Queens Leads Energy Challenge Campaign
Which is the coolest community in New York? When it comes down to the "BE COOL" Challenge among New York City's five boroughs and Westchester County, air conditioners will be the deciding factor.
To make it easier for New Yorkers to save electricity this summer, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Con Edison have launched BE COOL, a campaign that promotes the purchase of energy efficient room air conditioners. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall hosted a media event outside Borough Hall at 120-55 Queens Blvd., challenging all Queens residents to turn in their old air conditioners and replace them with ENERGY STAR® qualified models. The community with the highest percentage of residents participating in the campaign will be the BE COOL Challenge winner. Queens currently leads the BE COOL Challenge. Borough residents have turned in 1,824 room air conditioners, saving 219,950 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and helping to reduce 240,185 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air, the equivalent of taking 24 cars off the road for a year.
"I am hopeful that many of our residents will take up the BE COOL challenge and help make Queens the 'coolest' borough in New York City," Marshall said. "Under this program, homeowners can turn in an old air conditioner for an energy efficient new one, reduce electricity costs and improve air quality. This energy-saving campaign aligns with New York City's effort to build a greener and greater New York. I thank NYSERDA, the New York Power Authority and Con Ed for working together to improve our borough and our city's environment."
"BE COOL represents a huge opportunity for New Yorkers to reduce their energy use. The program is an important component of Governor Spitzer's comprehensive policy to reduce carbon emissions," NYSERDA President and CEO Paul D. Tonko said. "We want to tap into that New York pride with the BE COOL Challenge and see who will be the coolest community this summer."
"This campaign reminds the residents of each borough and those in Westchester County that lowering energy use helps us all. To BE COOL this summer, shift your energy use to evening hours and take a look at the incentives for an energy-efficient air-conditioner," NYPA Chairman Frank S. McCullough, Jr. added.
"I urge all New Yorkers to take advantage of these programs to make saving energy even more cost-effective," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. "By taking these easy steps in their homes, New Yorkers can lower their electricity bills, help prevent blackouts, and help prevent climate change. Helping consumers save energy is a key component of our PlaNYC effort to build a greener, greater New York, and we are proud to be working with NYSERDA on this program."
Single- and multi-family residential customers of Con Edison electric service in New York City and Westchester County who turn in an old, working room air conditioner can earn $35 when they purchase a new window unit or $100 when they purchase a through-the-wall unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR®.
"It's fantastic that so many of our customers are participating in this energy-saving program and we are happy to see that our customers in Queens are getting involved," Rebecca Craft, Con Edison director of energy efficiency programs, said. "Although summer is almost over, it's not too late for our customers to replace their old window and through-the-wall air conditioners and participate in the BE COOL Challenge."
ENERGY STAR qualified room air conditioners use 10 to 25 percent less energy than a conventional new model, or up to 40 percent less energy than a 10-year-old unit. To earn the incentive, all residents need to do is bring their old unit to an authorized drop-off site or retailer location, where the units will be properly recycled and residents will receive a mail-in application for the incentive. Managers of multi-family buildings can contact NYSERDA directly to complete a change-out of all the units in a building.
"Encouraging residents to take simple actions can have powerful results," Tonko added. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if one out of 10 families in the United States used cooling and heating equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR, the change would keep more than 17 billion pounds of pollution out of the air.
New Yorkers who are not eligible for the incentive can beat the heat and still save energy by using timers on air conditioners and lights; closing shades or curtains on windows that receive direct afternoon sun; using ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of heat-generating incandescent bulbs, and always looking for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing appliances and air conditioning products. Shifting energy-intensive tasks such as dishwashing and clothes washing to cooler early morning or late night hours can also help reduce mid-afternoon heat build-up and make sure there is enough electricity for everyone during the hottest part of the day.
Visit www.GetEnergySmart.org or call 1- 877-NY-SMART (1-877-697-6278) for more information about BE COOL and other summer energy saving tips.
NYSERDA uses innovation and technology to solve some of New York's most difficult energy and environmental problems in ways that improve the state's economy.
NYPA is the nation's largest state-owned electric utility and provides energy-saving services and clean energy technologies to public institutions such as schools, hospitals and universities. Visit www.nypa.gov to learn more about the New York Power Authority.