Resources for NYSERDA's Lean Program

NYSERDA promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources by partnering with residents, business owners, developers, community leaders, local government officials, university researchers, utility representatives, investors, and entrepreneurs to develop, invest, and foster the conditions that:

  • Attract the private sector capital investment needed to expand New York’s clean energy economy
  • Overcome barriers to using clean energy at a large-scale in New York
  • Enable New York’s communities and residents to benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy

NYSERDA’s Lean program reinforces its guiding principle to learn, evolve, and improve in all that we do. Our team of Empire Belts began facilitating Lean Projects in August 2014, and have completed 13 Lean projects as of November 2015.

Email Sheila Mahoney at (NYSERDA’s Lean Deployment Manager) with any questions.

Lean Project Abstracts

Lean Project Abstracts are short, standardized documents containing the takeaways from a Lean project including the problems faced, the goals to reach, opportunities identified, Kaizen takeaways, Voice of the Customer, and other data discovered and worked toward during the Lean project.
Abstracts for NYSERDA Projects include:

  • Finance Invoice Intake and Review [PDF]
    • NYSERDA’s finance department previously received invoices in various formats through an email box. This often led to missing information, requiring finance staff to manually print, date stamp, scan, and physically distribute an invoice to the appropriate finance aide multiple times a day.
    • With the creation of the NYSERDA Invoice Portal, the finance department has saved more than three hours of staff time per day by eliminating the manual process. The Portal now insures invoices are submitted with all the appropriate information allowing for quicker review.
  • Research and Development Contract Close Out [PDF]
    • Previously, in order to close out Research & Development Contracts and provide final payment to a contractor, a physical package requiring several stakeholder reviews had to be created to ensure that the Contractor met all of their obligations.
    • NYSERDA restructured and simplified the retainage package and is now able to leverage the Financial and Contracting system to automatically route the package. Contractors were also provided clear instructions upfront on the final payment requirements. This has resulted in a 92% decrease of final payment process time and increased the quality rate of final payment requests from 2.8% to 85%.

Empire Belt Resources

The Empire Belt Guidebook [DOC] is a comprehensive resource for new and experienced Empire Belts alike, containing definitions, key Lean principles, and guidance from the very start of a Lean project through Kaizen, implementation, and beyond. NYSERDA created this guidebook, which contains templates and valuable indexes to aid any Empire Belt on any Lean project. 

Project Templates

NYSERDA created the following tools:

  • The Project Kick-Off PowerPoint Template [PPTX] is a tool for project leaders and Empire Belts to aid in framing a project team kick-off meeting. This tool works with any Lean project and can be modified where necessary to accommodate the team’s needs. 
  • The Formal Executive Report-out Agenda [DOCX] is a tool for framing the post-Kaizen Executive Report-out. Simply plug in project specific information and this handy tool is ready to go. 
  • The Implementation Plan & Risk Management Table Template [XLSX] is designed to allow a project team to list their implementation steps and time tables clearly and concisely, and to provide a step-by-step analysis of the risks involved in that implementation.

Open New York (NY)

Open NY is Governor Cuomo’s award-winning initiative of policies, programs and tools that provide public access to digital data for collaboration and analysis. Open NY empowers the public and government with data for the digital age with a powerful resource tool that provides centralized access to high-value government data to search, explore, download, and share. NYSERDA leverages the Open NY platform to publish high-value datasets to reduce time associated with fulfilling FOIL, ad-hoc, and reporting requests; increase consumer awareness; spur innovation; and promote market transformation. Visit for more information.