There's big news coming out of Beacon, NY revolving around a new law that massively changes the way homes and buildings are powered in the Hudson Valley.

The new law, which was passed on March 20th, will "require the electrification of new residential buildings", and puts the city of Beacon at the forefront of green energy use in the Hudson Valley. Here's how the new mandates break down.

Beacon is the first Hudson Valley city to consider "all-electric" home building codes (Google)
Beacon is the first Hudson Valley city to consider "all-electric" home building codes (Google)

New Electric Mandates in New York State

The news comes on the heels of other potential fossil fuel-related legislation, like the recent proposal to ban the use of gas stoves in homes and even restaurant kitchens. The law would prevent gas stoves to be installed in new homes only (no, no-one is coming to rip your stove out of your kitchen). But back to Beacon...

"All-Electric" Laws for New Construction in Beacon, NY

The new codes affect new construction and "major renovation" of existing homes. Moving past fossil fuel use, the city council says, will help the city "achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effect of global climate change, and advance a clean energy economy". There are several exceptions to the law.

Exemptions for Beacon's "All-Electric" Building Code

Municipal building that process sewage and water, non-residential buildings, and residential building plans that were approved prior to the end of June 2023 are exempt from the local law. There are also several "hardship exemptions". The new law caused quite the commotion in Beacon.

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Detractors of the law had several issues, including the fact that while homes can be run on electric power, much of that power is still originally being generated by fossil fuels somewhere else in New York State. Even some supporters voiced concerns, hoping that the transition (and possible future legislation regarding existing gas-powered homes and appliances) will be handled with care. Said one resident, "I worry that some on the council are too quick to dismiss real-life issues in order to push through new laws and would rather be first than get this right. I hope I'm wrong about that."

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