End natural gas pipelines in NYC buildings? City Council analyzes bill – Telemundo New York (47)

The New York City Council is considering a bill that would ban natural gas pipelines in new buildings as a way to combat both air pollution and climate change.

Under the measure, new buildings of less than seven stories would have to adapt their services solely to the electricity system from the end of 2023, while larger buildings will have an additional four years to comply with that requirement, if the law is passed.

Lawmakers warn that buildings account for 68% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions, with most of it coming from natural gas.

The City Council recognizes that, in the short term, the measure would have little impact on emissions, as most of New York’s electricity comes from power plants that burn natural gas. Swapping gas boilers and stoves for electric models means that power plants will burn more gas. However, the state seeks to develop wind and solar power, with the goal of feeding the grid entirely with clean energy by 2040. Once that happens, the new buildings will be emission-free.

But naysayers, like the New York Real Estate Board, point out that switching to electric heat too quickly could raise utility bills in the city substantially.

The board urged lawmakers to enact the ban more gradually, an earlier version of the bill called for all new buildings to be electric by the end of 2023, but a spokesperson stressed that the group supported the overall goal of phasing out the gas.

The City Council will vote on the bill on December 15.

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