July Calogero, CEO, New York Housing Conference, served as moderator, and speakers at the event were Todd Gomez, Senior Vice President, Community Development Group of Bank of America; Andrew Padian, Vice President, Energy Initiatives, CPC; Michael Corso, Managing Director, New York State Public Service Commission; and Rebecca Craft, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs, Con Edison.
The event took place at the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the city’s newest green skyscraper and a magnificent example of an energy efficient commercial building. Mr. Gomez and his staff arranged for the tower’s
The panel addressed the statewide reduction in energy incentives, and if -and when - other incentives would become available. As housing owners and developers gain a better understanding of new sustainable and green solutions for their buildings each year, they continue to look for additional funding to finance this work. Some owners have found that incentives aren't necessary, and that energy efficiencies quickly pay for themselves. But many owners need financial incentives to get the work started, particularly in financing their learning curve.
Lead off presenter, Mr. Corso, described the Public Service Commission’s “15 X 15” goal, a sustainability program targeted to reduce public consumption of electricity by 15 percent overall by the year 2015. He said, “Even though we are spending billions of dollars on efficient energy initiatives, we think it’s worth it.”
Ms. Craft said that the demand for Con Edison’s electricity has steadily increased over the decades, except for a brief period in the 1970s, when demand actually declined slightly. “We are becoming an electric economy,” she said, “most recently due to the electronics revolution, but now it’s coming to cars.”
She described Con Edison’s “5 to 50” dwelling unit energy efficiency incentive program, in which both rental and owner-occupied apartments become eligible for electricity and gas rebates. But first, she said, property owners must undergo an energy audit to benchmark their usage. She added that Con Edison already has a queue of several hundred buildings ready for the energy audit. “Reducing carbon emissions is our primary goal,” she said.
Mr. Padian described CPC’s green financing initiative, which encourages multi-family owners to invest in energy efficient technologies through property upgrades. Again, a key to the program was an energy audit. In his own survey of properties, Mr. Padian said, “I saw buildings that were complete energy pigs. Windows were being used as thermostats. In similar buildings that literally were adjoining one another, the per unit use of heating oil could vary between 200 gallons and 700 gallons during the heating season.”
He said, “We’ve all got to start being environmentalists. There are things happening now in
The program, a first-of-its-kind for NYHC, will be followed by several other special events in the coming year, Ms. Calogero said.