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NY-GEO Urges NY Senate to Pass New Geothermal Legislation

NY-GEO Urges New York Senate to Pass New Geothermal Legislation to Update Regulations and Save Building Owners Money on Heating and Cooling

Pending legislation will remove outdated regulations and lead to lower costs
for geothermal heat pump installations for New York residents.

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y.May 25, 2023New York Geothermal Energy Organization NY-GEO, a not-for-profit trade association, representing the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry in New York State, urges the New York Senate to pass S6604, following the bipartisan approval in the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation and passage of companion legislation A6949 by the full New York Assembly.

The legislation, spearheaded by New York State Senator Peter Harckham and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, removes outdated regulatory requirements which unnecessarily place geothermal boreholes under regulatory requirements designed for oil and gas drilling. These existing regulations are unnecessary, as closed-loop geothermal boreholes do not involve injection into or extraction from the ground and thus do not pose an adverse impact to the environment. Senator Harckham and Assemblymember Glick, as chairs of their respective Environmental Conservation committees in the Senate and the Assembly, are once again demonstrating their commitment to renewable energy deployment and climate stewardship by advancing this legislation to accelerate the deployment of emissions-free geothermal heat pumps.

NY-GEO President and co-owner Buffalo Geothermal, Jens Ponikau, "To expand the drilling depth for closed loop geothermal bore holes is an important step forward to enable geothermal systems being installed in dense urban settings. We would like to thank the Legislature, the Governor and especially the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to further enable geothermal technologies to thrive in New York State to replace fossil fuels for heating and hot water needs. New York has not only become the State of Opportunity, but it has also become a leader in implementing renewable energy."

"Thank you to Senator Harckham and Assembly Member Glick for championing this bill that will bring the cleanest heating and cooling technology with the lowest operating costs to more New Yorkers" Bill Nowak, NY-GEO Board Member.

Dandelion CEO Michael Sachse thanked the bill's sponsors, stating "We greatly appreciate the leadership of Senator Harckham, Assemblymember Glick, and other members of the Senate and the Assembly who are working together to push this commonsense legislation forward. This will save New Yorkers money and accelerate deployment of geothermal heat pumps, creating new jobs for drillers and heat pump installers, and I sincerely hope that the Senate will pass this legislation quickly. New York has been a leader in climate action, but in this one regard, it is behind neighboring states, which allow deeper geothermal boreholes without restrictive regulations."

Geothermal heat pumps are already among the lowest-cost heating and cooling systems for New York homes and businesses. The passing of S6604/A6949:

  • Will save NYS residents with geothermal on their utility bills; because it is the most energy efficient, and therefore the most affordable, way to heat and cool a home.1
  • Will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 70-80% when replacing electric resistance, fuel oil, propane, or gas heating systems.
  • Embraces the Climate Action Council Scoping Plan recommended updating existing regulations to remove unnecessary restrictions of geothermal boreholes deeper than 500 feet.
  • Will have an immediate, positive impact on the growth of New York's geothermal heating and cooling industry by bringing down installation costs and making more households eligible for geothermal systems.
  • Removes impediments to geothermal installations, while preserving installation quality and safety precautions through regulation under the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water.

By removing geothermal drilling deeper than 500' from regulations designed for oil and gas wells, the legislation makes it possible for geothermal installers to drill fewer boreholes, saving time and money during the installation process. The legislation will also improve consistency of geothermal installations and safety precautions by consolidating all geothermal regulation under the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water, which currently regulates geothermal boreholes less than 500 feet deep.

About NY-GEO
NY-GEO founded in 2014, is dedicated to promoting geothermal heat pump (GHP) to heat and cool buildings throughout New York State, grow the GHP industry and develop its workforce, while educating policy makers and residents about the benefits of GHP. Our members represent HVAC Contractors, Developers, Manufactures, Drillers, ESCOs, Engineers, Organizations and Individuals supporting GHP.

To learn more about NY-GEO and our 200+ members visit

1 Geothermal heat pumps - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Press Inquiries:
Christine Hoffer

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