During the first half of 2014, the energy-efficiency projects completed by the New York Power Authority at public facilities in various parts of New York will result in a savings to taxpayers of $4 million annually.
Improving energy-efficiency and reducing demand on the electric power grid are critical elements to achieving goals championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to create a more resilient and flexible power grid, lower the state's carbon footprint and promote a cleaner and healthier environment for all New Yorkers.
The NYPA-completed energy-efficiency projects, from January through June of this year, were undertaken at 100 state and municipal facilities. The improvements will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 14,650 tons a year, which is the equivalent of removing more than 3,000 vehicles from the road.
"The intensive pace of the NYPA energy efficiency projects, completed and under way, is a direct result of the priority that Gov. Cuomo has placed on accelerated investments in energy-saving technologies to lower costs, protect the environment, achieve energy security and promote economic growth," said Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of energy and finance for New York. "It is part of the focused attention that New York state is giving to maximize the use of the latest technologies to improve government's performance."
"As the lead organization in carrying out the governor's 'Build Smart NY' program for improving the state's energy efficiency, the New York Power Authority is maximizing its efforts to cut electricity bills and fossil-fuel emissions through its partnerships with state and local governments," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "By cutting back on electricity use, the improvements are also contributing to the reliability of the overall electric power system."
"Build Smart NY" centers on improving the energy-efficiency of state facilities by 20 percent by 2020, and supports the efforts of municipal governments to achieve similar goals in lowering energy bills and freeing up money for essential services.
Beyond the energy-efficiency projects that it completed this year, NYPA is pursuing hundreds of other cost-effective projects, in various stages of development, at public facilities across the state. The multifaceted efforts to improve energy-efficiency in the state also contribute to protecting and creating jobs. NYPA utilizes energy services contractors, stemming from competitive-bid solicitations, as part of a partnership with the private sector, including New York firms, in undertaking energy-efficiency installations.
"Investing in energy-efficiency is smart public policy given the multitude of benefits associated with it, including energy-cost savings, the creation of local jobs, enhanced grid reliability and reduced air pollution," said Donna De Costanzo, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Gov. Cuomo and the New York Power Authority are on the right course in bringing about the widespread application of energy-efficiency technologies at public facilities throughout the state. All New Yorkers are winners, from both economic and environmental perspectives."
The energy-efficiency upgrades range from new lighting, to heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, to electric motors, and reflect NYPA's comprehensive financing-and-implementation approach, including the design and engineering work. NYPA recovers its costs by sharing in the savings. After the costs are recovered over several years, the state or local government customer keeps all of the recurring savings, which are in addition to lower maintenance costs.
During 2014, NYPA also has coordinated the initiation of energy master plans in Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers to reduce the energy costs and carbon emissions of those cities. The Power Authority also is spearheading energy master plans for several State University of New York campuses, among other state entities.
The energy-efficiency improvements undertaken by NYPA over the past two-and-a-half decades are responsible for lowering the annual electricity bills of public facilities by tens of millions of dollars. Peak electricity demand has been cut by more than 244 megawatts, and greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 955,000 tons per year. (One Mw is enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 1,000 typical homes.)
Descriptions of the energy efficiency projects that NYPA has completed in 2014 are available at http://www.thenypa.com/sites/eeprojects/pages/EnergyEfficiencyProjects.aspx.