New York became the first state to end fossil fuels in new construction by law this week with the all-electric mandate passing as part of the state budget. Legislative champions and advocates celebrated the victory, the culmination of two years of multiracial organizing, with the people-powered climate movement ultimately prevailing against the fossil fuel industry.
“Overcoming the lavishly-funded misinformation and lobbying of the gas industry wasn’t easy,” said Assembly sponsor Emily Gallagher, “but this campaign had the truth on our side. New York just made history.”
The politically popular move will save money, reduce climate-heating pollution, create jobs in clean energy, and reduce childhood asthma — a 2022 analysis found that building all-electric leads to hundreds of dollars in energy cost savings for consumers. As the prices of gas and fuel oil rise, New Yorkers in every region of the state would save money with an all-electric home.
“New York has once again taken a massive, nation-leading step forward in our fight against climate destruction,” said Senate sponsor Brian Kavanagh. “By prohibiting the use of fossil fuels in new construction, we are not just curbing the environmental impact of our building stock, but transforming the future of New York’s green economy. I thank all of our incredible partners in this fight including my tenacious Assembly sponsor Emily Gallagher, Governor Hochul, and the tireless advocates who have spent the past two years demanding this crucial step be taken. Together we are building a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable state.”
While New York’s mandate that new buildings must be all-electric is significant in its own right, advocates stressed that it also serves as an important example for the rest of the country to follow.
“New York State is leading the way in ending America’s devastating addiction to fossil fuels,” said Food & Water Watch Northeast Region Director Alex Beauchamp. “New York’s bold move to become the first state in the nation to prohibit fossil fuels in new construction is undeniably huge. We have the grassroots climate movement to thank for championing this landmark win for our climate, health, and wallets.”
“Thanks to the voices of thousands of New Yorkers, our final state budget includes a first-in-the-nation statewide legal mandate for all-electric new buildings — a major win for New Yorkers’ wallets and health, and reducing climate pollution. As the state with the highest building-sector emissions and most premature deaths in the country from fossil fuel combustion in buildings, this policy was critical to adopt. Earthjustice thanks our many partners and the bill’s sponsors, Assemblymember Emily Gallagher and Senator Brian Kavanagh, for their tireless efforts to get this key measure across the finish line,” said Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate for Earthjustice.
“Ending fossil fuels in new buildings is a great start on the path to protecting our communities from climate disaster, cleaning up air pollution in and around our homes, and will help us save money. I am proud to be part of a movement that is making real change and lifting up the voices of communities of color, like mine, that have been left behind for far too long, said Rachel Rivera, NYCC Member. “I want to thank all of the grassroots activists that brought their people power to Albany and Assemblymember Emily Gallagher and Senator Brian Kavanaugh for leading the fight with their colleagues to pass the All-Electric Building Act.”
“Today, New Yorkers are celebrating the passage of the first-ever state law to move new buildings off fossil fuels. We want to thank the bill sponsors and the thousands of young people that fought with us to make this law happen. The state must continue to show leadership on the fight to combat climate change and move quickly and intentionally to meet fast approaching greenhouse gas emission reduction benchmarks,” said Megan Ahearn, Program Director for NYPIRG.
“We achieved this huge victory by applying organized grassroots people-power in cooperation with supportive elected officials,” said Kim Fraczek, Director of the Sane Energy Project. “The fracked gas industry knows its days are numbered. We must resist their push to build as much infrastructure as they can in order to cash out through utility rate cases before our climate laws are fully implemented.”
“Enacting the All Electric Buildings Act in this year’s budget is a monumental step toward New York’s green energy future as required by the CLCPA. I am thankful for all the advocates’ tireless work in helping keep this issue front and center during budget negotiations, and I look forward to building off this success in the remainder of the legislative session,” said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick
“We have reached a historical milestone in becoming the first state to eradicate fossil fuels in new construction. This is what environmental justice looks like — improving public health through the all-electric building act. For far too long fossil fuels have been detrimental to our environment, to our health and families suffering from respiratory disorders, strokes, asthma, and other life-threatening conditions,” said Assemblywoman Maritza Davila. I am happy to have co-sponsored the bill and will continue to advocate and fight for clean and sustainable energy.
“We have made HISTORY! The All Electric Buildings Act is a First-in-the Nation State Law. This is a huge win for New York State as we lead the way in the Climate movement. Ending fossil fuel use in new construction in our great State places us one step closer towards a cleaner future,” said Assemblywoman Taylor Darling. “This piece of legislation will create jobs throughout the State, reduce climate heating pollution, and help promote better air quality for our future. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation. It is an Electric Day in the State of New York!”
“This week, New York State made history as the first state in the nation to end fossil fuels in new construction. I am a proud co-sponsor of the All-Electric Building Act which will phase out fossil fuel hookups in new buildings,” said Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. “This is a huge step in the transition to renewable energy, which will allow us to keep the global temperature rise to under 2 degrees. The All-Electric Building Act will curb harmful emissions, clean our air, lower our energy bills, and create green jobs. Today, we are forging a clear path to our renewable future.”
“I am proud to co-sponsor the All-Electric Building Act that ends the use of gas heating and other fossil fuels in all new buildings beginning in 2026, making New York the first state in the nation to do so by law,” said Assemblymember Brian A. Cunningham. “This is a bold and necessary step that will save the average consumer money on their bills, reduce emissions, fight climate change, and create well-paying new jobs in renewable energy — all while providing New Yorkers with the heat and energy they require.”
“I am thrilled that New York will lead the nation with the environmental justice policies we passed in this year’s budget,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, 33rd District, The Bronx. “The Senate Majority won major concessions to advance the All-Electric Buildings Act, creating historic pathways for our state to meet our goal of zero emission electricity while ensuring that labor and environmental justice communities have a seat at the table.”
“The climate crisis continues to pose an existential threat to New Yorkers across our city and state. Utility costs are skyrocketing, and New Yorkers already struggling to make ends meet are wondering if they will be able to afford to cool their homes in the coming months. Communities of color and low-income communities like the ones I represent in Queens have suffered for too long from our inaction. That’s why I’m so thrilled to celebrate the inclusion of the All Electric Buildings Act in our final enacted budget. New York will now be the first state in the nation to prohibit the use of fossil fuels in new construction, and I’m so grateful for the leadership of all the advocates and my colleagues in the legislature, particularly Assemblymember Gallagher, in helping achieve this,” said Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas.
“New York has taken an historic step forward in fighting climate change by banning the use of fossil fuels in new buildings,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “This will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and help New York meet our aggressive goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. I’m proud to support this bill that protects our planet for future generations and that reduces energy costs for hard-working people. Thank you to Assemblymember Gallagher, Senator Kavanagh, and the advocates for their leadership on this crucial bill.”