NYPA President Urges
Municipal Systems to Expand Energy-Efficiency Efforts
Mr. Zeltmann's remarks
ALEXANDRIA BAY—New York Power Authority (NYPA)
President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene W. Zeltmann urged the
state’s municipal electric systems on Tuesday night to work with NYPA to
carry out expanded energy-efficiency programs in their service
“Energy efficiency makes sense, in your system
operations and for your customers,” Zeltmann said in a speech at the
state Municipal Electric Utilities Association’s (MEUA) 73rd annual
conference. “Give us your ideas and tell us how we can help you
rededicate yourselves to this essential objective.”
Zeltmann said last month’s blackout had underscored
the need to assure a reliable power supply by strengthening the
transmission system, building clean new power plants and acting
aggressively to conserve energy.
He read a letter from Gov. George E. Pataki noting
that the MEUA, in partnership with NYPA, “strongly emphasizes the values
of energy conservation and environmental protection, balanced with the
economic development necessary for a thriving New York.” The governor
cited the MEUA’s “longstanding tradition of providing secure, reliable
and affordable electric services in its member communities.”
In his remarks, Zeltmann said a recent agreement
between NYPA and the MEUA provides the foundation for expanded
cooperative efforts to create new jobs, promote the use of clean
electric and hybrid-electric vehicles and implement energy-efficiency
measures in the municipal systems’ territories.
Despite past successes, he said the municipal
systems “haven’t fully reaped the benefits of the Power Authority’s
commitment and expertise when it comes to energy efficiency and clean
new energy technologies.”
Zeltmann called on the systems to build on MEUA
programs and on various energy-efficiency initiatives involving the
Power Authority. These have included:
The “Watt Buster” program of the 1990s, in which
NYPA conducted home energy audits and financed the installation of
nearly $5 l/2 million in energy-saving measures in more than 35
municipal and rural cooperative electric systems. The program has cut
overall peak demand for electricity in participating systems by more
than 15 megawatts, reduced annual electricity costs by more than $1
million and lowered yearly emissions of greenhouse gases by about
19,000 tons by permitting reduced use of power plants burning coal,
oil or natural gas.
The Pataki Administration’s “Keep Cool” program,
which enabled residential consumers to receive a financial reward for
turning in old air conditioners in exchange for new, efficient models.
Thanks to NYPA, more than 4,400 municipal and cooperative customers
benefited from the program over the past three summers.
The “Tree Power” program, in which NYPA and the
municipal systems join to plant trees in the systems’ communities.
More than 30,000 trees have been planted under the program, which
Zeltmann said will be continued next year.
Zeltmann noted that the MEUA and its 46 members
have agreed to “unequivocally support” the Power Authority’s application
for a new 50-year federal license for the Niagara hydroelectric project
in Lewiston, the systems’ primary power source. He asked them to keep
informed of developments in the Niagara relicensing process and in
Washington, where a House-Senate conference committee is working to
resolve differing hydro relicensing provisions and other elements of
pending energy legislation.
While both the House and Senate bills would reform
current procedures for including costly mandatory conditions in
hydroelectric licenses, Zeltmann said the House bill would provide a
more balanced approach.