This bill directs the use of state capital funds toward the purchase of more energy efficient appliances and equipment. Building energy demand is met primarily through the combustion of fossil fuels. Relying on fossil fuels to power buildings accounts for over 40-percent of the pollution that is fueling climate change, and significantly contributes to the release of particulate matter, leading to smog and soot. Poor air quality is known to make people sick, trigger asthma attacks, and contribute to premature deaths for people with lung and heart disease.
One way to help reduce the reliance of fossil fuels is to ensure building energy systems and appliances are as efficient as possible. Appliances and equipment account for a major portion of electricity demand and water use in buildings. This bill directs the state to lead by example by requiring organizations utilizing capital funding provided by the Dormitory Authority or Urban Development Corporation to purchase Energy Star rated products. This measure helps reduce the energy demand from certain facilities and buildings, and thereby, reducing air pollution.
Energy Star is a voluntary identification program designed to promote energy efficient products. The Energy Star label is now included on more than 60 product categories, including appliances, heating and cooling, plumbing, office equipment, lighting, home electronics, and building products. Energy Star appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10- to 50-percent less energy and water than standard models. As a result, consumers realize significant savings on their energy bills over the life of Energy Star appliances. According to the EPA, families and businesses have realized estimated savings of more than $450 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 3.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions since the inception of Energy Star in 1992.
This bill amends the Public Authorities Law and the New York State Urban Development Corporation Act to require organizations receiving funds for capital improvements from the New York State Dormitory Authority and/or the Urban Development Corporation to use the funds to purchase Energy Star equipment and appliances when available.