New York Governor's Mansion To Get Solar Panels, Energy Efficient Appliances in "Green" Renovation

May 02, 2007

New York State's First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer unveiled a plan May 1 to transform the governor's mansion into a "green" building by adding solar panels, installing energy efficient appliances, and a number of other measures that are expected to cut the mansion's electrical energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent.

The plan includes:

  • Clean, renewable energy. Solar panels will be installed in three locations throughout the property, including the parking lot, in which the panels will serve as carports, providing shade and eventually enable electric vehicles to recharge.
  • Energy efficient appliances and equipment. Energy efficient appliances will replace several existing appliances, beginning with the installation of an energy efficient washing machine and dryer to replace old and inefficient models. Low-flow showerheads will be installed and many of the existing light bulbs will be replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Green equipment. The mansion staff will begin using hybrid electric vehicles. Electric lawn mowers and lawn maintenance equipment will also be used to reduce gasoline emissions. Electric equipment will be able to plug into the solar carport for power.

The mansion qualifies for the New York Power Authority's program for energy improvements at state facilities, and the project team will apply for additional funding under a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program available to all electricity consumers in the state. The project team does not expect to use any capital funds from the state budget for the project.

By decreasing its electrical energy consumption and pursuing additional "greening" methods, the project team is attempting to meet building standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council, referred to as LEED, for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. When the project is complete, the plan will be submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council for review and possible LEED certification.

"Residential buildings are a major contributor to global warming," said First Lady Silda Wall Spitzer. "The executive mansion is a place of historic significance, which should be properly preserved. Starting today, the mansion will also function as a sustainable building. I am hopeful that this initiative will encourage others to pursue similar efforts with their own homes. Together, every small step can reduce our overall impact on the environment."

"Greening the Mansion" is part of Governor Eliot Spitzer's clean energy plan to decrease the projected demand for electricity 15 percent by 2015 through increased energy efficiency and clean, renewable power production. One of the plan's goals is to increase the supply of available energy for New York in an environmentally sustainable way.

For more information, see the governor's May 1 press release.

To read more information about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New York, see: