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Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and Plattsburgh Are First Muni Systems To Install Energy-Saving Refrigerators With NYPA Financing

Connie Cullen

May 23, 2007


TUPPER LAKE— Timothy S. Carey, president and chief executive officer, New York Power Authority (NYPA), joined Wednesday with Michael “Mickey” Desmarais, mayor, Village of Tupper Lake, and Jamie Rogers, mayor, Village of Lake Placid, to announce an agreement for installation of new Energy Star® Qualified refrigerators in the villages’ public housing. 

“Refrigerators can be the largest user of electricity in a home,” said Carey.  “By installing Energy Star® units, Tupper Lake and Lake Placid are showing their continued commitment to implementing energy-saving techniques to help improve the reliability of the region’s electric system.”

“This new refrigerator program builds on the Village’s energy-saving efforts, ranging from participation in NYPA’s Watt Buster program and addition of winterizing features in our public housing to installation of energy-efficient street lighting and technical improvements in the Village’s electric system,” said Mayor Desmarais.  “Everywhere we can save improves the reliability of electric service in the Village and preserves more of our allocation of hydropower to help keep electric costs lower.”

“Lake Placid is delighted to be participating in this program, which demonstrates that energy needs can be met in an economical and environmentally compatible manner,” Mayor Rogers said.  “We appreciate the Power Authority’s involvement in this and other efforts to help ensure a reliable power supply for Lake Placid and the entire Tri-Lakes area.”

In addition to Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, the City of Plattsburgh has entered into a similar agreement.  They are the first three municipal electric systems in the state to participate in the refrigerator-replacement initiative from NYPA.  As municipal customers of NYPA, they can implement energy efficient projects with design and technical assistance, and low-interest financing from the Power Authority. 

Tupper Lake will replace 90 existing refrigerators, with Lake Placid replacing 125 and Plattsburgh replacing 408, all in public housing, for a total of 623 refrigerators.   The model to be installed is a Hotpoint® Energy Star® 15.7 Cu. Ft. Top-Freezer Refrigerator. The new refrigerators use about one-half less energy than the current units.  They reduce consumption by almost 300 kilowatt hours—equivalent to a 60-watt light bulb burning for 5,000 hours.  Total cost for the program will be about $53,600 for Tupper Lake, almost $75,300 for Lake Placid and approximately $245,500 for Plattsburgh. The total of barrels of oil to be displaced by this refrigerator replacement program is 314 (annually) and greenhouse gases avoided over the course of a year will be 94 tons.   

Under this Energy Services Program, NYPA provides the energy study covering design and technical information, and financing; oversees procurement and installation of the new refrigerators, and removal of the old units, and arranges recycling of appropriate parts.  The cost of the program will be paid back by the municipalities from energy savings and other sources.

Energy-saving projects are important for NYPA’s 47 municipal electric and four rural cooperative customers, which have specific allocations of low-cost, clean hydropower for most of their electric loads, with any additional power that is needed purchased at or close to more- expensive market prices for electricity.   This program reduces electric use during peak times, which means less of the additional, more-costly market power is needed.  Market rates are roughly twice the hydro rate in this region.

For Tupper Lake and Lake Placid, this refrigerator replacement program is related to their responsibilities under the 2004 Agreement for the Tri-Lakes Reliability Project, which goes beyond the conventional approach of building a new power line and also includes a substantial emphasis on energy efficiency to help meet the area’s growing reliability needs and protect its environment.  The Power Authority supervised 68 energy audits, in 2005, for a cross-section of customers in Tupper Lake and Lake Placid to identify energy-saving opportunities, from which the refrigerator replacement program was selected for implementation.  Other customer projects are under development.

In 1995, NYPA entered into its first refrigerator replacement program in public housing with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the nation’s largest housing authority and also a NYPA electric customer.  Over several years, that program replaced nearly 185,000 aging refrigerators.  More than 100 housing authorities and utilities nationwide have developed programs based on this NYPA-NYCHA program.  As part of the program, the recycling of salvageable components generated millions of pounds of aluminum, copper, steel and cardboard.  NYPA’s program expanded to Buffalo in 2003, with over 1,600 units now in housing run by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.

Earlier Wednesday, in remarks at the Adirondack Research Consortium’s annual conference at the Wild Center, Carey said the refrigerator program and other Power Authority activities in the Adirondack Park can “help show the way to a sustainable future worthy of the respect and concern for the environment that is embedded in our history and our heritage.”

 “The Power Authority wants to demonstrate that energy and environmental and societal needs can be met in concert,” he said.

     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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