NYPA President Announces
Programs to Clean Air, Cut Oil Dependence: Municipal
Electric Systems, Cooperatives to Join in Initiatives
September 15, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FAIRPORT—New York Power Authority (NYPA)
President and Chief Executive Officer Eugene W. Zeltmann announced
on Wednesday two major initiatives that will help the state’s 51
municipal electric systems and rural cooperatives improve air
quality, cut dependence on foreign oil and make more effective use
of low-cost NYPA electricity.
One program calls for the Power Authority to
join with the municipal and cooperative systems to evaluate
potential energy efficiency projects in their service territories.
Under the other initiative—known as “Green Care Clean Air”—NYPA will
offer rebates of up to $1,000 to each system for the purchase of
electric outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and
“Along with our growing cooperative efforts to
strengthen economic development and promote clean transportation in
your communities, these programs will make our relationship a model
for the nation of what public power can accomplish at its very
Zeltmann said in a speech at the state Municipal
Electric Utilities Association’s (MEUA) 74th annual conference.
Zeltmann said the various programs are
consistent with the energy initiatives and environmental quality
policies advanced by Gov. George E. Pataki.
The energy efficiency partnership, Zeltmann
said, will enable the public systems, most of which are MEUA
members, to use low-cost hydroelectric power supplied by NYPA “as
wisely as possible and to the greatest benefit.”
“Together, we’ll look at the way your
residential, commercial and industrial customers use electricity,
with an eye toward helping them use it better,” Zeltmann said.
“After we’ve conducted the evaluations, we’ll recommend energy
efficiency measures for individual systems and help you implement
any or all of the options you choose.”
Zeltmann said the “Green Care Clean Air” rebate
program is intended to promote the use of electric outdoor equipment
in place of gasoline-powered machinery.
“The emissions produced by gasoline-powered lawn
care equipment are significant, in large part because such equipment
has been an overlooked—and often unregulated—source of pollution,”
Zeltmann said. He cited an estimate by the California Air Resources
Board that the emissions from a single gasoline-fueled lawnmower are
equivalent to those from 40 new automobiles.
Zeltmann said the new initiatives, like NYPA’s
ongoing $1.2 million loan program to help the municipal and
cooperative systems purchase clean electric and hybrid-electric
vehicles, will enable the systems to “lead by example” in cleaning
the air and reducing reliance on imported oil. He said the
clean-vehicle program is progressing, with the MEUA and several of
its members having obtained or ordered electric or hybrid vehicles.
Zeltmann also noted that a committee of Power
Authority and municipal system and co-op representatives has
developed proposals to expand a program in which low-cost NYPA
hydropower is used to bring new businesses and jobs to the systems’
territories. The recommendations are aimed chiefly at increasing
participation by small businesses and systems.
Zeltmann told the audience at the Lodge at
Woodcliff that Fairport, host for this year’s MEUA conference, is
one of the Power Authority’s oldest and largest municipal system
customers and that NYPA’s newest trustee, Michael Townsend, is a
Fairport resident. The Power Authority president praised Fairport
Mayor Clark King and Electric System Administrator Ken Moore for
their commitment to public power, noting that Moore’s service as
MEUA president during the past year had been marked by significant
progress in the Association’s relationship with NYPA.