The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) - Commends The New York Legislature for Voting to Reform Geothermal Drilling Regulations

June 9, 2023 12:49 PM EDT

Legislation will remove outdated regulations and lead to billions of dollars of cost savings for geothermal heat pump installations and save money on heating and cooling for New York residential and commercial buildings.

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y., June 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Geothermal Energy Organization NY-GEO, a not-for-profit trade association, representing the geothermal heat pump (GHP) industry in New York State, congratulates the New York Senate on passage of S6604 yesterday; this follows the passage of companion legislation A6949 by the New York Assembly on May 17, 2023, by a vote of 143 to 3.

The authors and champions of this legislation, 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Glick (D-66), chairs of the Environmental Conservation committees in each house, brought forward this bill to remove outdated regulatory requirements and unlock New York's ability to meet its climate goals.

"Ensuring that the renewable heating and cooling of geothermal energy is less expensive and more easily available for New Yorkers is significantly important in achieving our climate goals," said Assemblymember Deborah Glick. "This commonsense measure will save homeowners money while reducing fossil fuel usage. I appreciate the efforts of NY-GEO and all advocates in working to make geothermal technology more accessible to all."

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 to be 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."

"This positive move by the Legislature gives New York's property owners more flexibility when installing ultra-efficient geothermal heating and cooling and that is an especially important option in denser urban settings," said Bill Nowak, NY-GEO Board Member.

The legislation was supported by numerous allied organizations whose support helped ensure its success, including Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE), the Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC), Consolidated Edison (ConEd), the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). 

The change in current regulations that treat geothermal systems at depths greater than 500' like oil and gas drilling will remove barriers to buildings with a smaller footprint.  Residential and commercial buildings not able to benefit from the energy bill savings of geothermal heat pumps now can. The ability to drill beyond 500' will make geothermal systems more affordable to install and accessible to more New Yorkers, saving billions in installation and energy costs.  Additionally, the legislation will improve the consistency of geothermal installations by consolidating all geothermal regulations under the Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water, which currently regulates geothermal boreholes less than 500 feet deep.

This regulatory change aligns with the 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 – with the enactment of S6604/A6939, that number will significantly increase in the months and years ahead.

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

Press Inquiries:
Christine Hoffer
Executive Director
[email protected]

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SOURCE New York Geothermal Energy Organization

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