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Governor Cuomo Announces $5 Million Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Competition

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a clean energy competition that will award up to $5 million for the most forward-thinking, energy efficiency projects in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Buffalo and Yonkers. The competition represents the latest phase of the Five Cities Energy Plans initiative, launched in 2015, to help the cities reduce overall energy costs and carbon emissions, advance energy sustainability, and support the creation of clean-energy technologies and jobs.

“This administration is committed to reducing the state’s carbon footprint and supporting the development of innovative technologies to combat the rising economic and environmental costs of climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “This competition will help foster the creativity and innovation that is a part of this state’s spirit and help create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”The Five Cities Energy Plans initiative supports the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system and to stimulate investment in clean technologies throughout New York State. The program will also help meet the Governor’s Clean Energy Standard, which calls for half of the electricity consumed to be sourced from renewable energy by 2030 and the state’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030.

“The cities and our communities across the state have readily embraced the need to be more energy efficient, and this competition will enable more creative ideas to flourish,”said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “I look forward to seeing what the private and public sectors in each city have to offer.”

Lieutenant Governor Hochul kicked off the competition in Rochester, where the city is working to replace tens of thousands of conventional lights with LED tubes. The LED tubes will last thousands of hours longer than incandescent and fluorescent bulbs and use a fraction of the electricity. The lighting project is estimated to save the city over $300,000 in energy costs annually.

“Every day, our cities and communities are already developing innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote healthier communities in our fight against climate change,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance, New York State.“I’m pleased this competition will engage our municipalities to further support the progress we’re all making across the state to meet some of the nation’s most ambitious clean energy goals.”

“This exciting collaborative has already yielded tangible economic and environmental benefits for New York’s great cities, but the best is yet to come,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “I can’t wait to see the innovations this competition will generate to save energy and revitalize communities.”

“Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority have issued a challenge Rochester is eager to embrace,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “The Five Cities competition will give us fresh new ideas to improve energy use and sustainability in Rochester, and the grant awards will help us implement the goals outlined in the Rochester Five Cities Energy Plan. Environmental stewardship is a major component of our efforts to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

Applications are due in January and will be evaluated on the following criteria: energy savings and cost-effectiveness (40 percent); relevance to the city’s energy plan (20 percent); shovel-readiness (10 percent), reinvestment of savings (10 percent); innovation (10 percent) and other impacts (10 percent). Successful applications are eligible for up $500,000 in funding per project and cities may submit multiple projects.

Under the five-year program, the cities receive state-funded technical support to hire energy managers and analysts to design energy plans. The program has already provided $4 million in funding for various energy efficiency projects that have saved the cities $1.5 million in annual energy costs and reduced carbon emissions by 7,380 metric tons, or the equivalent of taking 1,560 cars off the road.

“I applaud the completion of LED upgrades throughout the city of Rochester in an effort to positively impact our environment and save taxpayer dollars on energy costs. This new, forward-thinking competition will build on the progress Rochester has made to reduce overall energy costs and carbon emissions,” said State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

“New York has always been a leader in clean-energy initiatives and I am delighted that this collaborative program will facilitate further innovation,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle. “I am grateful to Governor Cuomo, the New York Power Authority, and our many partners for their dedication to investing in green communities.”

“This is a tremendous win for our families, our city and for the environment,” said Assembly member Harry B. Bronson. “LED street lighting is an emerging technology with tremendous potential for our cities and businesses to significantly reduce electricity costs, environmental impacts and maintenance costs while enhancing lighting quality. I applaud the Governor and NYPA in meeting the real challenge by providing the funding that is one of the critical drivers in the transformation of street lighting projects. Upgrading existing city street lighting is a capital intensive investment undertaking at a time when Rochester is fiscally challenged. This award will provide the necessary resources to help move this project forward from start to successful implementation.”

The Five Cities Energy Plans expands upon the BuildSmart NY program, established by Governor Cuomo in 2011 to increase energy efficiency in public buildings. The cities will work toward the goal of cutting energy use 20 percent by 2020 for municipal buildings and 20 percent by 2030 citywide, including private buildings.

To learn more about Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, please

Compliments of Governor Cuomo