Local Action Against Global Climate
from the June 25, 2004 meeting:
meeting of the new initiative designed to assist municipalities
in moving towards cleaner, more efficient energy use took place
on Friday June 25, 2004 at Oyster Bays Highway Department.
The Clean Energy Leadership Task Force was established to provide
Long Island municipalities with information on the financial incentive
programs available for adopting clean energy technologies.
John Venditto began the meeting with an enthusiastic
welcome and congratulated the group for their efforts to improve
Long Islands environment. He was followed by a brief update
on the NYSERDA PON 843 by Kathleen Whitley of
Applied Energy Group. They, LIPA,
and Neighborhood Network had organized an informational
meeting in early June to inform municipalities about how to apply
for the excellent grant opportunity which offered $6.50 per watt
up to 40kw for solar installations for public buildings. We hope
more of such grants will be headed our way!
Oyster Bays Supervisor Venditto (center) welcomes
the Task Force, along with Steven Labriola (left) and Neal
Lewis, Neighborhood Network (right).
Skip Hodge of the New York Power Authority
(NYPA) reminded participants of the extensive program
NYPA offers to retrofit buildings. For a very low financing fee,
NYPA provides a program that audits all the energy using equipment
in the building and shows where significant savings could be made.
NYPA has already successfully implemented its program with many
municipalities and school districts around the state. Mr. Hodge
pointed out that a positive cash flow is usually shown from the
very first month the retrofit takes place, so there is immediate
return on the investment. Several L.I. municipalities have already
taken steps to make use of this program. NYPA also assists in
obtaining the available rebates & incentives that LIPA offers.
from LIPA spoke about their programs. Todd
Romano reminded the group that they have several approaches--
a prescriptive approach where only certain key energy-using items
in a building would be changed out, or else a whole building approach
which looks at the whole system to improve efficiency. Gary
Krieger of LIPA spoke about the 75megawatt Demand Reduction
Program, which will employ several energy consultants to work
with municipal and corporate participants to reduce the collective
demand by about 75 mw. This demand reduction strategy is one the
most cost effective ways to reduce energy costs.
Gulmi and Andria Adler of Greater
Long Island Clean Cities gave us an update on the stakeholder
process for being able to apply for grants for alternative fuel
vehicles. Mr. Gulmi pointed out the availability of 2 new natural
gas fueling stations, one in Hauppauge and one in Oyster Bay.
an Action Plan for Your Municipality
a key discussion took place among the group, led by Neal
Lewis, Neighborhood Network, and Gordian Raacke,
Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI), about first steps
towards adopting a plan that works for each municipality. For
example, should your Town/County have a staff person dedicated
to energy issues, or form a committee for this purpose? And what
type of action would you like to take first: take one building
and make it totally energy efficient in all ways, or look at all
your buildings and just change the lighting in each. Or, would
your Town like to generate energy using renewables such as wind
or solar? Can your vehicles purchasing department phase in alternative
fuel vehicles like natural gas, biodiesel, or hybrids over time
as you replace older vehicles?
was productive and helped to get some ideas going as to what approaches
are feasible. Governor Pataki has laid out his Executive Order
111 which urges all state public entities to reduce their greenhouse
gas emissions in both buildings and fleets through building retrofits
and phasing in alternative fuel vehicles, purchasing Energy Star
office equipment, and following green building standards for any
new construction. This lays out a good basis for Towns to work
from as to what best suits their own particular situation.
Which Approaches are Right for Your Municipality?
The following are some ideas to consider for
your municipalitys action plan. The pros and cons
to each were discussed in detail during the meeting. Note
that each municipality can choose their own approach, or
a combination of several approaches:
- Appoint a staffperson to take primary responsibility
on energy issues.
- Create an advisory committee made up up of staff, experts,
- An elected official may take the lead in making sure
clean energy policy is carried out.
Adopting Policy & Taking
- Adopt a Clean Energy Policy that encompasses several
aspects, similar to the Governors Executive Order
- Employ one easily implemented technology, such as efficient
lighting, throughout all municipal buildings.
- Perform a major retrofit of one building, such as Town
hall, that improves all major areas of energy use, and
use this as a model.
- Install renewable energy sources such as solar, wind,
or fuel cells.
- Green your fleets, phasing in new alternative fuel
or hybrid vehicles.
is the Task force Necessary?
discussion about action plans, many municipalities shared ideas
as to what works best for them and what problems theyve
encountered when theyve tried different approaches. This
experience- sharing is mutually beneficial for all involved.
on the discussion of decision-making, East Hampton already formed
a committee on energy issues several years ago, and was able to
share some of the pros and cons of that experience. Oyster Bay
recently formed their own internal task force on energy and are
taking time now to review the numerous possibilities before taking
discussed was what really are the differences between the programs
offered by LIPA's 75MW reduction program and NYPA's wholebuilding
program? Both programs help to identify areas where energy efficiency
can be achieved in existing buildings. NYPA offers low interest
financing to pay for installing new equipment, whereas LIPA's
program is paid for by two mechanisms: the Energy Services Company
(ESCO) (there are 6 participating) pays for the equipment installation,
and they are then reimbursed through the electric savings achieved,
as well as through LIPA incentives on the energy reductions they
deliver. This new LIPA program produces energy savings based on
a pre-approved set of measures, such as lighting upgrades and
HVAC replacement. A municipality enters into a contract with the
ESCO to give them their monthly energy savings to complete the
ESCO contract, but then reaps the full benefit of energy savings
after the contract term. NYPA guarantees the efficiency of the
equipment and says savings through their program are usually seen
immediately, but it is not subject to a contract limiting future
changes in usage. These distinctions are one of the important
clarifications that the Task Force is helping to bring out.
discussion brought out what topics to cover at the next meeting
to make sure it is as useful as possible. Topics included more
on the various technologies, more examples of success stories,
and more resolution of this question regarding the relationship
between LIPA and NYPAs programs. Also, Neal asked if the
group would like to separate out the discussion on fleets so that
it gets a full meeting worth of attention since it is such an
important part of the energy saving discussion, and most people
agreed that is a good idea.
Wed like to have factsheets on different clean energy technologies
available at each meeting. e.g. this meeting packet contained
a factsheet on biodiesel. Next meeting may offer a factsheet on
geothermal systems, etc.
Who Attended? How many?
seven people attended the second Task Force meeting, with both
counties and 8 (out of thirteen) Long Island towns being represented.
Municipalities in attendance were: Nassau County, Suffolk County,
Town of Babylon, Town of East Hampton, Town of Hempstead, Town
of Huntington, Town of North Hempstead, Town of Oyster Bay, Town
of Smithtown, and the Town of Southampton.