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N.Y. Power Authority Sets Forum On ‘Power To Schools’ Program

Stephen Shoenholz

January 18, 2007


FISHKILL—Hudson Valley school officials will learn about a major opportunity to save energy and money when the New York Power Authority (NYPA) conducts the first in a series of forums on its “Power to Schools” program on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at the Holiday Inn, 542 Route 9.

The forum, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., will include a presentation by John Hamor, NYPA’s executive director of state governmental relations, and Andrea Phillips, a member of the Authority’s energy services staff.  It is intended for representatives from schools in Dutchess, Putnam, northern Westchester, Orange and Rockland counties.

The Power to Schools program was created by state legislation enacted in 2004 that authorizes NYPA to assist public and private schools throughout New York in carrying out energy efficiency projects and using clean energy technologies such as solar power and fuel cells.  The law also allows the Power Authority to help schools buy economical electricity in New York State’s competitive power markets.

“Energy efficiency is vital, at all times and in all places,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA’s president and chief executive officer, who has written to about 60 school superintendents in the Hudson Valley to advise them of the Jan. 23 forum.  “But it’s particularly important in our schools, where every dollar not spent on energy can be spent directly for purely educational purposes, helping to meet critical needs while easing the burden on local taxpayers.”

The Power to Schools program creates a partnership between the Power Authority and the State Education Department, which will be responsible for issuing the building permits required to perform energy efficiency work in school facilities 

NYPA will oversee all phases of a project, beginning with an audit to identify energy-saving potential and continuing through installation of new lighting, boilers, chillers and other energy efficiency measures.  The Authority will finance the work with low-interest loans and will recover its costs by sharing in the savings on energy bills, after which the participating district will retain all savings.

The Power Authority has completed energy efficiency projects at almost 1,200 public school facilities throughout the state under other programs.  These projects save taxpayers almost $32 million a year and annually avoid the need to burn about 420,000 barrels of oil and the emission of approximately 195,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

The Power to Schools program builds on these initiatives by authorizing participation by private schools and confirming NYPA’s ability to carry out projects in all public schools, including those that don’t obtain electricity from the Authority.

NYPA will conduct additional Power to Schools forums in other parts of the state, beginning next month in the Albany region.

School officials wishing to attend the Jan. 23 program or to arrange energy audits of their facilities may contact Andrea Phillips at 914-391-5420 or by e-mail at

 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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