The New York Government in the US is set to invest an additional $2bn in utility energy efficiency and electrification initiatives to combat climate change.

As part of the initiative, the New York State Public Service Commission has approved energy efficiency and electric heat pump targets to significantly reduce energy consumption in the state.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said: “Climate change is a real and growing threat to New York’s environment and economy and the health of our people, and we are already experiencing the negative impacts in the form of increased weather-related emergencies.

“This historic investment shows we are aggressively pursuing clean energy alternatives to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, growing jobs in clean energy industries and protecting our environment for current and future generations.”

Along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and an earlier PSC order on efficiency, the state will now invest more than $6.8bn in energy efficiency and clean heat from 2020 to 2025.

With the investment, the state expects a 3% reduction in annual electric use and a 1.3% reduction in annual gas use by 2025.

According to the investment plan, $1.2bn will be directed towards energy efficiency measures and heat pumps.

The government anticipates saving more than $13bn in utility bills through the programmes created by the $2bn investment.

In addition, the investment is expected to reduce carbon emissions by three million tonnes, which is equivalent to removing 600,000 gas-powered cars from the roads.

NYSERDA president and CEO Alicia Barton said: “Today’s commitment to dramatically reduce energy consumption and scale up energy efficiency initiatives at an unprecedented pace is more evidence of Governor Cuomo’s unmatched climate leadership and reinforces his commitment to making affordable clean energy solutions available to as many New Yorkers as possible.”