Public Affairs, Communications & Sustainable Development

Organizations Unite to Encourage Eco-Friendly Buildings

June 29, 2014 at 1:03 PM

By Aishik Barua, Contributing Writer


The resource center at Green Light New York (GLNY) is a forward-thinking organization that endeavors to make the state more environment-friendly and reduce the carbon footprint across the vast city of New York as well as the state. Most importantly, it connects the New York real estate community to energy and lighting efficiency solutions through technology demonstration, education, and research.

In taking a step towards furthering this vision, GLNY organized a unique event: Efficiency Demo Rodeo—A Survey of Public Programs Funding Innovation in Building Energy Efficiency.

Representatives from four government organizations came together to talk to entrepreneurs and project developers about the special federal and state programs that are geared towards promoting technology and projects that will help achieve their vision of an energy efficient future.

Karma Sawyer of the US Department of Energy spoke about the Commercial Building Technology Demonstrations program. Karma also spoke about how efficient new building technologies can help meet our country's energy goals, stimulate U.S. manufacturing, create jobs, and improve the environment. She also shared that due to the lack of information and the absence of effective communication tools, the marketplace remains ignorant about the existence of aforementioned technologies and their real-world experience. Through this program, the DOE frequently supports demonstrations to assess a technologies energy performance, installation procedures, operations, and maintenance characteristics. These demonstrations help consumers make informed decisions while helping the manufacturers prove the efficiency of their products.

The representative of New York Power Authority (NYPA), Guy Sliker, spoke about the Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative also known as EE-INC. This is the latest in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s array of economic development initiatives designed to advance promising, innovative energy efficiency technologies. The program brings in a steady stream of firms that have market-ready, but not yet widely circulated, energy-saving technologies. The firms participate in a Request for Information (RFI) procedure wherein the technologies are evaluated and then segregated into ‘Yes, Maybe and No’ categories. The most promising technologies, mainly those in the ‘Yes’ category, are installed in publicly owned facilities under the Build Smart NY program, which is further to EE-INC, thereby ultimately developing new business and jobs in the state. The goal of Build Smart NY is to reduce consumption of energy by 20% in the state of New York. It is important to mention that NYPA collaborates with a number of agencies across the state for this initiative, including NYSERDA, EPRI, SyracuseCoE and IBTS.

The Emerging Technologies and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC-CI) Program has been initiated by NYSERDA. Representing the organization was Peter Savio, a veteran in the industry who provided insights into the program. The idea, similar to that of EE-INC, allows demonstrations of innovative but not-widely-spread technologies that facilitate electric and gas efficiency and load management in commercial, industrial and institutional facilities, which may have been facing barriers such as upfront costs, lack of contractor awareness and supply-chain development. The program encourages established leaders of the industry to collaborate on in-field demonstrations and share their insights. Building owners and project developers work together to incorporate emerging technologies and approaches into energy efficiency projects, and collaborators can monitor, validate and publicize the savings potential. Through these showcase demonstrations, the ETAC-CI program supports market adoption of promising technologies and approaches. On their part, NYSERDA promises to provide funding of up to 60% of eligible installation costs capped at a maximum of $250,000 per eligible project. They will also fund the required performance validation services at the demonstration sites while deploying their own technical consultants.

Speaking for the DCAS Energy Management (DEM) and their initiative, Innovative Demonstration for Energy Adaptability (IDEA), Emily Dean spoke at length about the concept of planning, data mining and implementation of new energy-efficiency technologies. Quite similar to the aforementioned program, IDEA plans to invite technology developers to present their concepts. For those that strike a chord, DEM would personally get involved in reviewing the plans, demonstrating their worth, gather data and then move into the implementation of the technologies at relevant public spaces.

Serving as quite an eye-opener for many in the audience, especially smaller firms and tech entrepreneurs, the conference brought a lot of hope for community developers. It is also worth noting the strides that the state has taken and will be taking in order to make itself a more environment-friendly space, thereby contributing in its own way to the battle the planet is waging against global warming.


Peter Savio, NYSERDA
Program: Emerging Technologies and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC)

Guy Sliker, NYPA
Program: Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC)

Emily Dean, NYC DCAS
Program: Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA)

Karma R. Sawyer
Program: US DOE Commercial Building Technology Demonstrations

Green Light Resource Center
31 Chambers Street, Suite 609 (Surrogate's Courthouse)
New York, NY 10007
Intersection of Chambers St and Centre St.


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