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NYers demand Cuomo set strong energy efficiency target by Earth Day


ALBANY, NY – More than 8,000 citizen petitions were delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office today, urging him to launch a comprehensive, equitable, and ambitious energy efficiency initiative for New York.

The petitions were delivered to the governor’s office following a news conference where speakers representing utility customers, homeowners, environmental advocates, and energy efficiency businesses stressed the importance of a strong state energy-savings target to improve public health, lower energy bills, create local jobs, and avoid the pollution that causes climate change.

Cuomo has promised by Earth Day (April 22) to announce a New York energy efficiency goal for 2025 and a strategy to meet it. New York currently lags behind other states in its energy efficiency efforts. For example, utilities serving New York are only required to help their customers save electricity equal to roughly 1 percent of utility sales while other states already are at 3 percent.

New York needs more energy efficiency to meet the state’s climate goals and combat asthma and other public health problems,” said Miles Farmer, attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate and Clean Energy Program. “Governor Cuomo should seize this opportunity to show the nation and the world that New York intends to continue to lead in fighting climate change, ensuring cleaner air, and reducing customers’ energy bills.”

Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said, “Already, 110,000 New Yorkers have energy efficiency jobs – working with high efficiency HVAC, building insulation, smart meters, and Energy Star® appliances and lighting, for example. We have high hopes that the Governor’s Earth Day announcement will attract, and create thousands more of these clean energy jobs, for New York.”

“Governor Cuomo laudably recognizes the importance of energy efficiency in meeting our state’s climate goals,” said Shay O’Reilly, Sierra Club Organizing Representative. “It’s critical that the proposed targets are bold enough, support electrifying our transportation and heating sectors, and are accompanied by common-sense measures to ensure that the costs won’t be shouldered by low- and moderate-income ratepayers. We look forward to working with the Governor, allies, and communities to make sure we enact a bold, just, and equitable energy efficiency target.”

New Yorkers in poverty are paying 15-28% of their income to energy bills alone, when paying only 6% or less is affordable,” said Jonathan Bix, Executive Director of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson. “And all New Yorkers will benefit from a bold energy efficiency initiative that saves people money and combats climate change.”

“Energy efficiency might not seem as sexy as solar or EVs but it’s just as important for meeting our climate and clean energy goals,” said Elizabeth Broad, Outreach Director of New Yorkers for Clean Power. “One of the things that makes a strong energy efficiency standard so exciting is that it could create 100,000 additional good, green jobs in NYS while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Everyone should have a warm, affordable home on a livable planet, and an ambitious energy efficiency policy can help make this possible,” said Jessica Azulay, Program Director of Alliance for a Green Economy. “Utility companies must be held responsible for making sure that every customer has access to affordable energy efficiency opportunities and for working with communities to tailor their programs to local needs. These energy efficiency targets should be comprehensive so they drive down emissions and save customers money not just in the electricity sector but in the heating and transportation sectors as well.”

New York State has an opportunity to redefine what leadership means nationally in the energy efficiency space, said Clarke Gocker, Director of Policy and Strategy, PUSH Buffalo. “We need an energy efficiency standard that centers racial and economic equity, and maximizes social and community benefits like environmental health, living wage green jobs, and affordable housing preservation. Anything less is unacceptable and will compromise the ability of disadvantaged communities to participate in the transition to a regenerative, renewable energy economy.”

Riverkeeper’s Advocacy Coordinator, Jeremy Cherson says, “Using energy more efficiently is the cheapest way New York can meet its clean energy goals. It also protects the Hudson River Estuary and its communities by preventing the need for dangerous gas pipelines and massive fossil fuel power plants, like CPV Valley Energy Center. Governor Cuomo should use this opportunity to announce a nation-leading energy efficiency program with bold, clear, and enforceable targets.

An ambitious energy efficiency initiative will improve energy and housing affordability for all New Yorkers, including low-income households, whether renters or homeowners,” said David Hepinstall, Executive Director of the Association for Energy Affordability. “Energy efficiency is a least-cost clean energy resource that can creates healthy homes while supporting local jobs and improving air quality.”

To learn more about the effort to urge Cuomo to set a strong efficiency target, visit

The text of the petitions:



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