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N.Y. Power Authority helps insulate nearly 800 upstate homes, businesses

July 10, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

WHITE PLAINS - The New York Power Authority announced the completion of a two-year program to install nearly $3 million worth of insulation in 781 homes and small businesses in upstate New York, including 102 facilities in Western New York.

Co-sponsored by the Independent Energy Efficiency Program, the Village Insulation Program 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 also served by NYPA's low-cost hydropower.

"The Village Insulation Program is an excellent example of Governor Cuomo's support of public and private partnerships that work together to improve the lives of New Yorkers for years to come," NYPA president and chief executive officer Gil C. Quiniones said. "Not only has the program enhanced the comfort of homeowners and businesses, it also helped trim their energy usage and electricity bills, maximizing the benefits of the low-cost, clean renewable hydropower provided by NYPA to their community-owned electric systems."

"By working with our partners at IEEP, we were able to cluster facilities requiring similar services and capitalize on economies of scale," NYPA vice president Energy Efficiency Paul Belnick said. "The program was delivered on time and on budget - another example of the positive results that come from relationships NYPA has built with its customers."

"Working with the New York Power Authority on this project was a strategic and a fruitful partnership," IEEP president Martin Wilcox said. "The Power Authority's experience managing and financing projects of this scale provided the perfect support for expanding this easily-targeted means of improving energy efficiency for a greater number of homes and businesses."

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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," chair of the Sierra Club Niagara Group Lynda Schneekloth said. "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 Governor 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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