NYPA Trustees Approve Expanded Energy Efficiency And Sustainability Efforts for Statewide Energy Services Programs: Expanded Initiatives Provided For By Recent Legislation Signed By Governor Paterson

Michael Saltzman
(914) 390-8181


WHITE PLAINS—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced plans by the statewide public power utility to expand its energy services programs in support of ambitious goals set by Gov. David A. Paterson to improve energy efficiency in New York State,  promote clean energy and advance environmental sustainability.

The NYPA Board of Trustees on Dec. 15 approved the expansion of the Power Authority’s energy efficiency programs and other services in connection with legislation signed into law by Governor Paterson in September.  The new law, which builds upon NYPA’s extremely successful energy and resource conservation programs, would:

--Clarify and expand NYPA’s authority to administer programs to reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution, conserve scarce natural resources, and facilitate the use of clean energy sources;

--Provide an efficient process for public entities and customers of the Power Authority’s low-cost power programs to access NYPA’s energy efficiency and sustainability programs, including NYPA’s technical expertise and financing;

--Facilitate local governments’ implementation of energy conservation programs funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009;

--Further support New York State energy efficiency and conservation initiatives, including Governor Paterson’s “45 by 15” goal to meet 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by 2015, and Executive Order 111, which requires agencies to reduce energy consumption while transitioning to renewable energy sources. 

“One of the key elements of the new State Energy Plan is to increase the use of energy efficiency measures.  With the Power Authority’s newly expanded role giving it the ability to undertake more clean energy projects and also sustainability initiatives for resource conservation, the Energy Plan gets a jump start in accomplishing New York’s efforts to lead the nation towards a clean energy economy,” said Governor Paterson.

“The legislation signed into law in September will allow us to expand the energy-saving projects that we facilitate for local and state government entities around the state while also supporting sustainability measures to conserve other vital resources such as water,” Kessel said. “Sustainability is one of the hallmarks of Governor Paterson’s energy and environmental policies, centering on the importance of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  The Power Authority is gearing up for expansion of its role in support of those policies, with the latest legislation also providing us with the statutory authority to partner with our business customers to save energy and other resources and materials and reduce emissions from power plants and pollution from other sources.” 

“The Power Authority’s expanded energy efficiency and sustainability efforts will help underpin the ambitious initiatives under Governor Paterson for lowering utility bills through investment in technologies for promoting more efficient use of energy and other resources,” said Michael J. Townsend, NYPA chairman. “These improvements also contribute to the progress New York State is making toward reducing climate-changing greenhouse gases and transitioning to an innovative clean energy economy.  Through its stepped-up efforts under the recent legislation, the Power Authority will play an even more important role in helping to make this happen.”  

NYPA will now be able to offer a broader array of energy and sustainability services, in addition to electricity-savings improvements involving such equipment as energy-efficient lighting, automated energy management systems, electric motors, and heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems.

The sustainability measures beyond energy use provided for under the legislation will enable NYPA to partner with governmental organizations and business customers interested in upgrading their buildings to meet environmental standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program or by other energy or environmental organizations. 

The Power Authority has first-hand knowledge of the LEED program from its own experiences in connection with the LEED certification of its administrative office building in White Plains.  In December 2006, the 17-story building became the first existing building in the state to achieve LEED Gold ranking.  The Authority is also pursuing LEED certification for its hydroelectric project visitors centers in various parts of the state and is committed to do the same in any future construction of new NYPA buildings. 

The expanded energy-savings and sustainability initiatives approved by the NYPA Trustees will be financed from the proceeds of commercial paper notes issued by the Power Authority under existing energy services programs. Projects pay for themselves over time through savings in the customer energy bills, after which the customers retain all of the savings.      

Since the late 1980s, when NYPA began the energy services programs, it has invested approximately $1.2 billion in completed energy efficiency and clean energy projects, such as fuel cells and solar power installations, at some 3,200 public facilities.  The efforts have resulted in a current annual savings to those facilities of more than $115 million, reduced oil use by nearly 2.3 million barrels a year and avoidance of annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 820,000 tons.

In addition to the “45 by 15” goal, Governor Paterson, in August, issued Executive Order 24, which set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 80 percent below the levels emitted in 1990 by the year 2050. 

The Power Authority plans to invest more than $1.2 billion over the next few years on energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives for contributing to those goals.

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority 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 public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.

Return to Media Center