June 25, 2013
State power authority program will benefit buildings in Groton
GROTON — The New York Power Authority recently completed a two-year program that funded insulation in houses and business in several communities across the state, including $79,904 to insulate 16 houses in the village.
The local projects are expected to save owners $6,434 annually in energy costs, according to the Power Authority.
The funding was part of a two-year program to install nearly $3 million worth of insulation in 781 homes and small businesses in upstate New York, including a total of 210 facilities.
Cosponsored by the Independent Energy Efficiency Program (IEEP), the Village Insulation Program (VIP) will lead to an estimated annual savings of $160,000 on electric bills and reduce energy consumption by 4,647 megawatt-hours a year, enough to power roughly 400 typical homes for a year.
The 19 communities participating in the VIP are municipal and rural electric cooperatives that are also served by Power Authority’s low-cost hydropower.
“By working with our partners at IEEP, we were able to cluster facilities requiring similar services and capitalize on economies of scale,” said Paul Belnick, Power Authority vice president for Energy Efficiency.
In addition to the energy savings, the program encouraged participation with local contractors and locally sourced materials, creating jobs and other economic benefits for the participating communities. In all, more than 3 million square feet of attic space was insulated during the two-year period.
In 2006, the Power Authority trustees authorized eligibility for the state’s 51 municipal and rural electric cooperative systems to participate in some of the benefits of NYPA’s award-winning energy services. This included the availability of low-interest financing to implement expanded energy efficiency and energy conservation programs for their business and residential customers, of which the VIP is one example.
To date, NYPA has installed more than $17 million in energy efficiency improvements on behalf of the state’s municipal and rural electric cooperative systems, for a total savings of $1.5 million annually. Together, the energy efficiency measures have reduced energy use by more than 44,000 megawatt hours annually, and avoided more than 23,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Village Insulation Program demonstrates that a relatively simple concept like improved insulation can reap big rewards in terms of reducing energy consumption,” Lynda Schneekloth, chair of the Sierra Club Niagara Group. “We applaud the New York Power Authority and the Independent Energy Efficiency Program for the creative partnership that made this program possible. We hope that its success will encourage similar efforts in the future, efforts that demonstrate the role each of us can play in addressing climate change.”
The Power Authority has expanded its energy efficiency services under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative, which aims to increase the energy efficiency of state buildings by 20 percent by 2020, using current energy data to prioritize the projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent.
The New York Power Authority had been designated the lead agency to carry out the Build Smart NY plan, and is committed to financing $450 million in energy efficiency improvements at state facilities over the next several years and an additional $350 million of similar improvements at county and local government facilities.
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