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Energy Efficient Fluorescent Light Program to Reduce Costs at Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative

Contact:
Maura Balaban
914-390-8171
maura.balaban@nypa.gov

December 8, 2006            

BATH—The Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative (Steuben REC) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced a program to promote greater use of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights among Steuben REC’s 6,200 members.  In four years’ time, the program is expected to save Steuben REC about $110,000 a year and reduce peak demand by 600 kilo watts—the equivalent to power used by about 500 homes. 

The initiative grew out of a recent expansion of the Power Authority’s statewide energy efficiency programs (Statewide ESP), aimed at helping municipal and rural cooperative electric systems (munis and co-ops) undertake a wider variety of energy efficiency programs to better serve their operations.

“Energy efficient lighting has been the backbone of our award-winning energy-saving programs since we first sponsored the popular Watt Busters home energy audit and weatherization program for our muni and co-op customers in 1987,” said Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer, NYPA.  “We are delighted to help Steuben carry on the tradition of promoting energy efficiency and furthering Governor Pataki’s leadership in reducing energy use, one kilowatt at a time.”

Under the Compact Fluorescent Light program, Steuben REC will sell its members fluorescent lights of various wattage ratings and types—ranging from outdoor flood flights to natural true-color indoor lights—at a cost of one dollar below wholesale.  These lights will help members lower their electric bills, promote conservation and reduce the cooperative’s overall energy usage. To recover the cost of this discount, the Power Authority has authorized Steuben REC to add one-tenth of a cent to customers’ bills for every kilowatt hour. The program is expected to generate sales of 1,000 light bulbs per month.

“Fluorescent lights are so cost-effective, we think the program will sell itself,” said Richard A. Moyle, general manager, Steuben REC.  “Many advances have been made in the quality and reliability of fluorescent lights over the years. Once our members realize they don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics to generate savings, we anticipate an overwhelming buy-in.” 

Under the new energy efficiency program offered by NYPA, each muni and co-op launches and administers its own energy efficiency and conservation program. NYPA reviews the eligible measure to ensure it is consistent with the current measures authorized under the Statewide ESP, analyzes savings estimates, provides technical assistance as needed and, if requested, financing.  Program initiatives undertaken by the systems to comply with the objectives of the recent long-term hydropower sales agreements, whether or not involving Authority financing, are submitted for review and approval by the Authority.

Steuben is one of the 51 municipal and rural electric cooperative systems to receive hydropower from NYPA, which helps to keep their rates low.  If they exceed their hydropower allocation, Steuben and other systems obtain power from other sources for those incremental amounts. 

“By cutting down on the use of incremental power beyond the low-cost hydropower we receive from the Power Authority through the use of this energy conservation effort, Steuben’s  power cost will be reduced and the savings passed on to the members,” said Moyle.  

Under Governor Pataki, NYPA has increased its commitment to energy efficiency programs and this year achieved the $1 billion mark for financing and administering nearly 1,500 wide-ranging, clean energy projects at 2,400 facilities including schools, police precincts, fire stations, hospitals, museums, libraries, and government buildings across New York State.   In total, the measures equate to reducing oil use by 1.8 million barrels a year and avoiding annual greenhouse gas emissions of more than 750,000 tons.  They also achieve annual savings on municipal electric bills of more than $95 million and reduction in peak electricity use by about 200,424 kilowatts or enough electricity for about 160,000 homes.

About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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