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Equitable Electrification for New York City

April 7, 2022, 2:00 pm4:00 pm EDT

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Electrification of building heating systems is expected to play a central role in New York City and New York State’s long-term efforts to decarbonize its building stock. From a climate perspective, this makes sense; buildings will not be able to dramatically reduce their carbon footprints without moving away from onsite combustion of fossil fuels for their heating. But to what extent is beneficial electrification of heating systems in multifamily housing in New York City likely to cause residential tenant utility costs to rise?

This roundtable will bring together experts and stakeholders to explore this issue from legal, economic, and engineering perspectives, focusing on whether electrification can raise energy costs for low- and moderate-income tenants and how vulnerable populations may be protected. Participants will have an opportunity to share their experiences and insights on this important issue, and to provide feedback on the Guarini Center’s findings on the legal protections and risks that currently exist for different classes of tenants, as well as potential paths forward.

This roundtable is hosted in partnership with WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Our work on this issue, including this event, is made possible by the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

This roundtable will take place virtually via Zoom. Participation is by invitation only.

Please check back to this page for updates about this event. 


Materials for Participants:








2:00 – 2:10  |  Welcome and Framing Remarks – An Introduction to the Project

Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Executive Director, Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law; Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

Sonal Jessel, Policy Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

2:10 – 2:55  |  Setting the Stage – Preliminary Economic, Engineering, and Legal Perspectives

2:10 – 2:25  |  Jason Block, Director, Building Operations, Decarbonization, and Efficiency, Steven Winter Associates

2:25 – 2:40  |  Alexander Meeks, Director, HR&A Advisors

2:40 – 2:55  |  Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Executive Director, Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law; Adjunct Professor of Law, NYU School of Law

2:55 – 4:00  |  Group Discussion

During this group session, participants will assess the study team’s preliminary findings regarding the extent to which low- and moderate-income households in New York City may be vulnerable to increases in utility expenses as their buildings electrify. Specific questions will explore the following themes:

    1. What are the mechanisms through which electrification may impact tenant utility expenses?
    2. What protections are in place to prohibit cost shifting towards LMI tenants and how well are these protections enforced? What additional protections might be developed?
    3. How material are the risks that electrification could increase tenant utility costs in New York City?


April 7, 2022
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
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