NYSERDA Announces Energy Benchmarking for Schools

Supports Governor Cuomo’s Goal of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 40 Percent from 1990 Levels

April 11, 2019

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced a new program for Prekindergarten through Grade 12 schools (P-12) to receive free energy benchmarking services for up to three years. The program provides schools with a mechanism to measure, track, and assess their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions to better understand and improve their energy efficiency and performance. This initiative supports Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading Green New Deal that puts New York State on a path to a carbon neutral economy and advances the state’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership and commitment to reducing harmful emissions and setting New York on the path to a carbon-neutral economy, participating schools will receive valuable hands-on support for identifying cost-effective energy efficient solutions to help lower their energy usage and costs while creating a cleaner and more sustainable energy environment for the future.”

Currently, there are more than 6,000 public and private schools in New York State. Together, these schools spend roughly $1 billion in annual energy costs while producing approximately 5.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or other harmful greenhouse gases. This initiative provides schools with the necessary tools, information, and support needed to reduce their carbon footprint.

Participating schools will receive an energy baseline assessment as well as benchmarking updates every six months that summarize the school’s utility and sustainability performance metrics over a three-year evaluation period. In addition, a NYSERDA FlexTech Consultant will provide site-specific recommendations about operational, maintenance, and energy management modifications that can result in energy and cost savings, while maximizing energy performance and assisting in financial planning and budgeting.

Eligible participants include publicly or privately-owned buildings that provide P-12 education with building space solely occupied by P-12 students and staff and locations can be in one of the six electric investor-owned New York State utility company territories. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis dependent on resource availability until March 31, 2022.

Schools interested in adding solar to their energy mix may also be connected with the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) Clean Energy Services program, which helps schools procure solar energy and reduce their energy bills. Schools receive energy advisory services, site surveys, solar energy analyses and technical support, and are matched with a solar developer to pursue installation.

“School districts are eager to save money and reduce their carbon footprints and clean, renewable solar power has proven to be an affordable, viable option,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Participating schools are able to make a long-term commitment to fighting climate change while students learn the value of sustainability and clean energy technology. They see their school ‘going solar’ and learn by first-hand example about renewable energy.”

Funding for the energy benchmarking program is part of the state’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund and is part of NYSERDA’s $21.6 million investment in P-12 Schools Initiatives that are focused on stimulating the demand and investment in clean energy across the P-12 sector. More information about this program can be found on NYSERDA’s website.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

New York State’s Green New Deal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the nation’s leading clean energy and jobs agenda, will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality under a strategy to be developed by the Climate Action Council of state, workforce and environmental justice experts. It provides for a just transition to clean energy, spurring the growth of the green economy and, when passed, will statutorily mandate New York's power be 100 percent clean and carbon-free by 2040, one of the most aggressive goals in the U.S. The cornerstone of this newly proposed mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030. As part of the unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy, New York has already invested $2.9 billion into 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state as it significantly increases its clean energy targets, such as: quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to a nation-leading 9,000 megawatts by 2035 to doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025 to deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030. To support this ambitious work, NY Green Bank intends to use its expertise in overcoming financing gaps to foster greater environmental impacts per public dollar by raising over $1 billion in third party funds to expand climate financing availability across New York and the rest of North America.

Reforming the Energy Vision

The Green New Deal builds on Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's landmark Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency. Already, REV has driven growth of nearly 1,500 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and has led to more than 150,000 jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors across New York State.

To learn more about the Green New Deal and REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit www.rev.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Media Inquiries