May 26, 2013

Energy-efficiency incentives outlined


PLATTSBURGH — Energy-efficiency incentives for small businesses and nonprofits were promoted during a recent workshop at the Town of Plattsburgh.

Jamie Rogers, energy program coordinator for the Adirondack North Country Association, said he oversees local participation in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Green Jobs Green New York program. 

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Free energy assessments are available to entities that use 100 kilowatt hours or fewer per year. Those can be done with no obligation to make suggested improvements, Rogers said.


The businesses and nonprofits have two options for financing if they want to implement improvements.

A Participation Loan calls for NYSERDA to provide 50 percent of a loan, up to $50,000, at zero percent interest and the lender to provide the rest at market rate.

On-Bill Recovery Financing, available from energy providers such as New York State Electric and Gas, allows the client to use the money saved on the energy bill to pay for efficiency upgrades. 

Rogers said participation is a simple process.

“It amazes me how many small businesses don’t take advantage of this,” he said.


Marilyn Keis-Hartunian, a NYSEG marketing and sales analyst, provided information on the utility’s Small-Business Energy Efficiency Program, which she called perfect for smaller enterprises.

To qualify, the business must use fewer than 100 kilowatt hours per year. The program provides free energy assessments, mainly for lighting systems.

If the client decides to go ahead with energy-efficiency improvements, NYSEG will pay 70 percent of the project.

Typical projects include replacement of fluorescent fixtures with more efficient lamps and ballasts, a switch from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents and an upgrade of exit signs to light-emitting diode technology.

NYSEG’s contractors will install the new equipment and even haul away the old materials, Keis-Hartunian said.

She said potential benefits include lower energy bills, enhanced lighting quality and appearance of the business, longer-lasting equipment and the means to show customers your concern for  the environment.

More than 235 businesses in Clinton County have taken part, Keis-Hartunian said, which has resulted in a savings of 2.5 million kilowatt hours a year.

She said interested parties should schedule an assessment before the program’s funding runs out. That can be done by calling 877-359-9814 or at


North Country Small Business Development Center Director Karen Stehlin said her staff can help businesses to determine the bottom-line implications of energy-efficiency upgrades for new construction, existing facilities and renovations. They can also help clients prepare loan applications.

For more information on these and other NYSERDA or NYSEG energy-efficiency incentives, visit or

Additional information on incentives is available at

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