Quick Energy Efficiency News…NYC’s Big Push…First for PACE…Money in Energy Storage Tech…Brookhaven, Siemens & National Grid

Sept. 29, 2015
Quick Energy Efficiency News…NYC to upgrade 20,000 buildings…First energy agency in the nation adopts PACE…Navigant pegs market for battery tech…Brookhaven finishes $14.85 million in infrastructure upgrades

Quick energy efficiency news for this week….

New York City will upgrade 20,000, or 15 percent, of its private buildings as part of its ‘Retrofit Accelerator’ program.

photo: nyc.gov

The program, launched yesterday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will provide resources for buildings to improve water and energy efficiency. Forty percent of the buildings will be low-income housing.

“From solar energy to smart technologies, we have the technology to transform our cities in ways that cut pollution, save money, create local jobs and improve quality of life,” said Andy Darrell, NY Regional director of Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

The Retrofit Accelerator program follows in the footsteps of the 2012 NYC Clean Heat program, an EDF/City of New York partnership which gave the Big Apple its cleanest air since the 1960s by helping building owners replace dirty heating oils with cleaner fuels. (More details here.)


Energy efficiency improvements, including a 20-kW solar array, occupancy light sensors, interior and exterior LED lighting, and vehicle charging stations, are coming to the Michigan Agency for Energy’s (MAE) Lansing offices. The improvements, which will cost about $437,000, are expected to yield $800,000 in savings to the state – savings which can be passed on to the taxpayer.

MAE is the first energy agency in the nation to use Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which incentivizes landlords to make energy efficiency improvements to old buildings, even if they are not the ones paying the utility bills.

Under PACE, energy efficiency projects are financed through property tax payments rather than bank loan payments, lowering the risk for lenders, and allowing landlords to pass on some of the cost of energy efficiency projects to the tenants for a reduced net cost. Lean and Green Michigan’s PACE program has been adopted by 20 local governments.


With battery prices continuing to decrease, the spotlight is on Energy Storage System (ESS) integration. According to Navigant Research, installed energy storage enabling technology, such as software and controls, will reach $21.5 billion in annual revenue by 2024.

Navigant’s leaderboard report, which examined 12 leading ESSIs, finds many provide customized software platforms that help end users manage the daily operations of an ESS, even virtually modeling a system’s operations before a physical installation is deployed.

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The Brookhaven Lab completed $14.85 million in infrastructure upgrades designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce annual energy intensity by about 11 percent – and save more than $1.3 million each year.

The work was performed under a Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) – a departure from traditional contracts used at other DOE labs for energy-saving projects. Under the UESC, local utility National Grid, facilitated the design, third-party financing (a 10-year contract) and construction. Siemens worked with the Lab to upgrade lighting systems in 18 buildings, replace/enhance energy management controls in nine buildings, and install a high efficiency 1,250-ton water chiller for lab processes and buildings.

Brookhaven is the first DOE UESC in more than 15 years. The savings from the UESC combined with other sustainability efforts will help Brookhaven meet its 30-percent energy intensity reduction goal for 2015, as well as a 28-percent greenhouse gas reduction goal for 2020. The energy-efficiency improvements will also make the Lab eligible for rebates and other financial incentives, amplifying the savings for the Lab over time.

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Cara Goman

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