by Adam Roberts
The debate over banning new gas hookups in buildings has turned into a major political issue in both the country and state. Earlier this month, the Biden Administration began speaking of the potential for national action to reduce gas use, which prompted an outcry largely from right-wing pundits and politicians. Despite this debate, no serious proposal currently exists at the federal level for a nationwide gas ban.
In New York State, however, Governor Hochul is seeking once more to institute a statewide gas ban for new buildings. Last year, Hochul proposed a gas ban at the statewide level on the heels of New York City’s 2021 gas ban, which passed with AIANY’s support. While that effort failed, it gained significant support. Earlier this month, Hochul renewed her call for a gas ban in new buildings, which would start in 2025 for smaller buildings and 2028 for larger buildings.
In addition to the Governor’s proposal, the State Legislature is likely to push ahead with an updated version of the All-Eletric Building Act (A8431/S6843). That bill would have instituted a gas ban for smaller new buildings in 2023 and larger ones in 2027. With these two similar gas ban proposals being floated, it seems likely that New York will become the first state to ban gas in new buildings this year.
AIANY is a strong supporter of banning gas hookups in new buildings. Architects are very aware of electric power’s cost, safety, health, and reliability benefits. The chapter and its allies are organizing an Advocacy Day in support of a statewide gas ban on January 24 in Albany. It is critical that as many architects as possible join to tell legislators that a statewide gas ban is feasible. Complimentary transportation and meals are provided, and a training is offered so no lobbying experience is necessary. We strongly encourage you to sign up.