Green Jobs/ Green NY passes New York State Senate

September 19, 2009

On Thursday, September 10th, the New York State Senate passed the Green Jobs/ Green NY Bill (A. 8901 / S. 5888)  by a vote of 52-8.  The Assembly passed the bill unanimously back in June. This is the sort of effort that makes everyone happy – from Upstate Republican Senators to the Working Families Party, there’s something in it for everyone.  That’s the whole idea of green advancements in our economy, right? There are a few key components to the bill (from the Senate’s summary): NYSERDA will establish a revolving loan program to provide up to $13,000 per residential customer to retrofit a home, and up to $26,000 to retrofit each qualifying business; and conduct energy audits, program administration, and a credit enhancement for critical private sector capital investments.  Loans will be eligible to home and business owners in rural and urban communities throughout the state. NYSERDA and the NYS Department of Labor will create workforce training programs throughout the state to carry out mass-scale retrofitting. The program will front the cost energy efficient retrofits.  Property owners will repay the full cost over time, but their total energy usage will be reduced by 30-40%, and the loan.  The payment on their energy bill will be less than what they saved, yielding a net saves to the property owner. The program will be funded through the auctioning of carbon emission credits via the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  $112 million will go to NYSERDA.  Auctions of carbon emission credits over the last two years raised $126 million, with an estimated $75 million more expected in the next two auctions this year alone. So beyond greatly assisting in the retrofitting of home and businesses across the State, the idea is that certified local contractors will be able to create new jobs in green construction, and by default, even more jobs in local businesses and manufacturing that serve those new workers. There has already been extensive analysis of what this bill will mean for New York.  The Center for American Progress released a 100+ page report on the proposal this past Spring.  The State Senate even has their own issue page on their revamped website and has done a good job of compiling information on the bill. Now we just wait for the Governor to sign it.  We’ll continue monitoring how this will all play out in the coming months.