P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions Program Helps Lower Energy Costs and Increase Energy Efficiency
Program Furthers Governor’s Green New Deal and State’s Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 85 Percent By 2050
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $4 million is available under the P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions program to reduce energy use and assist with the conversion to carbon free energy solutions for schools serving Prekindergarten through Grade 12 students. The program supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and the Governor’s Green New Deal, the most aggressive climate and clean energy program in the nation.
“New York is a leader in the fight against climate change, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to achieving our ambitious goals,” Governor Cuomo said. “With initiatives like P-12 Schools, we are empowering schools across the state to take action in creating solutions to protect our environment.”
The program is part of NYSERDA’s P-12 Schools Initiative that encourages schools to lower energy use and utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the leading contributor to climate change. The P-12 Schools Initiative helps schools pursue carbon savings and clean energy projects – creating a healthier environment for children to learn and thrive. The P-12 Benchmarking Program launched in April 2019 has already served over 250 schools.
The P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions program offers up to $250,000 for energy studies to reduce energy loads as well as up to another $250,000 for design assistance for the installation of clean heating and cooling systems. Schools are also eligible for direct incentives for the installation of measures that reduce the building’s energy use through eligible mechanical, equipment and building envelope efficiency efforts.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Alicia Barton said, “Enabling our schools to save energy, reduce costs and lower their carbon footprint will create a cleaner, greener future for students and communities across the state. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we are increasing opportunities for schools to tap into renewable energy, increase energy efficiency and participate in New York’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy.”
Schools participating in the program will receive complimentary services including free benchmarking and free clean heating and cooling screenings. Benchmarking serves as a tool to measure and track the impact of financial investments against energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to better understand and improve their energy efficiency and performance.
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. P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions focuses on identifying load reduction and decarbonization opportunities and is available to publicly or privately-owned buildings that provide P-12 education 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 December 31, 2022.
Commercial buildings contribute to 60 percent of energy used in the state. NYSERDA provides targeted technical assistance and advanced efficiency solutions to drive clean energy adoption across all commercial sectors. Funding for this 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 Initiative to stimulate demand and investment in clean energy across the P-12 program. For more information and to apply to this program, please visit NYSERDA’s website.
New York State’s Green New Deal
Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, putting the state on a path to being entirely carbon-neutral across all sectors of the economy and establishing a goal to achieve a zero-carbon emissions electricity sector by 2040, faster than any other state. It builds on New York’s unprecedented ramp-up of clean energy including a $2.9 billion investment in 46 large-scale renewable projects across the state, the creation of more than 150,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector, a commitment to develop nearly 1,700 megawatts of offshore wind by 2024, and 1,700 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2012.
The recently passed Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act mandates the Green New Deal’s national leading clean energy targets: Nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035, six gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, and three gigawatts of energy storage by 2030, while calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy. The CLCPA also directs New York State agencies and authorities to collaborate with stakeholders to develop a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 and aim to invest 40 percent of clean energy and energy efficiency program resources to benefit disadvantaged communities.