Four EV charging stations added at Batavia businesses

The city of Batavia last week marked the installation of four new electric vehicle charging stations. City officials were joined by community leaders and representatives of National Grid to commemorate the installation that was made possible by National Grid’s Make-Ready Electric Vehicle program, which funds electricity infrastructure costs associated with new EV charging stations for its upstate electric business customers.

“The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce is proud to promote, support and connect our local business and tourism communities. We believe passionately in collaborations that enhance our abilities to live, work and play in Genesee County,” said Chamber President Erik Fix. “We are grateful for our partnership with National Grid and the BID (Business Improvement District) and appreciate them working together to bring EV car charging stations to downtown Batavia.”

National Grid’s program covered more than 90 percent of the infrastructure costs to install the charging stations, which includes two at Mancuso Bowling Center and two at the City Church.

“The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District board of directors was excited to pursue this project and are thrilled to see four EV charging locations within our downtown,” said BID Executive Director Beth Kemp in a statement. “We would not have been able to move forward with these progressive additions to our downtown without the assistance of National Grid, NYSERDA, Rick Mancuso and Marty Macdonald. Thank you to all partners involved.”

National Grid’s EV charging program is available for businesses, multi-unit residential buildings and retail stores, as well as parks and vacation destinations. The company also offers a program for companies looking to electrify their fleets, which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and meet the decarbonization goals of the states where the utility operates, officials said.

“Electric vehicle adoption is on the rise in New York state, and EV charging stations are a great way to attract employees and also a great way to attract and retain new customers,” said Paul Gister, customer and community engagement manager for National Grid.

Gister also said that EV charging stations have become more popular among landlords seeking to attract and retain tenants, as well as help the state achieve its energy targets.

“These programs include incentives for customers who have an eye on the future, who support clean energy initiatives and are providing a necessity for the vehicles that will take us there,” Gister added. “Initiatives like these are at the heart of how we collaborate with customers and significantly impact our communities and community partners. These kinds of collaborations are central to our Project C Initiative, which was created to inspire change and create a more equitable future for our customers and communities.”

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NYSERDA teams with utilities on energy efficiency for low-income residents

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will team with the state’s investor-owned utilities on a new framework to increase access to energy efficiency and clean energy solutions for low- to moderate-income households and affordable multifamily buildings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the initiative last week, noting that the collaboration and investments made as part of the initiative will result in cleaner and healthier indoor air and more affordable energy options for more than 350,000 low- to moderate-income (LMI) households statewide.

The framework, submitted to the state Department of Public Service, will more than double the number of low-income households and multifamily buildings receiving energy efficiency services such as insulation, air sealing, electric load reduction and HVAC improvements annually, as well as increase outreach, education and community-based support programs for energy efficiency improvements.

“As we continue our fight against climate change, we must ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean energy and are not left behind in the transition to a green economy, particularly those in our most vulnerable communities who most directly feel the harmful impacts of climate change and environmental degradation,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This groundbreaking public-private partnership is a smart and innovative approach that will bring affordable, clean energy solutions directly into the homes of those who need them most, and make the lives of all New Yorkers safer and healthier.”

LMI households are disproportionately impacted by energy costs, with many experiencing an annual energy burden exceeding 20 percent of their household income.

The statewide framework will invest nearly $1 billion through 2025 to advance energy efficiency in the LMI market segment including:
• More than $300 million to reduce energy burdens by increasing access to energy efficiency for LMI homeowners and renters;
• More than $500 million to improve energy efficiency in affordable multifamily buildings;
• $45 million for community-level engagement and capacity building with community-based organizations; and
• $30 million for developing clean heating and cooling solutions for LMI homes and buildings through research and analysis of institutional barriers and funding of pilots and demonstrations.

The framework filed July 27 includes a substantial increase in funding for low- to moderate-income energy efficiency and outlines a comprehensive strategy between NYSERDA and the state’s investor-owned utility companies including Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Fuel Gas, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas/Rochester Gas & Electric and Orange & Rockland, with expanded funding in 2020 and new and modified programs beginning next year.

The new initiatives are expected to increase market demand and create new opportunities for clean energy workers. Through the Clean Energy Fund, NYSERDA will offer a range of workforce development and training opportunities.

Statewide, 3.2 million households, or 40 percent of residents, qualify as LMI, with incomes at or below 80 percent of their area’s median income. Buildings account for 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion and electric generation in the state, officials noted.

NYSERDA also is offering $10 million in funding through Green Jobs – Green New York to support a Loan Loss Reserve Program prioritizing lending to support green jobs and lending for energy efficiency and renewable energy in communities across the state. The pilot program will have a direct benefit to underserved borrowers by reducing the risk for community-based Financial institutions that loan money for energy efficiency improvements installed in residential and multifamily buildings, as well as in buildings used by small businesses and not-for-profits.

“Today’s announcement marks an important progression in a series of actions the state is taking to ensure no New Yorker, regardless of income, is denied access to energy efficiency services that provide more comfortable, clean and healthy living environments,” said NYSERDA Acting President and CEO Doreen Harris. “Our investment underscores the laser focus we have in advancing New York’s just and equitable transition to a carbon-neutral economy under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership.”

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Power restoration promised to last few thousand customers today

Approximately 3,230 customers in the Rochester area remained without power Friday morning as thousands of utility repair crews continued to work on restoring power.

A windstorm on Wednesday with gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour had knocked power out to many tens of thousands more across the state. Downed trees closed many streets and pulled down power lines. The wind also toppled several tractor-trailer trucks, resulting in a temporary ban on commercial traffic in Monroe County to prevent further accidents.

National Grid, which had perhaps 240 customers in this region still without power Friday morning, pushed back its restoration time to noon Friday.

Monroe County, serviced mostly by Rochester Gas & Electric, still had 2,164 customers without power Friday morning; Wayne County, which is powered by RG&E and New York State Electric and Gas, had 721 customers out.

Avangrid, the parent company of both RG&E and NYSEG, was promising 100 percent restoration by 11:45 a.m.

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