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Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Minimize Barriers to Accessing Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems

The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) - Commends New York State Governor Kathy Hochul for signing legislation that will Expand Opportunities for Geothermal Heating and Cooling for New York’s Buildings

Governor Hochul signs law that removes outdated regulations for geothermal borehole drilling allowing access
to geothermal heating and cooling for more New Yorkers. 

Cambridge, New York — September 21, 2023 —  New York Geothermal Energy Organization NY-GEO, a not-for-profit trade association, representing the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry in New York State, celebrates the New York Governor for signing  A6949/S6604 during Climate Week.  

This law implements key recommendations of the Climate Action Council in its Scoping Plan. It's an important step toward the state's goal of two million electrified and electric-ready homes by 2030. The geothermal heat pump industry is installing hundreds of systems for New York building owners every year.  The new regulations created under this law will significantly increase access to geothermal across the state and help ensure New York meets its climate goals.  

Jens Ponikau, President, NY-GEO and Co-Owner Buffalo Geothermal stated, "To expand the drilling depth for closed loop geothermal bore holes is an important step forward to enable geothermal systems. We would like to thank the Legislature, the Governor, and especially the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for their efforts to 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."

Zachary Fink, President ZBF Geothermal, NY-GEO Vice President, stated,The expanded geothermal borehole depth will allow additional projects to proceed in urban areas while reducing cost associated with installing a system for multi-family and commercial buildings.”  

Kathy Hannun, Co-Founder and President of Dandelion Energy, NY-GEO past board member, stated "We are thrilled that Governor Hochul has signed this bill into law. It will have a transformative impact for our customers and all New Yorkers looking to install geothermal in their homes, since it will allow almost all homes to be heated with one borehole rather than two."

This change to the regulations that treated geothermal systems at depths greater than 500’ like oil and gas drilling removes barriers to buildings with a smaller footprint.  Residential and commercial buildings not able to benefit from the energy savings of geothermal heat pumps now can.  The ability to drill beyond 500’ will make geothermal systems accessible to more New Yorkers.  

New York State Senator Peter Harckham (D-40) and Assemblymember Deborah Glick (D-66), chairs of the Environmental Conservation committees in each house, brought forward this law to remove outdated regulatory requirements and unlock New York’s ability to meet its climate goals.  NY-GEO applauds the authors and champions of this legislation that ensures the least expensive operating costs of any heating and cooling technology are available to all.  

“In order to protect the environment and hit the ambitious goals outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we need to make existing green technology, like geothermal heating and cooling, more accessible,” said Assemblymember Deborah Glick, Chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, “I applaud Governor Hochul for signing this important legislation and appreciate Senator Harckham’s collaborative efforts to make this technology more readily available for projects, enabling geothermal energy to be more widely used throughout New York State.”

“To reduce fossil fuel use and meet the ambitious goals in the Community Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), geothermal systems are a clean energy technology that needs to be encouraged. This new law allowing deeper boreholes means lower project costs, which will significantly ramp up this alternative energy industry statewide” said Senator Harckham, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee.  “I am grateful to Governor Hochul for signing the bill and to Assemblymember Glick for her work in advancing the legislation. I also want to thank our partners in the geothermal industry for their collaboration on the bill and for creating new green jobs. This is a major opportunity to shift toward a green energy source that will create new jobs and real savings to homeowners while boosting our economy.”

Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters stated: “Easing restrictions on geothermal energy development is a major step in our transition to a clean energy economy. Decoupling clean geothermal energy from regulations that are meant to govern the dirty oil and gas sectors will help pave the way for affordable and efficient heating and cooling solutions and will go a long way toward reducing emissions from the state’s building sector. We applaud Governor Hochul along with Senator Harckham and Assemblymember Glick for getting this NYLCV scorecard bill passed and signed into law and for their continued commitment to a more sustainable New York.”

Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Conservation Director, Roger Downs said, “Renewable energy driven technology will soon heat and cool every home in New York and the most effective systems will use geothermal energy. By utilizing the steady temperature of the earth through efficient heat pumps, any home or business can affordably maintain comfortable indoor temperatures without natural gas, home heating oil or exorbitant amounts of electricity.  We commend Governor Hochul and legislative leaders for recognizing that if this crucial industry is to flourish, outdated regulations meant for oil and gas wells, should not be similarly applied to geothermal systems.”

NY-GEO is grateful to our allies AGREE, Building Decarbonization Coalition, Con Edison, NYLCV, NYPRIG, ReWiring America and the Sierra Club for their continued support in advancing this initiative and geothermal technology.   

Read Governor Hochul press release here

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 policymakers and residents about the benefits of GHP. Our members represent HVAC Contractors, Developers, Manufacturers, Drillers, ESCOs, Engineers, Organizations and Individuals supporting GHP.

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

Press Inquiries:

Christine Hoffer
Executive Director

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