Facilities Planning

Energy Initiatives for Schools


Press Office

http://www.state.ny.us External Link Image Icon

August 26, 2002

Programs to Reduce Energy Costs and Identify Efficiency Opportunities

Governor George E. Pataki today announced two new energy initiatives for New York's schools. The programs will help schools identify opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades as well as install solar electric photovoltaic panels to generate on-site power. The programs, offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will greatly reduce the costs associated with installing renewable energy systems and conducting the energy audits necessary to identify efficiency opportunities.

"Schools are a perfect environment for implementing energy efficiency and installing renewable energy systems because we can use these initiatives to encourage our children to make smart and sustainable energy choices," Governor Pataki said. "But, equally important, energy efficiency and the solar energy systems will help to lower the energy costs for our schools and reduce the environmental impacts of school energy use."

NYSERDA's $1.8 million "School Power...Naturally" Program will provide 90 percent of the $20,000 cost to help up to 50 schools in the State install solar energy systems. Solar Works, Inc. is a collaborative effort among the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, energy services firm AMERESCO, Pace University, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Earth Day Network, and Creighton Manning Engineering will assist NYSERDA in implementing this program by designing, installing, and maintaining the systems.

Additionally, AMERESCO will contribute $500 per installation, leaving the school's commitment at only $1,500. The Research Foundation of SUNY will use NYSERDA funding to develop and help schools integrate curricular materials into their lesson plans to educate children about renewable and solar energy options. These materials will be made available to any school interested, not just those installing solar energy systems.

Solar Works' Vice President, Richard Eidlin said, "The School Power Naturally program is taking a significant step towards informing thousands upon thousands of New Yorkers about the practicality of solar energy."


The 2-kilowatt solar energy systems to be installed generate enough power to meet roughly half of a typical home's energy needs. Fifty New York schools will take possession of a system starting in the Spring of 2003. Applications for this competitive program are due by October 11 and information is available on-line at www.schoolpowernaturally.org.

Also available to schools in the Fall of 2002, NYSERDA's $6 million "Comprehensive Energy Strategies in School" program, which will provide cost-shared technical assistance, analysis, advice and certified training to schools so that they can identify energy savings through a variety of energy efficiency upgrades and aggregated purchasing options. This program will help to make school districts more self-sufficient when it comes to energy use and facilities operations. This new initiative will be offered under NYSERDA's Energy Smart Schools program.

NYSERDA President William M. Flynn said, "These two programs present tremendous opportunities for our schools to take greater control over their energy use by giving them access to the information, data, and financial assistance they need to make smart and sustainable energy choices. Typically, schools are constructed on tight budgets that may not take into consideration the energy costs tax payers will pay over the lifetime of the building. These programs can help our schools to defray the costs necessary for making building improvements that will lessen those energy costs."

NYSERDA administers the New York Energy $martSM program, which is designed to support certain public benefit programs during the transition to a more competitive electricity market. Some 1,100 projects in more than 30 programs are funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the State's investor-owned utilities. The New York Energy $martSM program provides energy efficiency services, including those directed at the low- income sector, research and development, and environmental protection activities.

Last Updated: May 23, 2014