Just in time for summer, the New Rochelle YMCA announced a serious cut in its energy demand by 30 percent. The savings comes at a time when energy costs continue to rise, particularly as a hot and humid summer season looms. The YMCA sets a precedent for other small businesses that are enrolled in Con Edison’s Small Business Energy Efficiency Program, which helps small businesses implement energy efficiency improvements.
The YMCA replaced all of its building’s lights with efficient LED lights, bringing its total energy use from 400 kilowatts to 160 kilowatts. The savings were in the tens of thousands for the building, which operates 16 hours a day. According to Deborah Newborn, the city's sustainability coordinator, the YMCA has achieved the greatest savings to date through Con Edison's program.
“In today’s challenging financial times, a 30 percent drop in our energy bill is extremely important,” said Jeffrey Krause, executive director and CEO of the New Rochelle YMCA.
"The opportunities for business and nonprofits in New Rochelle and throughout the region are extraordinary," Mayor Noam Bramson said. "There's no reason not to take advantage of it."
Mayor Bramson and the YMCA staff announced the energy savings at the YMCA gymnasium on Wednesday. Con Edison helped the YMCA with energy upgrades after Deborah Newborn contacted them. Newborn runs a program called GreeNR, which aims to cut community-wide energy use by 20 percent, at the least.
GreeNR is one of the recent programs created by Mayor Bramson’s sustainability plan to guide future city development with consideration to the environment. “Being sustainable is good for the planet and good for your pocketbook. It’s a win-win situation,” Newborn said.
Small businesses are able to participate in Con Edison’s program if their energy demand is less than 100 kilowatts a month. Con Edison conducts a free energy survey, then pays for up to 70 percent of the costs to upgrade expenses such as high-efficiency lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling system tune-ups, and refrigeration upgrades. Many people who invest in the energy-saving equipment see their equipment paying for itself within a year. “The equipment is there, and they continue to save on energy year after year,” said Jennifer Rommel, program manager for Con Edison. “It’s really a long-term benefit to our customers.”
What have you done to save on your energy bill?