02/13/17 : Jason Reott

Four Ways NY Metro Area is Boosting Efficiency

New York is known around the world for its vibrant culture and thriving economy. But did you know that the state is also known for being among the top five energy-efficient states in the country?

The Alliance to Save Energy is excited to host a field trip to New York and another efficiency leader, New Jersey, on February 22-24 to show just how they’re doing it. We will take a bipartisan group of Congressional staff to visit innovative initiatives that are taking energy efficiency to a new level in both states.  

You are invited to join us for part of the event! We will host a public forum entitled “Policy Perspectives: Energy Efficiency Leadership in the New York Metro Area” on Feb. 22 in Jersey City. The event will be a roundtable-style briefing featuring speakers from state and local government, regional organizations, and local business leaders, including Consolidated Edison, Panasonic, American Water, Ingersoll Rand, NYCEEC, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), Connecticut Green Bank, Lime Energy and New York Power Authority (NYPA). Registration is available here.

Take a look at the energy efficiency initiatives in NY Metro Area:

REV’d up

New York State has taken a leading role in the clean energy economy focusing on the creation of Green Jobs under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s major initiative called Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). The vision, including a comprehensive energy plan, intends to “create a stronger and healthier economy by stimulating a vibrant private sector market to provide clean energy solutions to communities and individual customers throughout New York.”

New York State has encouraged multiple agencies and organizations to help lessen the institutional barriers to energy efficiency for homeowners, not-for-profits, and multi-family building owners through groundbreaking policies and State-level coordination. Energy assessments, low-cost project financing, installation services, and jobs training will all serve to help the green-collar economy.

This coordinated effort has already created buzz among private investors looking to capture ancillary benefits of New York’s grand vision. State-led initiatives include programs encouraging Energy Savings Performance Contracts under the New York Power Authority (NYPA), energy use disclosures, major energy efficiency research programs under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.

Measuring, managing

Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City has taken on a major efficiency project that includes a Herculean effort at benchmarking the water and energy use and carbon emissions of the City’s large buildings.

Building energy efficiency programs that include unrivaled codes and standards, retrofits, and cutting-edge improvements in operations and management are the foundation for the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability’s effort to cut the City’s emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The plan as laid out in “One City: Built to Last” centers on the effort to cut the carbon footprint of 1 million buildings, which contribute nearly 75 percent of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan is not only to reduce emissions, but to leverage the City’s world class citizenry, industries, and institutions, making “homes more affordable and creating new jobs and business,” per de Blasio. Housing affordability, economic development, and public health are co-benefits of energy efficiency that will benefit New Yorkers for decades to come.

“The energy used in our buildings contributes nearly three-quarters of all citywide emissions. Because our buildings are expected to last well beyond 2050, increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings, in addition to new construction, is the most important step we can take to make deep reductions in our carbon emissions.” – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Green garden party

New Jersey is currently designing its roadmap for the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (NJCEP), a state-level program promoting initiatives to reduce electricity and natural gas usage, which will compound the success of energy efficiency measures already taken, including a mandatory Demand-Side Management program.

Administered by the Office of Clean Energy, NJCEP has reduced New Jersey’s peak energy demand, which adds the benefit of increased reliability, reduced congestion on transmission lines, and avoided costs of infrastructure for ratepayers.

Helping hands, greening schools

A partnership between the local utility, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G), and local Habitat for Humanity chapters demonstrates the creativity with which Newark is approaching home weatherization issues through the Comfort Partners Program, which has helped over 100,000 lower-income households reduce the burden of utility bills through energy efficiency measures.

Advanced energy-saving solutions have also been projected to save Newark Public Schools over $1 million in annual energy costs thanks to a free benchmarking program run by NJCEP and opportunities provided by the Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) and utilities.

Finally, Newark is host to the largest public housing Energy Savings Performance Contract, through which $84 million was made available to improve 6,000 units housing 10,000 lower-income residents to date. ESPCs help make housing more affordable, healthier, and more comfortable by financing energy efficient upgrades by leveraging the cost savings from lower utility bills over several years.