NYC Requires Bioheat, California Gets Spate of New Renewables Laws

On October 1, New York City becomes the first city in the US that requires biodiesel be blended with every gallon of heating fuel delivered to customers. 

The city requires at least 2% of biodiesel blended into fuel deliveries.  

In 2010, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed an air quality bill that included the Bioheat provision for heating homes and buildings. A New York State bill also required a switch to Ultra Low Sulfur Heating Oil, which took place in July.

The biodiesel is made from NYC recycled restaurant grease, from agricultural byproducts and co-products such as soybean oil, and other fats and oils. The minimum requirement will eliminate the use of 20 million galls of petroleum a year, while supporting 39,000 American jobs. 

California Gets Spate of New Laws

Besides signing into law SB1222 last week, which limits the permitting fees that cities and counties can charge for residential solar systems, Governor Brown signed SB1409, which establishes close coordination between the state and the US Department of Defense on renewable energy policy.

And he signed AB 1900, which will create a state-based biogas industry by allowing the gas produced in-state to be directly injected into its pipelines.

Biogas is renewable energy derived from landfill gas and from agricultural waste streams. It can heat and cool buildings and be used for transportation, while eliminating methane, a potent greenhouse gas. 

Until now, it’s been illegal for California biogas producers to sell their fuel – they were forced to either burn it or let it escape into the atmosphere.

Another bill signed authorizes the state to raise another $200 million from rate-payers to subsidize solar installations for homes and small businesses. And SB16 requires the Dept of Fish and Game to expedite permits for renewable energy projects.

In all, the Governor signed 19 bills that promote efficiency and renewable energy in the state:

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