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NYPA announces nation's most comprehensive report on building energy use

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, Aug 16th 2013 08:40 pm

Establishes baseline for measuring progress in achieving ambitious energy efficiency goals of Gov. Cuomo's BuildSmart NY program to increase energy efficiency by 20 percent at state government buildings

The New York Power Authority has announced the completion of a report on the energy use of New York state government buildings that provides a baseline for measuring the future progress of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's BuildSmart NY initiative. When fully carried out, BuildSmart NY, which will increase the energy efficiency of those building by 20 percent by 2020, will result in $100 million in annual taxpayer savings. It will also help eliminate 8 million metric tons of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions - the equivalent of permanently removing 1.6 million cars from the road. (A metric ton equals nearly 2,205 pounds.)

"Today, New York again shows its leadership in protecting taxpayers, creating local jobs and helping the environment, with the information in the BuildSmart NY report," Cuomo said. "The report sets the groundwork for expanding energy efficiency in state facilities to save taxpayer dollars by curbing state energy use, generate green jobs in the energy efficiency industry, and cut greenhouse gas levels for reducing the state's carbon footprint. The report also provides a basis for measuring the progress of BuildSmart NY and will be updated annually on the advances we're making to ensure we're truly accountable to the people of the state for delivering the results in energy efficiency we set out to accomplish."

The "BuildSmart NY Baseline Energy Performance of New York State Government Buildings" report contains information on the energy use at approximately 212 million square feet of space comprising more than 16,000 state government buildings, for which it spends approximately $500 million annually on energy. BuildSmart NY stems from the governor's executive order 88 (EO 88) issued last December, which designates NYPA to coordinate the efforts to achieve the 20 percent mandated reduction in energy use.

Specifically, BuildSmart NY, which will prioritize projects at the largest and most inefficient buildings utilizing the data from the baseline report, will save taxpayer money on energy costs, catalyze the marketplace, and increase investment opportunities for private building owners and the clean energy technology industry. The governor's initiative will also increase energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels, reduce stress on energy transmission infrastructure and help protect the environment. In addition, the engineering, construction and other activities generated by these energy efficiency projects expect to contribute several thousand local "green jobs" to New York state's economy.

"As the central management and implementation manager of the governor's BuildSmart NY initiative, the Power Authority sees this benchmarking report as critical to the program's success. You can't manage what you don't measure," said Gil C. Quiniones NYPA president and CEO. "We have also committed $450 million in low-cost financing to implement energy efficiency improvements at state facilities to achieve the goals of the governor's initiative, and an additional $350 million for similar improvements on the county and local government level."

"Finding the right energy efficiency consulting, engineering and implementation resources can be challenging for state agencies and authorities," said Lloyd Kass, BuildSmart NY director. "The Power Authority, through competitive bidding, is developing a best-in-class group of contractors, and equipment and service providers to make available more wide-ranging and flexible services to help meet the needs of the participants in BuildSmart NY."

More than 90 percent of the state's square footage and energy consumption is associated with six state government entities: State University of New York; New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; City University of New York; New York State Office of General Services; New York State Office of Mental Health; and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

One of the key findings about the buildings operated by those six entities is that individually metered buildings are more efficient than master-metered building complexes where one meter records all energy use. BuildSmart NY calls for energy master plans and energy audits to help find and prioritize energy efficiency opportunities at master-metered facilities. Several large SUNY campuses are currently undergoing energy master plans through BuildSmart NY.

Representatives from each of the state agencies and authorities with significant building energy use have worked with the staff at the governor's office, NYPA and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority during the past several months to gather, review and refine the baseline energy use data in the state buildings studied.

The report is available at http://www.nypa.gov/BuildSmartNY/BaselineEnergyReport08-2013.pdf. To learn more about Build Smart NY, visit www.buildsmart.ny.gov.

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