State Agencies Directed to Increase Energy Efficiency by 20% in Seven Years
Initiative Will Save Taxpayers Millions of Dollars and Create Thousands of Jobs
NEW YORK STATE (December 29, 2012) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years – one of the most ambitious initiatives in the nation that will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Governor also launched “Build Smart NY,” a plan to strategically implement the Executive Order by accelerating priority improvements in energy performance.
“Improving energy efficiency in our buildings is a smart investment in our present and future,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through Build Smart NY, state government can produce significant savings for New York taxpayers and generate thousands of jobs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than eight million metric tons – which is the same as taking one million cars off the road for one year. Furthermore, most of the projects will pay for themselves as their energy savings will cover their costs, making this initiative a financial and environmental win-win for New Yorkers.”
To meet the goal of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent in seven years, the administration designed Build Smart NY, a strategic implementation plan that will use state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements. Building improvements include measures like new lighting fixtures and controls, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors, and automated energy management systems.
Build Smart NY supports the Governor’s larger NY Works program and economic development agenda which coordinates state funding to accelerate projects that will create jobs and improve the state’s infrastructure. NY Works is designed to expedite select projects with maximum economic impact, allowing them to begin as soon as possible and reduce project costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Similarly, Build Smart NY will accelerate projects that produce the greatest savings and coordinate all spending. The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all of the state’s capital project planning.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has committed to provide $450 million in low-cost financing for this initiative. Additionally, for most projects, no upfront capital spending will be required because agencies will be able to repay the loans through the projects’ energy savings. Also in support of Build Smart NY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) comprehensive array of energy efficiency programs provide objective and customized information to help state agencies and others make informed energy decisions and also provide attractive financial incentives to help offset the costs of energy efficiency improvements.
Significant progress has already been made in the last few months. Data has been collected on over 180 million square feet of buildings and campuses – about 95 percent of the State’s building stock, and work has started on 30 million square feet of real estate.
To support Governor Cuomo’s efforts to increase energy efficiency, a new web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. With this site, New York State is also pioneering the use of big data and social networking technologies to create transparency around building energy efficiency, drive innovation, and accelerate projects. The platform is powered by technology from New York City start-up, Honest Buildings, Inc. For more information, visit www.buildsmart.ny.gov.