IDT Energy Donates $50,000 to American Red Cross Hurricane Recovery Fund

IDT Energy, an independent electricity and natural gas provider for over 500,000 residential and small business customers, donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross hurricane recovery efforts.

An initial donation of $25,000 was delivered to Robert Maruster, Chair of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region’s Board of Directors, and IDT contributed another $25,000 as the program proceeded. The funds were used to provide food, shelter, clothing and other assistance to families impacted by the storm.

Geoff Rochwarger, CEO of IDT Energy, said:

“Many people in the Mid-Atlantic region, including many of our customers, have suffered tremendously as a result of the storm. To assist them, and in support of the critically important work being done by local police, fire, EMT and rescue workers, we are pleased to support the American Red Cross’s hurricane recovery effort.”

According to IDT, many of its customers were affected by the storm. In an effort to provide much needed support, the company recruited additional customer service representatives, as well as offered a $25 rebate on electric service to IDT Energy customers.

Rochwarger added:

“We believe strongly in helping families recover from this devastating storm. We intend this contribution to help kick-start the recovery effort, and we encourage other businesses and individuals to support the American Red Cross’ important efforts.”

New York State Legislators Oppose $2 Billion Power Line Proposal

Controversial Power Line Opposed by NY State Lawmakers

A $2 billion project designed to bring cheap energy from Quebec in Canada down to New York City is under assault from a group of New York State lawmakers, 12 Republicans and 1 Democrat. They say that the 1,000 megawatt power line will harm the power industry in New York. They believe that many local jobs would be lost and that the promised $650 million in annual savings to consumers will not materialize.

“Our state’s resources should be used to create jobs in New York, rather than export them to a foreign country,” they wrote in a letter to Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

An associate professor at HEC in Montreal, Pierre-Olivier Pineau says it is easy to see why these legislators are worried. Today there are many subsidies supplied by state and local governments to promote green energy and therefore create jobs, therefore governments want to be protective of those jobs and businesses that supply them. He says that even in Quebec all the wind power purchased must come from the province and not elsewhere.

“Energy is highly politicized in the U.S. and in Canada so there’s no other reason beyond politics. It doesn’t make business sense, it doesn’t make environmental sense to oppose this project,” Pineau explained.

Spectra Energy Holding Investor Meeting in New York City

New York Palace Hotel

Houston-based Spectra Energy Corporation, a Fortune 500 supplier and distributer of natural gas throughout North America, will be holding a host analyst/investor breakfast in New York City this coming Tuesday, August 7th.

The breakfast meeting will be held at the New York Palace Hotel Drawing Room. On hand to deliver remarks about the firms second quarter 2012 financial results will be the president and CEO of Spectra Energy, Greg Ebel, and the CFO Pat Reddy. After their brief statements questions will be fielded from the audience.

Just because you are not in New York does not mean you must miss this meeting. There will be webcast streamed beginning at 8am ET which can be accessed through the investors section of Spectra’s website. Phone calls from internet participants will be accepted by calling (888) 252-3715 in the US and Canada. Those wishing to participate outside North America can dial (706) 634-8942.

Spectra Approved by FERC to Expand Gas Transmission to NY/NJ Region

On June 29 Spectra Energy was notified that it had been approved to build a 20-mile expansion of Spectra’s Texas Eastern Transmission and Algonquin Gas Transmission interstate pipeline systems as part of the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the project, which will deliver an added 800 cubic feet per day of natural gas capacity into the New York-New Jersey area.

"The comprehensive, multi-year review by numerous federal, state and local agencies has culminated with the formal approval by FERC to commence construction of the New Jersey-New York Expansion Project," said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer of Spectra Energy Corp. "We will continue to cooperate with the communities and appropriate regulatory agencies as we complete work on a project that will provide critically-needed pipeline infrastructure, as well as significant environmental and economic benefits to the region."

A large number of jobs are expected to be created as the project gets underway. It is estimated that over 5,200 direct and indirect new jobs will be needed to support the project, which is scheduled to begin in the upcoming days, with completion predicted for the end of 2013.

Renewable Energy Companies Consolidating to Boost Profits, Stay Viable

Wind Power Firms will Merge

Expect to see an increase in consolidation and mergers among the renewable-energy companies in the coming year, says accounting and financial services giant Ernst & Young LLP.

The drive to join forces will be a result of shrinking investments, lower prices and the uncertainty of government subsidies for alternative energy projects.

This prediction is based on what has already been seen on an international scale already. Worldwide mergers and acquisitions during 2012’s first quarter rose by 41 percent to $21.7 billion from the quarter immediately preceding. Ernst & Young sees ever reason for this trend to continue.

Prices are being driven down by global overcapacity. Also shrinking are the profit margins in the wind and solar industries. This downward trend in profits predicts consolidation, according to Ernst & Young energy and environmental finance leader Ben Warren.

“The next 12 months are likely to be characterized by further consolidation in the solar and wind supply chain, with a large number of deals expected in Asia,” Warren said.

Improved Fuel Economy for Boats Obtained with Newly Developed High-Tech Coating

Duane Palmeeter of Greenfield Manufacturing

Greenfield Manufacturing Inc, producer of boat coatings which help reduce water friction, in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, (NYSERDA) has created a product which allows boats to travel faster while at the same time improving their fuel economy.

The NYSERDA gave $340,000 to Greenfield over the past three years in the context of two different incentive projects. As a result of the investment Greenfield developed HullSpeed, which is a high-tech coating that is applied to the outer surface of boats in a similar way to paint. Companies which have tried this product have reported up to 8.5% reduction in fuel costs, in addition to increasing the speed with which the boat can travel.

“Greenfield Manufacturing Inc. is excited to bring HullSpeed Performance Marine Coatings to the marketplace, thanks in part to NYSERDA,” said Duane Palmateer, president of Greenfield. “HullSpeed coatings solve a critical performance issue in the boat coatings marketplace, and the environmental and energy-saving potential of this technology in the commercial marine industry is staggering.”

New York Control Freaks Discuss Better Ways to Control Lighting to Save Energy

Control Freaks Will Discuss More Efficient Ways to Use Lights

Green Light New York and IESNYC, ( Illuminating Engineering Society New York City), together with Urban Green Council invited the public to hear what a panel of expert “control freaks” have to say about new ways to control the way we light our environment in order to save energy, money, and improve user comfort and worker productivity.
The panel of industry and academic experts will discuss the many aspects of lighting control systems:
•    How can we tap into the huge potential for energy savings and peak-use reduction using lighting controls while remaining aware of the challenges and pitfalls?
•    How will today’s and future technologies utilize wireless, smart grids and the internet in building efficient and usable control systems?
•    Is there a danger from emerging control technologies that they might backfire, causing users to refuse to use them when they do not perform properly?
These questions and more will be answered by Control Freaks.  Participants are required to register ahead of the panel discussion.
Sponsored by Green Light New York in conjunction with Illuminating Engineering Society, New York City Chapter

WHEN: April 12, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Digital Sandbox Network Event Center, 55 Broad Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10004
TO REGISTER: Go to the Control Freaks Web Site
ADMISSION COST: Yes and Registration is required

New York Getting Greener with Urban American Management

For Urban American Management, the owner and manager of some of New York City’s largest residential apartment buildings, going green is not a dream, but has now become a reality.

In conjunction with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, UA just finished retrofitting buildings containing upwards of 2,700 apartments, making them between 15 and 20% more energy efficient.

The president and CEO of NYSERDA, Francis J. Murray Jr. said,

“UA is working hard to set a high standard in achieving energy efficiency in multifamily housing in New York City. In most of the buildings, UA went beyond the required level of investment to meet NYSERDA objectives for installation, and we applaud their efforts as they continue to work with NYSERDA and other agencies to achieve even greater energy savings.”

UA explained that there is a “triple-bottom line” which motivated them to join with the Multifamily Performance Program (MPP) of the NYSERDA. Not only does UA save money on utilities, but that savings can be passed on to tenants making their dwellings more affordable. In addition, taking care not to harm the environment more than absolutely necessary through lowering the carbon footprint is an important part of responsible corporate behavior.

Some of the steps taken to increase energy efficiency in UA’s buildings were:

•    Window replacement
•    Boiler replacement
•    Advanced meters and submetering
•    Low-flow water fixtures and aerators in kitchens and bathrooms
•    Motion and occupancy sensors for certain common area and service lighting
•    High efficiency lighting in hallways and apartments
•    Replacement of many refrigerators and other appliances with more efficient models
•    Insulation, duct sealing, and weather stripping

“Sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of all of our properties are part of our core values. In addition to conserving energy, Urban American is committed to improving our communities by working with local entrepreneurs, creating jobs and transforming older housing stock into sustainable communities.”

said Joshua Eisenberg, a principal of Urban American and its director of sustainability.

Con Edison Recognizes Top Contractors in Energy Efficiency

On February 8th, 2012 Con Edison held a ceremony in which were recognized the Top Performing Contractors for 2011 in their energy efficiency program. These contractors helped New Yorkers save 2,350 megawatt hours of electricity, and more than 67,000 decatherms of natural gas.  Con Edison’s residential program awarded 6,700 of their customers rebates last year totaling a value of more than $3,830,000 in return for installing heating and cooling equipment with high levels of energy-use efficiency.

The top performing contractors who received awards from Con Edison were:

•    Robison Plumbing, Westchester County
•    Bob Mims Heating and Air Conditioning, Staten Island
•    Dundee Plumbing and Heating Inc., Queens
•    AFJ Plumbing & Heating, Bronx
•    6208 Home Appliances Inc., Brooklyn

Con Edison’s residential energy efficiency program welcomes all New York State licensed contractors. Con Edison customers are eligible to receive as much as $1,000 in rebates for installing highly efficient heating, ventilation and cooling systems in their homes. The goal of the program is to help customers save money while at the same time they are helping protect the environment.

For more information about this program go to Con Edison Green Team or call them at 1-877-870-6118.

Who’s Hogging the Energy? Map Shows New York’s Biggest Energy Users

Columbia University just released the results from a citywide mapping project which was undertaken to get a visual indication of how much energy is being used on individual blocks, informing citizens about how much energy each building is actually using.

With such a map it becomes easier to see which buildings are good choices for efficiency improvements and on-site energy production candidates.

“We want to start the conversation for the average New Yorker about energy efficiency and conservation by placing their energy consumption in the context of other New Yorkers. Just knowing about your own consumption can change your entire perspective,”

said PhD mechanical engineering student Bianca Howard who was the study’s lead author.