Members of Nassau County’s business community got some cost saving tips from the experts on May 29th during County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s free economic development and energy efficiency summit; “Taking Charge of Your Energy Costs.” The event, co-sponsored by the County Executive and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) featured economic and energy leaders from the Long island Power Authority, National Grid, and the New York Power Authority as well as the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center; a technology incubator located on the campus of Stony Brook University.
A panel of representatives from each of the utilities as well as RISE Engineering and JJT Energy, an Energy Services Co. (ESCO) outlined energy efficiency programs, business incentives, and rebate initiatives that are available to businesses to help them cut costs while continuing to grow.
County Executive Mangano, who has made it a priority to find ways to assist the business community with cutting costs while continue to grow and expand, said, “We have a partnership with LIPA and NYPA to find ways to help save dollars and make our county leaner and greener. Working with LIPA on energy efficiency programs we changed our traffic lights to LED and saved $1 million. In parks we installed solar compacters. We are helping to save our environment, save on energy costs, and save taxpayers money. With our partners, we are helping to create jobs by bringing businesses here. We all know that reducing energy costs is essential for retaining and expanding business opportunities.”
Joseph J. Kearney, Executive Director of the Nassau County IDA added, “We are bringing business and the utilities together to explore ways in which to retain jobs and business in Nassau County. That is the County Executive’s priority; that is what he is committed to doing.”
On hand for the event were Michael Hervey, Chief Operating Officer for the Long Island Power Authority, Ken Daly, President of National Grid and Robert Catell, Chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center. Each outlined a series of programs and initiatives that can provide businesses with significant savings on energy costs through efficiencies, economic development incentives and rebate programs. Each encouraged business owners to take advantage of free consultations and advice, energy audits, and analyses to determine eligibility.
The panel of experts, which included James Stapleton, Manager, National Grid Energy Efficiency Program; John Franceschina, Director of Commercial & Industrial Programs at LIPA; Joanne Schindelheim, Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, LIPA; Tony Savino, Manager, Business Marketing and Economic Development, New York Power Authority; Domenic Musco, Manager, Energy Services, RISE Engineering, and Doug Mauch, Managing Parner, JJT Energy; was moderated by Nicholas Terzulli, IDA Director of Business Development.
LIPA’s Hervey reminded business owners that some simple adjustments to energy use can save significant amounts of money. “By installing efficiency lighting you can reduce costs of 30% and that savings goes to the bottom line.”
Daly of National Grid said that businesses need to focus on managing their energy usage. “A significant reduction in usage relates to a significant reduction in bills.” He added that incentivizing businesses to convert to natural gas is an important part of decreasing energy costs and improving the environment. “Each time we connect another customer to natural gas is like taking 15 cars off the road.”
Modernizing the electric grid, with a Smart Grid project, should be a priority, Catell of AERTC said, citing the ability to be able to track outages and expeditiously provide customers with information relating to service. “We need to develop new technologies and there is a great deal of talent right here in Nassau County. We must use energy more wisely,” he said.
Panel members briefly discussed the myriad incentive programs that are available to business owners to reduce costs, from upgrading furnaces and air conditioning systems, to installing LED lighting and high-efficiency refrigeration. National Grid has customized incentive measures for pre-approved projects that receive a one-time incentive based on estimated first-year savings up to 50% of the costs to a maximum of $250,000. LIPA offers free energy analysis that examines existing equipment and recommends improvements, then provides estimated costs, savings and payback periods for new, more efficient equipment.
The New York Power Authority has its new statewide economic development program called ReCharge New York, that provides 910 megawatts of electric power statewide, 50% upstate hydropower and 50% market power. The intent is to anchor existing businesses in New York State while attracting new businesses. Large and small businesses are eligible for power based on a series of 12 criteria that is evaluated through the Consolidated Funding Application and reviewed by the Economic Development Power Allocation Board (EDPAB).
Business owners were encouraged to reach out to LIPA, National Grid and the New York Power Authority to ascertain eligibility to any of the programs.
For information relating to LIPA programs visit: www.lipower.org or call 1-800-692-2626.
For information relating to National Grid visit: www.powerofaction.com/efficiency or call 1-877-316-9491.
For information relating to ReCharge visit the RNY website: www.nypa.gov/rechargeny or call the RNY hotline at 888-JOBSNYS (888-562-7697). Interested businesses can also write to: ReCharge NY, c/o New York Power Authority, 123 Main Street, White Plains, NY 10601