NYPA Press Release

NYPA Delivers 260 Refrigerators to North Country Public Housing

For Immediate Release: 12/20/18

Contact: Lynne Smith | lynne.smith@nypa.gov | (914) 346-4656

Environmental Justice Program Partners with Massena Housing Authority to Improve Living Standards in Underserved Community, Reduce Greenhouse Gases 


MASSENA--The New York Power Authority today announced that 260 new energy-efficient refrigerators are being delivered to families living in Massena Housing Authority apartments as part of an environmental justice program that aims to strengthen an underserved community and promote a sustainable clean-energy future.


One of NYPA’s largest hydroelectric power plants—the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project—is located in Massena.


“The New York Power Authority takes pride in being a good neighbor and is committed to supporting innovative energy programs that make New York State more livable and equitable,” said Eugene Nicandri, NYPA vice chair and Massena resident. “This initiative helps a local community near our hydroelectric facility, using energy efficiency practices to reduce harmful emissions and ease household budgets.”


The energy-saving measures are in direct synergy with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s agenda to combat climate change and his Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, based on 1990 levels.


At no cost to residents, NYPA is removing 260 refrigerators from the Massena Housing Authority, a low-income public housing program, and replacing them with energy-efficient models. The initiative is part of NYPA’s Environmental Justice program, which provides resources to meet the needs of underrepresented communities located near NYPA’s power assets.

A refrigerator can be one of the most energy-intensive appliances running in a home, and also a large source of electricity waste when not operating efficiently. Replacing old refrigerators helps residents save on their monthly electric bills, and ultimately reduces the amount of energy a power provider needs to generate.

“It’s important for NYPA to proactively collaborate with cities, towns and villages across New York to provide programs and services that will improve the quality of life,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “As responsible neighbors, we place a special emphasis on having a dialogue with our host communities. This program is designed to help limit environmental impacts and reduce energy costs for residents.”

NYPA’s Environmental Justice staff coordinated with the Massena Housing Authority to help address some of the financial challenges of running a quality public housing program while also providing energy savings for residents. The town of Massena is an Environmental Protection Agency-designated Environmental Justice area and the Housing Authority is eligible for NYPA assistance because of its proximity to NYPA’s St. Lawrence plant.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, households in Massena had a median annual income of approximately $41,000 in 2017, significantly less than the nearly $62,000 figure reported statewide. The median incomes for Housing Authority tenants range from about $14,000 to $16,000 for the elderly and disabled units, and roughly $20,000 to $24,000 for family units.

“We truly appreciate NYPA for undertaking this project for the Massena Housing Authority,” said Cheryl Douglass, MHA executive director. “We are federally funded and that funding has been reduced almost every year for the last 10 years. In the past we would undertake a project like this internally, but we just don’t have the funding to do so anymore.  The new refrigerators will be more energy efficient so that should pass some savings on to our tenants who pay their own utilities and to us for the units for which we pay the utilities.”

The refrigerator delivery is NYPA’s latest community collaboration to provide programs and services that will benefit local residents. The new refrigerators are Energy Star- certified and about 9 percent more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard.


Through its corporate responsibility efforts, the Environmental Justice program provides science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, mentorship and energy efficiency initiatives to empower neighbors to make life choices that will improve the quality of their lives. NYPA has future plans to do a family day event at the housing authority, sponsor a STEM summer camp for community children, and offer weatherization and energy literacy workshops.


“NYPA uses its expertise and resources to help uplift residents who live and work in areas near our facilities,” said Lisa Payne Wansley, NYPA vice president of environmental justice and sustainability. “Not only do we act to generate power more efficiently and minimize the impact on the community, we also act in the best interest of those who live and work near our facilities. Working together is good for our host communities and makes smart business sense.”


“I am pleased that, through NYPA’s efforts and its Environmental Justice program, more than 260 new refrigerators will be installed in apartments at the Massena Housing Authority,” said Senator Joseph Griffo. This program will benefit the housing authority and its residents. It also helps to promote energy savings while supporting affordable housing in our community.”


“The benefits of this program extend far beyond the families in Massena.  While they will benefit directly, we all benefit from energy efficiency,” said Assembly Member Addie Jenne. “Efficiency programs like this are forward thinking, ensure everyone can help reduce energy use, preserve our environment, save resources and help contain energy costs. These target efforts by the governor will provide benefits for years to come.”


“The Massena Housing Authority does an excellent job of providing safe, clean, affordable housing for low-income families and senior citizens while also dealing with limited resources,” said Massena Mayor Tim Currier. “NYPA’s funding to replace the refrigerators will provide energy savings to residents and help the housing authority continue to provide quality services in our community,”


“I want to thank NYPA for proactively working with the Massena Housing Authority on the replacement of refrigerators to benefit affordable housing in our community,” Massena Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy said. “It is another example of the great benefits provided by the low-cost power and energy efficiency projects associated with the St. Lawrence- FDR Power Project.”


About NYPA


NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. 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. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.


About REV

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.