State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, has announced Senate bill 5536A, legislation providing regulatory relief and incentives surrounding natural gas, passed with bipartisan support in the Senate today.
There are currently 555,000 households that live within 100 feet of an existing gas distribution line and 580,000 homes that lie within an existing natural gas franchise, but more than 100 feet from a hub. This represents nearly 33 percent of New Yorkers who could have reasonable access to low-cost natural gas to heat their homes, but do not. This legislation will provide regulatory relief and other incentives in order to encourage the extension of existing natural gas lines, leading to cheaper prices for consumers and a cleaner environment.
"Natural gas prices are at an all-time low, and providing a customer with access to natural gas would save them around $1,300 per year and as much as $5,000 per year when used in conjunction with other energy-efficiency measures," said Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committee and sponsor of this legislation. "Beyond providing significant cost savings to consumers, the use of natural gas has shown environmental benefits, most notably significant reductions in sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other particulate matter creating a whopping 28 percent reduction in carbon dioxide when (compared) to any petroleum-based fuel."
Maziarz's camp said the legislation will also lead to direct and indirect jobs across New York. Energy costs are a top concern of businesses in this state and, in the manufacturing field for example, R&D and high-tech fabrication costs are particularly high. This bill will lower costs for those industries and create more good-paying, union jobs in the utility industry.
"Having access to cheap, clean natural gas service will be a job creator," Maziarz said. "This bill has widespread support from both my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate, as well as the utility industry, the Business Council, Unshackle Upstate and many others. Legislation that promotes cleaner energy sources while helping consumers, businesses and the environment is really a win-win for this state. I strongly encourage the Assembly to pass this legislation as well."