Natural gas hookups are coming back to Westchester County after a four-and-a-half-year pause.
Con Edison is set to end the moratorium affecting most of the county at the start of next month, according to an announcement reported by the Builders Institute. The moratorium on gas installations — which didn’t affect existing users — began in March 2019 as demand outpaced supply.
That issue has been mitigated, according to the utilities company. Supply has been increased by a pipeline project, and the company forecast lower demand in a letter to the state Public Service Commission.
Con Ed received 1,600 applications for gas service from southern Westchester in the two months leading up to the moratorium, LoHud reported in 2019. The state also announced a $250 million clean energy investment program to free up capacity in the area of Westchester most affected by Con Ed’s decision.
The moratorium forced developers and builders to make do without natural gas hookups. Politico Pro reported environmentalists are using the Westchester ban on gas hookups as evidence that other municipalities can plan a future without fossil fuels.
That future is coming into view. The state’s All-Electrification Buildings Act is set to take effect in 2026. The law bans the use of fossil fuels in new construction for buildings seven stories or below, mandating larger construction projects to follow suit by 2029.
State lawmakers passed a ban in May on the use of fossil fuel equipment and building systems in new construction. New York is the first state to essentially mandate all new buildings to be fully electric, according to the Urban Green Council.
— Holden Walter-Warner