This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 14, 2008

Long Island Utility to Launch a 10-Year Energy Efficiency Program

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) plans to invest nearly a billion dollars in energy efficiency over the next 10 years under its new Efficiency Long Island program, which was unveiled on May 8. The $924 million program will start on January 1, 2009, and will offer residential and business customers an array of incentives, rebates, financing options, and other programs to help reduce their energy use. The program will be funded through a modest energy efficiency fee based on electricity use. It will be offset somewhat by a reduction in base rates to remove funding for the energy efficiency portion of LIPA's Clean Energy Initiative, which expires at the end of the year. Over the next decade, Efficiency Long Island is expected to reduce the island's peak demand by 500 megawatts (MW), equal to about one large power plant.

For residential customers, the program will encourage the purchase of energy efficient products, the installation of high-efficiency central air conditioning and heat pumps, the application of duct sealing and tune-ups for central air conditioners, and the retrofit of entire homes. The program will also encourage the construction of Energy Star homes and will provide continued support for LIPA's Residential Energy Affordability Partnership, which helps lower-income households reduce their energy bills through energy efficiency. For commercial customers, the program will address energy efficiency in both new and existing buildings. See the LIPA press release and the Efficiency Long Island Web site.

New York State as a whole has been supporting energy efficiency through its New York Energy Smart Program, which is funded by a "systems benefit" charge that is added onto customers' bills. Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) since 1998, the program has helped the state achieve $570 million in annual energy savings while reducing peak electrical demand by 650 MW. It has also allowed for an additional 550 MW of short-term load reduction when needed. Over the past decade, the program has saved more than 3 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and 4.7 trillion Btu of heating fuels. The state's systems benefit charge was recently extended through mid-2011. See the NYSERDA press release.