The Office of the Governor of the State of New York

05/30/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/30/2024 15:06

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces $39.6 Million is Now Available to Low Income New Yorkers for Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades

May 30, 2024
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces $39.6 Million is Now Available to Low Income New Yorkers for Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces $39.6 Million is Now Available to Low Income New Yorkers for Home Energy Efficiency and Electrification Upgrades

Governor Hochul: "The Inflation Reduction Act hasn't just revitalized our nation's economy - brought us back, created thousands of jobs, reinvigorated countless industries, bringing us opportunities where we had none - but it's given us the tools necessary to also focus on a healthier, greener future. Not just us, but for the generations that follow."

Hochul: "It's more than just helping one individual family. It's a vision of a state where we say we leave no one behind. Everybody deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, properly insulated, protecting them from the elements. And that's what they're going to get here in New York. And poor communities that disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental injustice - they should no longer have to bear these extraordinary costs, as we're transitioning to a whole new world away from fossil fuels."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul joined U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Granholm and White House Senior Advisor John Podesta at the Andromeda Community Initiative in Queens to celebrate New York State becoming the first state in the nation to offer the first phase of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) Program funding to consumers. The initial $39.6 million formula grant will expand the reach of New York's EmPower+ program by allowing more low-income families to improve their homes with energy efficiency and electrification upgrades that will reduce energy costs and transition away from burning fossil fuels in their homes. Today's announcement supports the State's nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050 and requirement for at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments supporting disadvantaged communities.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Thank you. It's that female governor connection. Love her. What a dynamo. I followed Secretary Granholm's career when she was the first woman Governor of Michigan, really paving the way for others to follow and I admire your tenacity and the contributions that you're making to the Biden administration.

I've seen you all over this country and we're so proud that you brought this together and really deeply care - just like you have cared about the citizens of your home state. You're taking that caring about people in their lives and how we can make life easier for them and lifting the burden from our families. And you're doing that nationally on behalf of our President. Ladies and gentlemen, let's give another round of applause to our great Secretary.

And the man who delivers for New York - and I want to give a special round of applause - to the Majority Leader, our Senator Chuck Schumer for all he does.

Sometimes known as the postman, because he delivers every single day on time. Well, sometimes he's not on time, but that's okay - mostly on time. And John Podesta - a legacy of public service, which is extraordinary. All the areas that our President has trusted you with to help solve national and international problems. It is an honor to have you here with us. One of the top advisors for President Biden, John Podesta.

The rock star of the moment - that is our very own, Doreen Harris and her team at NYSERDA. Thank you - making sure we're always number one. Number two just doesn't work for New York, so thank you, thank you. I so love working with her and her team, with the whole team at NYSERDA.

We also have some elected officials here - Borough President, our Borough President Donovan Richards is here. Where are you, Borough President? There he is. Julie Won, our Councilmember. Julie, stand up. And our friends here at Andromeda - Joyce Lynn and David, I want to thank you for hosting us and all the great contributions you're making to give people the opportunity and the dignity of a good paying job. That's what it's all about. So, thank you. Thank you.

You know, I'll step back. I was thinking that two weeks ago, I stood in the Vatican. Yes, asking for the Pope to pray for New York - he said he would. But also, leaders from around the world were asked to convene and talk about what we're doing in our respective countries, in our states, about global climate change.

What we're doing to transition into a clean energy future. And I called for New York at that moment to rededicate itself to a bold climate agenda and take the steps necessary to try and cool our warming planet because we are feeling the effects every single day. And we're taking a beating because of this.

I also said we have to honor our moral responsibility to heal the earth and to make sure that those who bear the brunt of climate crisis - who are often the poorest among us -that we can do whatever we can to help lift that burden. So, I am so proud to stand with our Secretary on behalf of the Biden administration to announce we're making real progress. Real progress.

Something that's tangible. It's not out there talking about how "someday we're going to affect climate change." We're going to affect people's ability to adjust, adapt and lower their energy bills. We're going to lower greenhouse gas emissions. It safeguards the health of our residents. But most of all, which is so important to me, how to lift up our lower-income families.

You know, my parents used to live in a trailer park. Their parents had nothing. I am so blessed to have the advantages I had that came from an education. But so many others just don't know where to turn anymore. And they dread the summertime when the air conditioning bills are so high - if they even have an air conditioner, and many do not.

They say that one of the greatest causes of death from climate change are people dying from the heat in the summertime. How tragic is that? That, my friends, is entirely preventable. No one - no one should be subjected to that pain, themselves or their families. So again, I'm really proud that we're setting the standard, the model for the rest of the nation. And that's what we do. That's what New York does. We always chart that way forward. But it doesn't happen just here in the state of New York, it happens when you have leadership at the national level. It makes all the difference in the world for us here in the states.

And I want to say something, I want everybody to quote this: Joe Biden is a history making president. We would not be here today - not be here today if it wasn't for his administration, his commitment, his climate leadership and his willingness to take on the tough challenges of our time. He doesn't shirk them; he leans hard into them.

And the Inflation Reduction Act hasn't just revitalized our nation's economy, brought us back, created thousands of jobs - that's all good - reinvigorating countless industries, bringing us opportunities where we had none - but it's given us the tools necessary to also focus on a healthier, greener future. Not just us, but for the generations that follow. That's the moral obligation I spoke about in the Vatican. We must live up to that responsibility.

And I also, again as I want to say, I can't talk about the IRA without thinking Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is right there, right there, pushing every inch of the way to get this through the Congress. I want to thank him for being the partner that our President needs.

And now, all that money will be able to transform thousands of homes across our state and improve the lives even from Queens - the Queens residents right now - all the way up to the Queen City, which is where I'm from, called Buffalo. It's a nice place too.

But we are the first in the nation to receive part of the $8.8 billion home energy rebate program. $8.8 billion dollars. That is extraordinary. And we're starting off with almost $40 million to help electrify homes, reduce energy costs, transition away from fossil fuels and support our low-income families. But that's just the beginning. Because we're eligible for $320 million dollars and I'm not leaving a penny on the table.

Okay? Let's bring it all home. Let's bring it all home. And the good news for us is we're not starting from scratch. This is not like, "Oh, let's find out what's happening. Let's maybe see if we can become eligible." We've been doing this. Now this money is going to take us to where we've wanted to go.

But we launched the Empower+ program in January of last year. It's been out there working hard for people. Adding insulation in homes, upgrading appliances, electric efficient heating systems. We've been doing this with an eye toward those low-income families who say, "I just need a break once in a while." And they deserve the benefits of clean energy that would not be available for them, but for this assistance from the State and now the federal government.

So, we're going to be able to expand our reach. We're going to continue our efforts working with DOE. And what an amazing team you have, Madam Secretary. Amazing team. Dedicated people. Thank you all for dedicating your lives to exactly what we're talking about here today. We're going to continue to expand.

But it's more about, again, just adding these heat pumps and technologies. It's more than just helping one individual family. It's a vision of a state where we say we leave no one behind.

Everybody deserves to live in a home that is safe and secure, properly insulated, protecting them from the elements.

And that's what they're going to get here in New York. And poor communities that disproportionately bear the brunt of environmental injustice. They should no longer have to bear these extraordinary costs, as we're transitioning to a whole new world away from fossil fuels.

So, we're going to get it done. Investments like this will make a difference. And that's why I'm so proud to have this collaboration. Again, can I say Joe Biden's name enough?

Joe Biden made this happen. Thank you, President Biden. Thank you for thinking about all of us and the people we represent, lifting up the voices of low-income Americans and New Yorkers and making sure they know that they're heard and they're cared about deeply.

That's how we get it done. And I'm so proud to be part of this announcement and look forward to visiting the homes and touching the people and saying, "Yes this is why leadership matters, this is why it matters who's in the White House." Because you have the power to do something some always could have, but they didn't."

This President is getting the job done for Americans, and I could not be prouder to accept this money on behalf of our President and Congress and spend every dime right here in the great State of New York. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

And with that, someone who's bringing home the bacon every single day. I'm not sure if he's a mailman or a short order chef, but he's bringing home the bacon and frying it up every single day. Supporting his beloved home State of New York. Let me bring up our Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

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