DiMarco, Power Authority Trustee, Cites Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Stephen Shoenholz

June 19, 2003


ROCHESTER—New York Power Authority (NYPA) Trustee Gerard D. DiMarco said Thursday that NYPA’s energy-efficiency programs can serve as a model for businesses, helping them to lower operating costs at their facilities.

“Money spent on energy efficiency is money well spent,” DiMarco said at a conference arranged by the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties. “It lets businesses lower their electricity use and cut costs without sacrificing the quality of their operations or working conditions.”

DiMarco, a Power Authority trustee since 1998, said NYPA has more than doubled its annual investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies since Gov. George E. Pataki took office and plans to spend about $100 million for such purposes this year.  He noted that the Authority, which uses no tax dollars, has completed energy-efficiency and clean-energy projects at nearly 2,000 schools and other public facilities throughout the state, saving taxpayers more than $81 million a year and cutting annual emissions of greenhouse gases by over 580,000 tons by permitting reduced operation of power plants.

“In Rochester,” DiMarco said, “we’re moving ahead with a $3 million energy-efficiency project, including work at City Hall, central vehicle maintenance facilities, the North Street Recreation Center and the Engine 1 and Engine 17 firehouses.”

He said the project, scheduled for completion by the end of next year, is expected to reduce the city’s energy and maintenance costs by more than $260,000 a year.

DiMarco, a partner in the Rochester law firm of DiMarco & Riley LLP, said NYPA has also carried out major energy-efficiency work at the SUNY-Brockport campus and at the college’s Metro Center in the former Rochester Chamber of Commerce building.

He told the audience at the Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. auditorium that NYPA typically finances and supervises all aspects of a project, recovering its costs by sharing in the savings on a facility’s energy bills. In addition, he said, the Authority last year completed a major energy-efficiency initiative at its own 17-story office building in White Plains, Westchester County.

“This project is very much in line with Governor Pataki’s view that government must lead by example in saving energy and protecting the environment,” DiMarco said. “It’s shown that the kinds of energy-efficiency measures we’ve provided at public facilities around the state can be successfully applied to a commercial building, whether it’s owned by a public authority like ourselves or a private company.”

DiMarco said the chief impetus for the work came from the governor’s Executive Order 111 of 2001, which called for a 35 percent cut in energy use at state buildings by 2010, relative to 1990 levels.

Energy use in the NYPA building has actually been cut by more than 50 percent through the $3.4 million project. The largest element of the work was replacement of the building’s 21-year-old chilled water plant. The Authority also installed a computerized energy management system, new lighting throughout the building, occupancy sensors, energy-saving reflective film on more than 2,000 windows and a system that turns off lighting in sunlit areas of the parking garage.

In addition to its efforts to save energy, DiMarco said NYPA helps to protect about 400,000 jobs throughout the state through allocations of low-cost electricity under Governor Pataki’s Power for Jobs program and other initiatives. He said two local businesses, Jasco Tools of Rochester and Gorbel Inc. of Fisher, recently received Power for Jobs allocations in return for commitments to create a total of 84 new jobs.

The Power Authority, the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, owns and operates 17 power plants and more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines in various parts of the state.