During the height of Model T production, Henry Ford purportedly quipped that you can have any color you want so long as it is black.  The largest city in the country is putting its own spin on the famous quote.

The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed a measure to ban the use of natural gas in new buildings starting in 2023, in a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.  There are exceptions- notably to new hospitals, commercial kitchens, laundromats and manufacturing.  The details state that the law will apply to new buildings up to seven stories starting in 2023 and anything taller by 2027.

Obviously, there are a lot of moving pieces here.  The city, like municipalities across the country, is trying to create a path to carbon neutrality; utilities are working to source a greater share of power production from renewables; the current composition of power generation in New York State is 45% natural gas, 8% oil, 24% nuclear and 22% hydro, though a state law passed in 2019 requires all electricity to be generated from carbon-free sources (including nuclear) by 2040; more high-voltage transmission lines will be needed to carry the additional carbon-free produced energy where needed; it currently costs more to heat with electricity- consider that about 40% of homes rely on electric as the primary source of heat and will pay an estimated $1,268 this winter, compared to 50% of households that use natural gas, expecting to pay $746 for heat this winter.  To boot, there are about a million existing buildings in New York City, which would like existing buildings to become electrified as they are retrofitted.

Is all that clear??

A lot is unknown, like if the grid can handle the new demand, extra costs associated with retrofits and how much will those who can’t afford upgrades have to pay for continued gas service.

This story goes into some of the details.  Let me know what you think!

~ Brian Kasal- The Leadership Matrix

Click here- New York City moves to stop new buildings from using natural gas

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