Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Energy Efficiency and the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art!

NEW YORK—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the City of New York today announced that they have completed a $1.1 million energy efficiency upgrade at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that improves the lighting and steam heating systems at the world-famous cultural institution. Funding for the project was provided by the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) through Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s sustainability initiative, “PlaNYC.”

“The recently completed energy-saving project at the Met underscores the importance Governor Cuomo is giving to energy efficiency, as highlighted by his newly introduced ‘Build Smart NY’ initiative for state public facilities,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “The Power Authority is one of the key state organizations helping to carry out the Governor's vision to cut electric bills and reduce carbon emissions through cost-effective energy efficiency projects.”

“This project will save $120,000 per year on electricity and steam costs,” said Edna Wells Handy, DCAS commissioner. “DCAS is proud to lead energy efficiency efforts in keeping with the Mayor’s PlaNYC initiatives, which are reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“The Museum makes every effort to bring state-of-the-art technology to these historic buildings and we appreciate the Power Authority’s assistance with these improvements,” said Eric Wrobel, chief electrician for the Metropolitan Museum.

The Power Authority’s energy efficiency group, in cooperation and coordination with both DCAS’ energy management and the museum’s facilities management staff, spearheaded the improvements, which included replacing much of the lighting in the museum’s office and storage areas with energy-saving, compact fluorescent fixtures. Other measures included extensive insulation of the museum’s steam pipes to reduce heat loss.

NYPA has partnered with DCAS on similar energy efficiency programs at many of the city’s cultural institutions and public attractions, including the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Those are among thousands of tax-supported facilities in the city that benefit from lower cost NYPA electricity, in addition to the value-added services that the Power Authority provides to reduce energy use.

“Across the five boroughs, historic and modern cultural facilities are leading the way to achieving the city’s energy efficiency goals through retrofits and pioneering use of new technologies,” said New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin. “Thanks to the New York Power Authority and the Mayor’s efforts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one more example of an arts organization serving the public with sustainable building improvements, and we were delighted to work with our colleagues in government on this dynamic project.”

Over the last two decades, NYPA has teamed with the City of New York on energy efficiency and clean energy projects at more than 1,000 facilities, for annual savings of more than $55 million and the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions by 337,000 tons a year.
NYPA is at the forefront in implementing a number of Governor Cuomo’s energy efficiency initiatives, most prominently his Build Smart NY plan, which will provide substantial savings to taxpayers, create new jobs from capital investments in clean energy technologies, and improve air quality throughout the state.

The Power Authority plans to finance a total of $800 million in energy efficiency and clean energy improvements over the next four years to support the Governor’s issuance in December 2012 of Executive Order 88, which calls for an increase in energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20 percent by 2020, and for similar initiatives at county and local government facilities.

NYPA recovers its costs by sharing in the resulting electric bill savings with the public facilities.  Once fully recovered over several years’ time, the beneficiary keeps all of the savings, freeing up money for their essential services.    

On April 22, 2007, Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC, a comprehensive, long-term sustainability plan to enhance the physical environment of New York City. PlaNYC contains 10 goals focused on land use, infrastructure, transportation, energy, air and water quality and climate change, as well as 127 initiatives to achieve the goals. One of these initiatives instructs the city to lead by example and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from government buildings and operations by 30 percent by 2017 (“30 x 17”).

Following the release of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg signed Executive Order 109, which formalized the organizational infrastructure to lead the 30 x 17 effort; created the Energy Conservation Steering Committee to oversee and manage initiatives; provided funding for the plan; and charged the Steering Committee with creating a long-term action plan to achieve the reduction goal.

In July 2008, the Steering Committee released a long-term plan to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of municipal buildings and operations. The plan provides a roadmap of the best emissions opportunities to achieve the 30 x 17 goal. DCAS energy management oversees implementation of the plan.