Beacon to require all future construction projects, renovations to use electric utilities

The City of Beacon plans to require all future construction and major renovations to use electric utilities and not gas.
The council modeled the new law after the New York Climate Action Council's advice that the state install similar all-electric requirements by 2025.
Gas utilities emit large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide.
The state's advisors say those gases must be minimized for the good of the environment.
"It just makes sense, I think, cost-effectively. Gas can be a little dangerous. So I think making that change is going to be beneficial for our tenants and just for the business itself," says John Kihlmile, who is renovating a building on Main Street into a hip cocktail bar that will be called The Vinyl Room.
He says the initial investment in all-electric is significant, but in time he expects lower power bills as several climate experts have projected.
Beacon Mayor Lee Kyriacou says the council is acting on this quickly because they and their constituents take the environment seriously.
"Don't go into the details of what you're going to try to change. Just say, 'We're going to do the state's program.' It's all about new construction, and it's about doing new construction a couple years earlier than the state's roadmap," Kyriacou says.
However, there's opposition to that roadmap.
The Business Council of New York State says in a recent memo that builders are going to need more tax exemptions and credits to handle the initial investments to go all-electric.
The Business Council wants more help, especially for large projects and multifamily homes.
The Business Council wrote in a statement, "We believe it would be bad policy to put a fossil fuel ban in place without a comprehensive plan for its implementation."
Beacon council members say their local law should pass unanimously. One council member agreed that by passing it, they're sending a message to the state about the urgency of the climate crisis.