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Tompkins County and City of Ithaca Launch Energize NY Finance Program:

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Tompkins County and City of Ithaca Launch Energize NY Finance Program:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Program Encourages Clean Energy Improvements for Local Commercially-Owned Properties

Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane and City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick joined with local government and business leaders today to officially launch the Energize NY  Finance program, designed to help commercial and non-profit building owners reduce their operating costs and increase the value of their buildings through clean energy improvements. Energize NY provides building owners with critical support, tools and low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that cut energy consumption, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The launch event was held at The Space @ GreenStar, 700 West Buffalo Street.

Tompkins County Legislature Chair Michael Lane said, “The Energize NY Finance program is a perfect fit for a community, like ours, that is committed to both economic growth and meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Energize NY is an important bridge between our aspirations of much lower greenhouse gas emissions and the concrete steps needed to achieve that vision.”

Energize NY services are immediately available to help building owners in Tompkins County to make clean-energy improvements. Improvements include a range of energy efficiency measures, including lighting, insulation and air sealing, heating and cooling systems, smart controls, energy storage and combined heat and power, as well as renewable energy installations such as solar PV, wind, biomass and geothermal. Clean energy projects make financial sense for most buildings, including commercial, industrial, retail, mixed use, private schools and colleges, agricultural facilities, houses of worship, multi-family, and even in some cases single family homes. To be eligible for the program, facilities must be owned by a commercial or non-profit entity.

City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said, “We’re excited to be one of the first upstate New York communities to join this innovative program, which will help connect the dots between economic development and environmental sustainability. It will provide building owners with much needed support in identifying, planning and financing energy projects, which will reduce their operational costs and increase affordability. At the same time, three-quarters of our community’s carbon emissions come from the building sector, so this program will address our climate goals, as well.”

The Energize NY Finance program uses an innovative form of financing called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which has been used in 31 states nationwide. Unlike other loan products, Energize NY financing is repaid through an annual charge on the property’s tax bill, which automatically transfers to a new owner if the property is sold. The financing is based on the property’s ability to save energy, not on traditional credit measures. All Energize NY financings generate savings to the building owner on day one, with the annual energy savings exceeding the annual cost of the financing.

“Our goal is to make energy savings simple and affordable for commercial building owners throughout New York State,” said Mark Thielking, Executive Director of Energize NY, which has offices in Westchester and Orange County. “We work on behalf of our member communities, like Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca, to realize the many economic, local development, environmental and public health benefits of reducing energy waste in local buildings and delivering the energy savings to their residents.”

The Tompkins County Legislature and the City of Ithaca passed local laws in the spring of 2015, entering into agreements with Energize NY to participate in the finance program. Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca join 22 other municipalities in New York State that have signed on with Energize NY as a means to support their economic development and environmental goals.

Energize NY is funded in part through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and aligns with Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

“The start of Energize NY in Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca is great news to the businesses and not-for-profits in this area. They can now make significant investments into clean energy and energy efficiency through innovative and cost-saving financing,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Energize NY exemplifies the value of New York State partnering with local municipalities, and aligns with Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy goals.”

For more information about the Energize NY Finance program in Tompkins County, visit www.energizeny.org  or contact Energize NY directly at info@energizeny.org or (914) 302-7300. Local contacts for the program are Katie Borgella at Tompkins County Planning and Nick Goldsmith at the City of Ithaca.

Media Contacts:

Heather Flournoy, Energize NY, heather@energizeny.org (914) 302-7300 x8105
Katie Borgella, Tompkins County, kborgella@tompkins-co.org (607) 274-5560
Nick Goldsmith, City of Ithaca, ngoldsmith@cityofithaca.org (917) 270-1683