Yonkers, NY – February 20, 2015 – The New York Power Authority (NYPA) unveiled the Five Cities Energy Plan this week, outlining a bold set of initiatives that will help Yonkers, Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester reduce energy costs by up to $400 million annually and create clean energy jobs. The plan is part of Governor Cuomo’s BuildSmart NY Initiative.
Watch Mayor Mike Spano on Yonkers’ Energy Plan
Governor Andrew Cuomo also announced Tuesday funding for a new energy competition that will award millions in funding to the most innovative energy project proposed by the five cities. Under the $35 million, five-year program, a state-funded Energy Manager position will be created for each city, and a “race-to-the-top” competition will award up to $20 million to the most forward-thinking, advanced energy projects.
“The Yonkers Energy Plan will create clean-tech jobs, save consumers, businesses and taxpayers money, and make our energy infrastructure more reliable,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “Yonkers is already one of the most energy-efficient cities in the nation. This plan and our ongoing partnership with NYPA will help build on that success and cement Yonkers’ position at the forefront of urban sustainability and as a national model for its green initiatives.”
“Cities have an important role to play in helping New York become a leader in using cleaner, more resilient and renewable energy sources,” said Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance, Office of Governor Cuomo. “The Five Cities initiative shows how New York State is working with our major cities to address many of our energy priorities and challenges, while also reducing costs and protecting the environment.”
“By sharing our expertise with New York’s large municipalities, we look to change dramatically how the state’s urban centers use energy, while simultaneously gaining significant environmental and economic benefits.” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer.
The Yonkers plan is the culmination of a year-long process, spearheaded by NYPA, which included data collection and analysis and stakeholder engagement with participation from local utilities, civic and government entities, and environmental groups. Designed to be highly participatory, NYPA hired the energy services firm Arup Group to oversee the process.
Energy-saving measures outlined in the Yonkers Energy Plan include benchmarking energy use in large buildings, teaching sustainability in Yonkers schools, expanding the use of renewable energy and promoting public transit-oriented development.
“We are excited that we’ve had the opportunity to participate in the development of these visionary plans,” saidDonna De Costanzo, director of Northeast Energy and Sustainable Communities at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “New York is leading the way, showing how strengthening our cities, through advancing clean energy action in partnership with municipalities is key to fostering vibrant, prosperous communities and tackling climate change.”
Over the last three years, Mayor Spano and the City of Yonkers have undertaken one of the most ambitious municipal sustainability programs in New York State. Known as Yonkers Green City, the City’s ongoing initiatives, which include the installation of 12,000 new LED street lights, will save Yonkers taxpayers $20 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce the City’s carbon footprint by 12 percent.
“I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership and his continued support for the City of Yonkers. We look forward to participating in the competition and securing funds to expand sustainability efforts in our City,” added Mayor Spano.
To read the Yonkers Energy Plan, visit www.yonkersny.gov/energyplan.