Tag Archives: nyserda

Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium Moves to Next Phase

As many municipalities are becoming aware, conversion to LED street lights offers savings of up to 65 percent. As such, it is one of the 10 High Impact Actions in the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities program.

In December, the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium and the town of Red Hook (Dutchess County) issued a Request for Proposals for installation and (optional) maintenance of LED street lights. Eighteen additional municipalities joined as Participants. The town expects to announce the selected bidder within the next 60 days. The selected firm(s) will enter into separate contracts with participating municipalities.

The RFP was developed by the consortium particularly for municipalities with fewer than 400 street lights. As a cost-saving measure, it does not include procurement. Rather, the consortium is assisting communities with LED procurement through the State bid system and other group buying opportunities.

Red Hook Town Supervisor Robert McKeon, Rosendale Town Councilwoman Jen Metzger, and Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium team lead Pat Courtney Strong
presented at the New York State Association of Towns meeting in Manhattan February 19.
They described the deep cost and energy savings of LED street lights (typically 65%). Red Hook, a regional leader in clean energy projects, is leading an 18-municipality aggregation that is seeking to convert to LEDs through the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium.
More here: www.nystreetlights.org

The consortium also drafted a second RFP for communities interested in “turnkey” procurement, installation, and optional maintenance services. The city of Kingston (Ulster County) is expected to be the lead municipality for the turnkey offering, and other communities statewide will be able to join. The city plans to issue the RFP this Spring.

The RFP activity is taking place concurrently with efforts by communities such as Red Hook and Kingston to purchase their street lights from their utility companies. In 2008, the New York State Comptroller issued a report that recommended municipal purchase of street lights as an opportunity for substantial cost savings.

After contractors are selected for both RFPs, the agreed-upon pricing will be available to other communities across the State for up to one year, under a State procurement law that provides for “piggybacking.”

All New York State utilities also offer an option for municipalities to convert to utility LED lights. While local governments must continue to pay “rent” for their street lights in the form of monthly fixture charges, these charges tend to be lower than the rates for existing lights and communities would see long-term cost savings, especially when combined with energy savings. If a municipality chooses the utility LED conversion option, the Public Service Commission requires that local governments pay the remaining undepreciated value of the lights being replaced. Most utilities allow on-bill financing of this upfront cost.

Funded by NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Program, the Mid-Hudson Street Light Consortium began operations in June, 2016 and expects to be active through fourth quarter 2018. Member organizations are Courtney Strong Inc. (lead), Citizens for Local Power, Abundant Efficiency LLC, and LightSmart Consulting LLC.

More information:  and www.nystreetlights.org.

All-Volunteer Team Guides Town of Keene Toward High Impact Actions

Carolyn Peterson, Keene Clean Energy Group Volunteer

The town of Keene has embarked on an ambitious plan to undertake a host of high impact energy actions, capably led by an all-volunteer team.

Acting on a recommendation from Supervisor Joseph P. Wilson, Jr., the town board passed a resolution establishing the Keene Clean Energy Group as a volunteer advisory and working committee dedicated to assisting the town in achieving clean energy goals.

Carolyn Peterson, a former mayor of Ithaca, and Dan Mason, a retired oil industry executive and a founder of the North Country Clean Energy Conference, are joined by Jim Bernard, Amy Nelson, Monique Weston, Jackie Bowen, Bunny Goodwin, and Josh Whitney.

“Everyone has a project they’re excited to be working on,” said Supervisor Wilson.

Dan Mason, founder of the North Country Clean Energy Conference

The town has been designated as a Clean Energy Community for having achieved these High Impact Actions:

The town hopes to receive a $50,000 Clean Energy Communities award.  Possible projects include solar PV for three of their four municipal buildings; interior LED light lights; and energy audits, especially at the town water plant. Mason estimates he PV project alone is an opportunity to save $3,000 a year. Post-award, the group plans to work on LED street light conversion, EV charging stations, a town electric bus, and more. The group also plans to move forward with an effort to bring Keene into the Climate Smart Communities program and is already achieving single-sort recycling, a program requirement.

“The Clean Energy Communities award for a community our size is very significant,” said Peterson. About 11 percent of Keene’s approximately 450 year-round homes and businesses have solar installations, indicating a relatively high level of community engagement with sustainability issues.

To inform its policy direction and activities, the group has met with Mothers Out Front, a chapter of the national organization that raises awareness about climate change.

Town of Queensbury to Implement Seven High Impact Actions with Help from Clean Energy Committee

The NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities High Impact Actions are a framework to help communities throughout New York State develop and prioritize their clean energy goals. The town of Queensbury formed a Clean Energy Committee in the summer of 2017 with the goal of completing a minimum of four of the high impact actions.

John Strough, Town Supervisor

In just six short months, the town has exceeded its goals. The Clean Energy Committee is led by Kathy Bozony, an environmental consultant for the town, and John Strough, the town Supervisor. Together with town board member Catherine Atherden, town staff, and other local stakeholders, the group is on its way to complete seven of the 10 High Impact Actions.

The hard work the committee invested to implement High Impact Actions exemplifies why Queensbury is considered a local leader in the clean energy arena. Committee members decided to work the High Impact Actions concurrently in an effort to complete four in time to meet NYSERDA’s deadline for the CEC $50,000 grant while also improving the community’s overall energy consumption.

Kathy Bozony,Clean Energy Community Committee Chair

It’s a win-win situation for everyone and it’s paid off.

High Impact Actions completed:

  • Unified Solar Permit. The town adopted a standardized permit application designed to streamline the approval process for installing solar in the community.
  • Benchmarking. The Committee assisted with the gathering and reporting of the town’s energy use in buildings
  • Energy Code Enforcement Training. Code enforcement officers attended an energy code best practices training on solar panel systems.
  • Clean Fleets. The town installed two EV charging stations at the municipal water plant with plans to deploy alternative fuel vehicles in the near future.

High Impact Actions underway:

  • Solarize. The Committee moved forward with implementing a local solarize campaign to increase the number of solar rooftops in the town and is inviting other Warren County communities to join in the effort.
  • Clean Energy Upgrades. The town is working on reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent. Solar panels already installed on municipal buildings have brought them very close to reaching this goal. Additionally, interior and exterior lights were recently replaced with LEDs in the town office and Activities Center Complex.
  • LED Street Lights. The Committee is exploring converting the town’s street lights to energy-efficient LED technology.

Kathy Bozony looks forward to the work the Clean Energy Committee will continue to implement in the future. “It’s the work the Clean Energy Committee plans to do after the initial four High Impact Actions have been completed that will include the community and its participation in reduction of fossil fuel dependency, which remains the main focus for creating the committee.”

The town of Queensbury has shown strong leadership in the clean energy arena and has been highly focused on the cost savings and environmental benefits of taking such actions. The implementation of their Clean Energy Committee allowed for public involvement in the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities process and demonstrates their commitment to clean energy.

Highlights from EV Infrastructure Workshop: Paving the Way for Electric Vehicles

The Capital District Regional Planning Commission hosted the EV Infrastructure Workshop at Johnstone Supply in Troy, NY on January 10, 2018.

Adam Ruder, NYSERDA Program Manager, described the Clean Transportation Program

The workshop provided an overview of the Clean Energy Communities program by CEC coordinator Robyn Reynolds and presenters covered a variety of topics:

Click on image to view larger

  • – EV charging station demonstration and discussion by Johnstone Supply
  • – Review of the State’s support for zero-emission vehicles by Mark Lowery, DEC
  • – Information on NYSERDA’s Clean Transportation Program by Adam Ruder
  • – Overview on the Clean Cities Program by Jen Ceponis, Capital District Clean Communities Coalition
  • – Examples of the user-experience by Paul Dietershagen, Albany/Capital District EV Drivers Group 

See agenda for contact information and bios

Event host Johnstone Supply plans to become a regional distributor of EV charging stations, helping municipalities use the state bid system to secure competitive pricing.

Watch the presentations:

Renewable Heat NY Helps Grow the Biomass Industry

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have recently announced the roll-out of a comprehensive set of programs under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Renewable Heat NY (RHNY) initiative.

RHNY is Governor Cuomo’s long-term commitment to help the high-efficiency, low-emission biomass heating industry reach scale. It will encourage quicker development of the industry, raise consumer awareness, support the development of New York-based advanced technology heating products, and develop local sustainable heating markets that use biomass as fuel. RHNY also aims to reduce wood smoke, fine particles, and carbon monoxide emissions.

Biomass is any plant-derived organic matter available on a renewable basis. Although it includes many different types of plant-derived organic matter, RHNY focuses on the use of wood pellets and cordwood because these sources can currently be most efficiently burned with reduced emissions.

Wood heating increased in the U.S. in general and in New York State from 2000 to 2010, according to U.S. Census data. This increase occurred as the price of home heating oil, the major heating fuel in rural New York State outside of the natural gas distribution system, doubled. Home heating oil has continued to increase by 30% over 2010 prices and is now almost triple (270%) the price in 2000. For people with an existing oil-fired heating system, using wood heat as either a primary whole house heating alternative or supplementing by adding a wood or pellet stove can save significantly on fuel costs. Visit NYSERDA’s site for information on the types of high-efficiency, low-emissions pellet boilers supported under RHNY.

David Dungate, president of Bioenergy Biomass Partners, LLC, attended the launch of RHNY and sat down with Courtney Strong, Inc. to explain to interested customers, the benefits of wood heating systems and NYSERDA’s involvement in the industry.


If you are interested in biomass technology and would like to learn whether your residential or commercial property can access the NYSERDA incentives under the RHNY program, please contact your local EDGE ROC and visit the Renewable Heat NY Web page.

NYSERDA Funding Opportunities

Have you visited the NYSERDA Funding Opportunities page recently?

NYSERDA’s efforts extend beyond programs for residential homes and commercial buildings. Many of NYSERDA’s funding opportunities affect communities, local workforce, and entrepreneurs. NYSERDA is seeking proposals for a number of clean energy initiatives such as:

▪    New York State Clean Air School Bus Program

▪    Clean Energy On-the-Job Training

▪    Combined Heat and Power Acceleration Program

▪    Ultraviolet and Electron Beam Process Innovation and Market Transformation

▪    Anaerobic Digester Gas-to-Electricity

To receive emails on the most recent funding opportunities, add your name and email address to the Funding Opportunities Email List.

“Reforming the Energy Vision” Moves Consumer Experience to Center Stage

Major changes are in store for the electricity-consuming public in New York State. In April, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, which directs the New York State Public Service Commission to move the State’s utilities to a more decentralized structure.

Now known simply as REV, the initiative envisions that customer-side resources will become primary tools in the planning and operation of the State utility system. This will improve system efficiency and enable the deployment of cleaner and more resilient technologies, according to the report written by Department of Public Service staff to propose REV.

“As the Commission undertakes the dramatic transformation envisioned here…customers’ roles and opportunities will change as they become partners in problem solving and active participants in markets,” PSC staff wrote in the report.

Here are three key points made in the REV report:

• Many residential customers “with average usage levels saw their winter electric bills increased by over 80 percent,” according to the report, which acknowledges that the devastating impact on many consumers needs urgent attention before next winter.
• The REV initiative will lead to regulatory changes that promote more efficient use of energy, deeper penetration of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, and wider deployment of distributed energy resources, including microgrids, on-site power supplies and storage. It will promote greater use of advanced energy management products to improve demand efficiencies.
• These changes will empower customers by allowing them more choice in how they manage and consume electric energy.

The REV proceeding will advance on two tracks:

o The first will examine the utilities’ role in enabling market-based deployment of distributed energy resources to promote load management and greater system efficiency, including peak load reductions.
o The second will look toward changes in regulatory, tariff and market designs and incentive structures to better align utility interests with achieving the REV policy objectives.

The REV report is available at http://tinyurl.com/pym6p4v

PSC’s Zibelman Leads REV Effort

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is the first major policy initiative of Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman, who was confirmed as a PSC commissioner on June 19, 2013 and named chair on September 3, 2013. Ms. Zibelman has extensive experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit energy and electricity sectors. She is a recognized national and international expert in energy policy, markets, and smart grid innovation.

Ms. Zibelman is a founder and past president and CEO of Viridity Energy, Inc., which she formed after more than 25 years of electric utility industry leadership experience in both the public and private sectors. She has participated as both counsel and expert witness in numerous electric utility proceedings before state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies on topics such as the benefits of power markets and smart grids to consumers. Ms. Zibelman also has served on the boards of organizations responsible for assuring the security and reliability of the nation’s power system, including Reliability First, the GridWise Alliance, and the Midwest Reliability Organization.
Previously, Ms. Zibelman was the executive vice president and CEO of PJM, a regional transmission organization that operates the world’s largest wholesale power market and serves 14 states throughout the eastern United States. She also held executive positions at Xcel Energy, served as general counsel to the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and as Special Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.

Innovative Financing Program Launches for New York State Energy Projects

The Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), a New York State public benefit corporation now offers low-cost, long-term financing to commercially owned buildings undergoing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades.IMAG3381

Energize NY kicked off the first in a series of training events on Tuesday, January 14th, to inform Westchester stakeholders about a brand new financing option for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in commercially owned buildings. Using the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan structure, “Energize NY Finance” will make comprehensive energy retrofits and renewable energy improvements more economically feasible than ever before, for properties across New York State.

Energize NY’s training event attracted top engineering firms and energy efficiency contractors that do business in Westchester. A panel comprised of representatives from the NYSERDA, Westchester County Dept. of Planning, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, and EIC endorsed Energize NY Finance, encouraging service providers to offer the new financing option to their clients, to help them save the most energy dollars.

“Energize NY’s PACE financing product creates an exciting new opportunity for NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program and the services offered to customers through our Multifamily Performance Partners,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “The product is a new tool that Multifamily Performance Partners can use to help owners of multifamily buildings overcome barriers to financing so they can implement projects that save energy and reduce operating costs. It will help New York State stimulate the growth of the clean energy economy, which Governor Cuomo has cited as a priority.”

Energize NY also offers even lower cost financing opportunities for affordable housing and not-for-profits, exclusively in Westchester. At least $4 million in Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) capital is accessible to multifamily buildings with low-income tenants, and not-for-profit owned buildings. “Loans are only approved if the energy savings from a proposed project will save more over time than the money invested in the project,” says Joe Del Sindaco, Treasurer of EIC, “Property owners will be cash-flow positive from day one.”

“We are excited to celebrate the launch of Energize NY PACE program. The program will create local private sector jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making innovative PACE financing available to building owners in the state,” says David Gabrielson, PACE Now’s Executive Director.

Energize NY Finance training events will be held for the next several months, to inform property owners and the energy efficiency specialists who serve them. To find out about upcoming trainings, or learn more about Energize NY, please contact the office at (914) 302-7300 or visit Energize NY.


EIC is a local development corporation established to assist municipalities and property owners achieve long-term energy savings and/or generate renewable power for use on site. Energize NY Finance provides an alternative to traditional loans, by providing an innovative form of financing called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. For more information, please contact Energize NY at (914) 302-7300 or , or visit Commercial.EnergizeNY.org.


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NYSERDA Can Help Hudson Valley Beer and Spirits Producers Learn to Sip Energy


Since the late 1990s, the craft brewing, distilling, and brewpub industry has boomed across the U.S.  The Brewers Association estimates that more than 400 craft breweries opened nationwide last year, and according to a white paper by Michael Kinstlick, co-founder of Hudson Valley-based Coppersea Distillers, LLC, New York has the third most active craft distillers in the nation.  The Mid-Hudson’s Regional Economic Development Council identified the food and beverage industry as one of the sectors that drive the local economy and should be fostered.

While these artisans create jobs and opportunity to sample unique and locally-sourced beer and spirits, they are also energy-intense operations with high utility costs.  The leading energy uses in distilleries and breweries are refrigeration, making hot water for production, and packing processes. In brewpubs, food preparation and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) lead the list.

Like nearly all other businesses in New York State, distilleries, breweries, and brewpubs can benefit from many best practices for energy efficiency and conservation that can be easily incorporated into daily operations.  Many can also benefit from adopting efficient technologies to produce energy.  These strategies can reduce operating expenses and increase income while reducing a company’s environmental footprint.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) commercial and industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy programs can help.  Businesses can utilize the Flex Tech and Industrial and Process Efficiency (IPE) programs to identify beneficial and cost-effective strategies.  Businesses with annual electric demand lower than 100kW and with less than 10 employees can take advantage of the free Small Commercial Energy Assessment program.

Established businesses can take advantage of NYSERDA’s Existing Facilities Program to help pay for upgrades to equipment, including more efficiency motors, variable frequency drives (VFDs), HVAC equipment, refrigerators, and lighting.  The New Construction Program can help newcomers – or those planning to move or expand operations – create energy-sipping facilities.

These production facilities are also often great candidates for renewable energy installations.  A solar thermal system can help make the large quantity of hot water used in brewing and distilling process, and can sit alongside a solar PV system or wind turbine to generate electricity.  Businesses with access to natural gas service can take advantage of support for installation of an efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system that produces electricity and steam.

Producers and sellers of alcohol encourage their customers to drink their products responsibly.  With NYSERDA’s help, New York State’s burgeoning beer and spirits producers can learn to do the same with energy.