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New York State Facilities Making Significant Progress Toward 20 Percent Energy Reduction Goal

March 16, 2017
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The New York Power Authority recently announced that New York State agency partners are making significant progress toward meeting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Clean Energy goal of a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency in all state buildings by 2020. Under the Governor's Executive Order 88 which established the BuildSmart NY program, state agency partners have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and saved taxpayers an estimated $131 million in avoided energy costs.

"New York is making great strides in improving energy efficiency in state buildings," said Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of NYPA, which administers the BuildSmart NY program. "We are building on our BuildSmart NY momentum to achieve even greater energy efficiency and renewable energy results going forward. By expediting cost-saving measures and prioritizing projects with the most potential we are saving significant tax dollars, creating new jobs with capital investments, and benefitting the environment."

Benchmarks to date show significant progress against the Governor's BuildSmart NY initiative, his strategic plan launched in 2012 directing State agencies, authorities and systems to meet a 20 percent energy efficiency improvement goal by 2020. Results collected through fiscal year 2015-16 indicate that the State has improved energy efficiency at its facilities by 8.8 percent since the project's baseline year 2010-11.

The latest BuildSmart NY progress report, available online here, highlights the energy efficiency accomplishments of State-owned buildings over the last year and cites the comprehensive efforts made by agencies to date to save energy.

New York State owns more than 200 million square feet of real estate, which includes universities, prisons, hospitals, office buildings and transportation facilities, and energy costs total approximately $550 million a year. Completed and planned building improvements, under the BuildSmart NY program, include measures like new lighting fixtures and controls, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, electric motors, and automated energy management systems.

"The State University of New York owns and operates approximately 40 percent of all state facilities, and we are proud to have played a leading role in BuildSmart NY," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "SUNY campuses in every region stand ready to continue working toward BuildSmart's long-term goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy use."

NYPA implements the BuildSmart NY program partnering with State agencies to provide financing and technical assistance and, in many cases, NYPA's engineers and construction managers are contracted to do the actual energy efficiency work.

According to the final 2016 numbers, many of the agencies exceeded the 20 percent reduction goal (those that went above and beyond that goal are marked with an asterisk* below).

The top 5 performers (with facilities over 2 million square feet) were:

  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority (*27.2 percent);
  • Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (19.3 percent),
  • New York City Convention Center Operating Corporation (9.9 percent),
  • Office of Mental Health (9.4 percent) and
  • State University of New York (8.6 percent).

The top 5 (with facilities under 2 million square feet) were the:

  • Office of Children and Family Services (*26.6 percent),
  • Division of Military and Naval Affairs (*24.7 percent),
  • Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (*24.6 percent),
  • Department of Transportation (*21.7 percent) and
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (19.0 percent)

Stony Brook University has set a strong example for BuildSmart NY participation, realizing significant results from changes it has implemented through NYPA's Energy Services Program. Since the baseline year, Stony Brook has performed a comprehensive master plan of its campus, which has identified more than $100 million worth of energy efficiency upgrades that will save the school more than $8.3 million annually. This comes after NYPA provided $11.4 million in financing for more than 52,000 new light fixtures and more than 4,800 lighting sensors, improvements to air-handling systems and building management upgrades. The project will save more than $1.3 million and remove nearly 5,500 tons of greenhouse gases annually, the equivalent of taking more than 1,100 cars off the road.

To date, NYPA has completed 40 energy efficiency projects on 18 State University of New York campuses, totaling nearly $115 million and resulting in almost $7 million in annual savings.

Source: New York Power Authority

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