Study Highlights Challenges of Switching to Electric Heat Under Green Policies

( – Under New York State’s new green energy policies, residents, particularly in more rural counties, could face crippling heating costs by switching to the required electrified heat pumps that are unlikely to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, the New York Post reported.

According to a review conducted by the Empire Center for Public Policy, the new state rule would require homeowners to install electric heat pumps while forcing them to phase out affordable heating systems that rely on home heating oil, propane, or natural gas.

The review found that despite forcing homeowners to switch to electrified heat pumps, the impact on greenhouse gas emissions will be negligible while residents will face increased energy costs and other “practical concerns.”

According to the review, the costs of installation of the pump, along with the costs associated with home weatherization required by the new policy, “will place a substantial economic burden” on New York homeowners, even with federal and state subsidies. The total cost for the pump and weatherization runs between $14,600 to $46,200, according to the review.

Given the prohibitive cost, many homeowners will likely opt for the less expensive route, namely, installing electric furnaces. However, electric furnaces place considerable stress on New York’s electric grid which defeats the purpose of switching to cleaning energy sources, according to the review.

Currently, only 13% of New York residences are heated with electricity or solar power. Meanwhile, 20% or 1.4 million New York homes use heating oil.

According to the Empire Center’s James Hanley, the impact of the state’s new policy would be hardest on rural upstate New Yorkers where owner-occupied homeowners’ median income is the lowest in the state.

Additionally, because rural and low-income counties use electric heating at a far lower rate, the new policy will fall primarily on the homeowners who are far less able to afford it.

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