UB energy efficiency projects projected to save $513k

The projects, made possible by NYSERDA, support Gov. Cuomo’s Build Smart Initiative that aims to reduce power use at state buildings

Release Date: June 19, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Energy-efficiency projects at the University at Buffalo (UB), made possible by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will save UB approximately $513,000 in energy costs and eliminate more than 2,600 tons of global-warming, greenhouse gas emissions annually.

The energy saving projects support Governor Cuomo’s ambitious Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years by strategically accelerating priority improvements in energy performance. The comprehensive initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Increased energy efficiency projects like those at SUNY Buffalo are critical to New York’s future, as they reduce energy use, cut operating costs and improve our environment, while adding jobs to the economy,” said Governor Cuomo. “The University at Buffalo is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and supporting economic development in the region in its partnership with NYSERDA on these improvements.”

The NYSERDA-funded initiatives move the university closer to its goal to increase sustainability and become carbon neutral by 2030.

NYSERDA awarded $1.4 million for energy efficiency projects at UB. Almost $1 million of the funding and $300,000 of the savings are a result of LEED-designed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects at the reconstructed and renamed Kapoor Hall on the South Campus and at Davis Hall, the electrical engineering and computer science building on the North Campus.

Other projects include Greiner Hall on the North Campus, the Educational Opportunity Center in downtown Buffalo and Hayes Hall on the South Campus.

The latest NYSERDA-supported initiatives at the university continue an ongoing partnership with UB for past decade. Prior to these projects, NYSERDA had awarded $1.1 million in incentives to UB for other efficiency advances at newly constructed and existing facilities.

Kapoor Hall, which houses the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, is projected to be 29 percent more energy efficient than the New York State energy code requires. Davis Hall, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences research facility, is projected to operate at 34 percent higher energy efficiency than the energy code.

To help offset the incremental cost of higher efficiency equipment, products and materials, NYSERDA awarded $426,000 in incentives for the Kapoor project and $522,000 for Davis.

Laura Hubbard, UB vice president for finance and administration, said that the energy efficiency support being provided by NYSERDA is helping the university remain at the forefront of sustainability efforts within higher education nationwide. 

“The university is committed to instituting best practices in green building and energy efficiency as we develop state-of-the-art facilities and living-learning spaces under the UB 2020 strategic plan,” she said.

“The University at Buffalo is an ideal client for NYSERDA’s New Construction Program as it engages our technical experts at the beginning of planning, enabling us to help them build energy efficiency and green building features into their project design,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the State is committed to helping colleges, universities and other campuses reduce energy costs.”

NYSERDA awards are in addition to an ongoing $17.9 million energy-efficiency project initiated by the New York Power Authority in July 2012 at UB’s North and South campuses that is expected to save the university more than $750,000 a year and eliminate more than 4,500 tons of carbon emissions annually. That project is the latest phase of energy efficiency improvements that NYPA has undertaken at UB since 2004. 

Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY Initiative will support his call for 20 percent energy efficiency in seven years by using state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements. Build Smart NY will accelerate projects that produce the greatest savings and coordinate all spending. The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all the state’s capital project planning.

In addition to its energy savings goals, Build Smart NY supports Governor Cuomo’s larger NY Works program and economic development agenda, which coordinates state funding to accelerate projects that will create jobs and improve the state’s infrastructure. NY Works is designed to expedite select projects with maximum economic impact, allowing them to begin as soon as possible and reduce project costs by hundreds of millions of dollars

A Build Smart NY web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. For more information on this initiative, visit www.buildsmart.ny.gov.

Media Contact Information

Dayle Zatlin
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Tel: 528-862-1090, ext. 3359

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
Twitter: @UBengineering