FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2010
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATERSON, CONGRESSMAN CROWLEY AND CONGRESSMAN ISRAEL ANNOUNCE ENERGY EFFICIENCY RETROFIT STIMULUS FUNDING
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson Congressman Joe Crowley and Congressman Steve Israel today announced that New York has secured $40 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to make energy efficiency and renewable energy more accessible to thousands of New York homes and businesses through innovative financing models. The New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will administer the $40 million award in conjunction with New York City and other municipalities. The award will fund Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan programs in participating municipalities and will also leverage the "Green Jobs-Green New York" program to facilitate installations of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems. New York's $40 million award is the largest of 25 announced today by Vice President Biden as part of a $452 million Recovery Act investment to "ramp-up" energy efficiency retrofits.
"Energy-efficiency retrofits save money over the long term, but the upfront costs can sometimes be more than a property owner can afford," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Last year, as part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, we announced we would use $16 million in Recovery Act funds to create a loan fund to help solve this problem. With today's grant, the City will be able to significantly build on and extend this plan, creating an innovative PACE financing program that will create green jobs, lower energy costs for all New Yorkers, and reduce our carbon footprint. This funding will jump-start the energy efficiency retrofit industry so we can meet the ambitious goals we set in PlaNYC, the City's long-term plan for a greener, greater New York. I want to thank President Obama, Governor Paterson, and the New York congressional delegation for helping us secure this money."
"We have positioned New York State as a national leader in the clean energy economy, which is not only helping to create jobs and reshape our economy for future generations, but is also making the State more energy efficient and affordable for everyday New Yorkers," said Governor Paterson. "I want to thank President Obama, Vice President Biden, Congressman Israel and our entire Congressional Delegation for helping to make this funding possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I would also like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership in joining with NYSERDA in applying for these funds. The State will work with municipalities to use this critical funding to put New Yorkers to work retrofitting homes and businesses across the State."
"I've been on a mission to make New York a clean tech economy and this announcement is a major boost," said Congressman Steve Israel. "Last November Governor Paterson and I worked to pass legislation to help New York compete for millions in federal funding for PACE loan programs. Today that effort paid off. PACE loan programs will allow a homeowner on Long Island to upgrade to an efficient heating and cooling system and a business in Manhattan to install solar panels on their high-rise building. Most importantly, PACE loan programs will create new green careers in New York's growing clean technology industry. I'm thankful to Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg for their continued commitment to making New York a green jobs leader."
"I am committed to coloring New York green and these federal dollars will bring us one step closer to achieving that goal," said Congressman Joe Crowley. "They will address the issue of pollution, create green jobs and, most importantly, help wean us off of foreign oil. The more we export U.S. dollars to hostile, oil-producing nations, the more we export our nation's security and sovereignty. 'Green jobs' is not just a cute catch phrase - it is one of the most important national security actions we can take."
A critical component in securing today's award was the passage last year of Governor Paterson's municipal sustainable energy loan program bill, which was developed with Congressman Israel, Assemblyman Sweeney, Senator Thompson and the Bloomberg Administration. That legislation empowers communities to launch PACE loan programs, allowing them to use federal funds and provide property owners with low- and no-interest loans that are repaid through property tax and utility bills. Municipalities can now opt to provide such loans to property owners to facilitate energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy systems, reaping immediate savings energy bills. PACE loans are paid back by property owners through an additional charge to that owner's property tax bills, a mechanism that New York State law previously did not allow.
For most energy retrofit projects, property owners can expect to see an immediate energy savings of 20 to 30 percent. PACE loans can be used for energy efficiency upgrades, such as insulation and high efficiency furnaces, as well as the installation of clean energy technologies, including solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.
"The PACE loan program provides more than access to critical federal funds. It enables us to pursue the clean energy goals that are better for our environment and that provide a boost to our economy," Governor Paterson continued. "New York has significantly expanded energy efficiency incentive programs in response to my '45 by 15' clean energy initiative, which will help residents and businesses reduce their energy costs. Now, thanks to the leadership of the Obama administration and Congressman Israel, the federal government is supporting such measures through the PACE loan program. I would also like to thank Senator Thompson, Assemblyman Sweeney and the entire Legislature for working with me to pass this legislation."
The New York State Partnership will utilize this $40 million award to leverage new and existing energy efficiency retrofit and finance programs to create large-scale, sustainable approaches to financing energy retrofits across New York State. By providing financing mechanisms - including credit-enhanced bank loans, PACE loans and on-bill recovery loans - the Partnership will allow consumers to select the finance method that works best for them. The program will leverage funds from the State's existing "Green Jobs-Green New York" program to expand energy efficiency retrofits and workforce development opportunities.
"New York's energy efficiency programs are considered a model in the nation, and we salute our national leaders' significant investment in improving energy efficiency nationwide," said Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "Because of Governor Paterson's long-standing commitment to energy efficiency, New York is well-positioned to maximize the potential of this funding that will provide a tremendous boost to our economy while helping to achieve the ambitious energy reduction goals the Governor has set for our State. I join Governor Paterson in expressing my appreciation to the Obama Administration, Vice President Biden and DOE Secretary Stephen Chu for their vote of confidence in New York's leadership."
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant will help property owners in New York City finance energy-saving retrofits in existing buildings, which are responsible for 75% of the City's carbon emissions. Improving the efficiency of the existing buildings will help the City meet the ambitious PlaNYC goal of reducing the City's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
The grant will fund an innovative Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which could fundamentally transform the New York City energy efficiency market by incentivizing the development of an energy retrofit industry, creating local green jobs, lowering energy costs for all New Yorkers, and reducing the City's carbon footprint. It envisions the establishment of an integrated, sustainable education, marketing, outreach and delivery program to ramp up retrofits and initiation of a large-scale financing program to help participating building owners secure the upfront costs necessary to undertake energy efficiency retrofits. Energy and cost savings will be monitored and verified through direct engagement with the borrowers. The resources available through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding opportunity are critical to jump-starting the wide-spread development of energy efficiency financing programs across New York in a coordinated and standardized manner, as well as leveraging private capital for energy retrofits.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Morgan Hook (Governor) (518) 474-8418