercial properties.
Geothermal installations use the constant temperature under the ground’s frost line to heat and cool homes and businesses without producing greenhouse gases on site. Geothermal is one of the least expensive ways to heat and cool, but the up-front costs of installing thermal exchange pipes below the frost line is a barrier for many businesses and homeowners.
The Governor’s announcement comes as part of a comprehensive draft Renewable Heating and Cooling Policy Framework that he released on Tuesday, February 7th. Cuomo had been urged to act by a wide ranging coalition of environmental organizations, local elected officials and geothermal businesses.
The geothermal industry is key to New York reaching its 40% greenhouse gas reduction goal by 2030, as more than a third of the State’s greenhouse gases come from the heating sector. Over 1,000 New York jobs in the industry had been put at risk by the sunset of a 30% federal tax credit, which faces dim prospects of renewal with federal energy policy now firmly controlled by fossil fuel interests. The rebates are set at a minimal level to stimulate the market for 2 years while longer term plans are put in motion. The longer term goal is to allow market mechanisms to absorb the up-front costs, leading to a widespread transition to renewable heating and cooling.
Residential property owners may start applying for this rebate in the second quarter of 2017.
Read the full press release here.