Agency contacts:                                                         NYSERDA contact
Gayle Dougherty (                        Colleen Ryan (
Phone: 978-525-3742                                                    Phone: 866-NYSERDA ext. 3359

NYPA Contact:                                                            Queens Borough President Contact:
Brian Warner (                        
Dan Andrews (
Phone: 914-390-8183                                                   Phone: 718-286-


Queens takes the BE COOL Challenge
Borough President Marshall helps launch air conditioner campaign to
save energy and reduce carbon impact

New York, NY – August 1, 2007: Who is the coolest community in New York? When it comes down to the BE COOL Challenge between New York City’s five boroughs and Westchester County, air conditioners will be the deciding factor.  

To make it easier for New Yorkers to save electricity this summer, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Con Edison are launching BE COOL, a campaign that promotes the purchase of energy efficient room air conditioners. On August 1 at 1 p.m., Borough President Helen Marshall will host a media event outside borough hall at 120-55 Queens Boulevard to challenge all Queens residents to turn in their old air conditioners and replace them with ENERGY STAR® qualified models. The BE COOL Challenge winner will be the community with the highest percentage of residents participating in the campaign. 

“I am hopeful that many of our residents will take up the BE COOL challenge and help make Queens the ‘coolest’ borough in New York City,” Marshall said. “Under this program, homeowners can turn in their old air conditioner for an energy-efficient new one, reduce electricity costs and improve air quality. This energy-saving campaign aligns with New York City’s effort to build a greener and greater New York. I thank NYSERDA, the New York Power Authority and Con Ed for working together to improve our borough and our city’s environment.” 

“BE COOL represents a huge opportunity for New Yorkers to reduce their energy use. The program is an important component of Governor Spitzer’s comprehensive policy to reduce carbon emissions,” said Paul D. Tonko, president and CEO of NYSERDA.  “We want to tap into that New York pride with the BE COOL Challenge and see who will be the coolest community this summer.” 

“This campaign reminds the residents of each borough and those in Westchester County that lowering energy use helps us all.  To BE COOL this summer, shift your energy use to evening hours and take a look at the incentives for an energy-efficient air-conditioner,” said NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr. 

“I urge all New Yorkers to take advantage of these programs to make saving energy even more cost-effective,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “By taking these easy steps in their homes, New Yorkers can lower their electricity bills, help prevent blackouts, and help prevent climate change.  Helping consumers save energy is a key component of our plaNYC effort to build a greener, greater New York, and we are proud to be working with NYSERDA on this program.”   

Single- and multi-family residential customers of Con Edison electric service in New York City and Westchester County who turn in their old, working room air conditioner may earn $35 when they purchase a new window unit or $100 when they purchase a through-the-wall unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR®.

“BE COOL is helping our customers to safely recycle and replace inefficient air conditioners with energy-efficient and environmentally friendly models," said Rebecca Craft, director of energy efficiency programs for Con Edison. “As the campaign continues throughout the summer, I encourage more customers to get involved in this energy-saving opportunity.” 

ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use 10 to 25 percent less energy than a conventional new model or up to 40 percent less energy than a 10-year-old unit. To earn the incentive, residents just need to bring their old unit to an authorized drop off site or retailer location, where the units will be properly recycled and residents will receive a mail-in application for the incentive.  Managers of multi-family buildings may contact NYSERDA directly to complete a change-out of all the units in their building. 

“Encouraging residents to take simple actions can have powerful results,” Tonko added. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if one out of 10 families in the United States used cooling and heating equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR, the change would keep more than 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air. 

New Yorkers who are not eligible for the incentive can beat the heat and still save energy by using timers on air conditioners and lights; closing shades or curtains on windows that receive direct afternoon sun; using ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of heat-generating incandescent bulbs; and always looking for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing appliances and air conditioning products. Shifting energy-intensive tasks such as dishwashing and clothes washing to cooler early morning or late night hours can also help reduce mid-afternoon heat build-up and make sure there is enough electricity for everyone during the hottest part of the day.   

Visit or call 1-877-NY-SMART (1-877-697-6278) for more information about BE COOL and other summer energy saving tips.  

NYSERDA uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most difficult energy and environmental problems in ways that improve the State's economy. 

NYPA is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility and provides energy-saving services and clean energy technologies to public institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities.  Visit to learn more about the New York Power Authority.

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