Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Sunday, March 24, 2013

N.Y. Power Authority Installs Internet Energy Monitoring System at Queens College:

QUEENS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) today announced the launch of a $750,000 project to install a campus-wide energy management system at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) that will allow for real-time Internet monitoring and greater control of the college’s energy use. 

The project supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. The initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to state facilities, other governmental entities such as CUNY are participating in Build Smart NY.

The work, which involves the installation of new meters and data collection devices in 25 buildings on the 77-acre Flushing campus, is expected to save the college approximately $92,000 per year in energy costs.  The project is part of a larger effort to convert the entire CUNY system to real time monitoring of energy use in an effort to lower energy costs, save taxpayer money, create jobs in green industries and improve air quality.

“The New York Power Authority has a long history of collaborating on energy efficiency measures with CUNY and these real-time, energy monitoring systems are just the latest example of innovative energy saving projects we have partnered on,” said Paul Belnick, NYPA vice president, Energy Efficiency.  “Queens College will be able to use the data provided by this system to identify energy saving opportunities and make more informed decisions on its energy use, resulting in greater efficiencies and lower costs.”

The Power Authority’s Energy Efficiency group planned and financed the Queens College project and is working with RCM Technologies and Queens-based RDS Industries on the project’s implementation. The project is part of a larger effort by CUNY and the Power Authority to introduce Internet energy monitoring to all of CUNY’s four-year colleges during the next year.  With the new system, energy use monitoring will be available campus-wide through smartphone apps.  The broad availability of this data is also anticipated to assist CUNY in its participation in NYPA’s Peak Load Management program, which shares savings with customers who are able to reduce energy demand on certain hot summer days when the electric grid is strained.
NYPA recovers its financing costs for energy efficiency projects by sharing in the resulting electric bill savings with its customers, like Queens College.  Once the costs are fully recovered over several years’ time, the customer keeps all of the savings, freeing up money for their essential services.

During the last two decades, NYPA has teamed with CUNY on energy efficiency and clean energy projects at more than 130 facilities, for annual savings of more than $14 million and the lowering of greenhouse gas emissions by 87,000 tons a year.

NYPA has been designated as the lead entity via an executive order by Governor Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan. NYPA is committed to providing $450 million in low-cost financing for Build Smart NY and an additional $350 million for other energy efficiency programs benefiting county and local governments.

Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY Initiative will support his call for 20 percent energy efficiency in seven years by using state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements. Build Smart NY will accelerate projects that produce the greatest savings and coordinate all spending. The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all the state’s capital project planning.

In addition to its energy savings goals, Build Smart NY supports Governor Cuomo’s larger NY Works program and economic development agenda, which coordinates state funding to accelerate projects that will create jobs and improve the state’s infrastructure. NY Works is designed to expedite select projects with maximum economic impact, allowing them to begin as soon as possible and reduce project costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.

A Build Smart NY web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. For more information on this initiative, visit