Melville Company Ameresco Identifies Energy Efficiencies That Cut Electric Bills For Long Island Businesses
(MELVILLE, NY) FEBRUARY 19, 2007 – About a dozen Long Island businesses are projected to save an estimated $2 million on their electric bills this year after upgrading lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, or other energy equipment with high efficiency energy saving products that reduce electricity demand. The companies – some of which report energy savings of up to 30 percent – are working with the Melville, NY office of Ameresco, an energy services company.
The savings are a benefit of Retrofit Energy and Capacity Program (RECAP), an energy efficiency program conceived by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). RECAP works like this. Ameresco, one of several energy services companies selected by LIPA to introduce RECAP specifically to larger commercial and industrial energy users, examines LIPA customers’ current energy equipment. If efficiencies can be made, Ameresco manages the energy efficiency project and operational modifications that reduce the ownership, operation and maintenance costs of energy-consuming systems and equipment. For its part, LIPA subsidizes up to 30 percent of the project costs.
Paybacks on the installations are generally in the one to two year range though dramatic energy cost savings are immediate. Some Ameresco customers are also realizing significant tax savings provided for by the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Already, Ameresco has handled energy efficiency equipment retrofit or replacement projects that have saved some of Long Island’s largest commercial and industrial electricity users nearly $500,000 in project costs. It’s estimated that 2,000 area businesses that oversee 5,000 different structural locations are good candidates for RECAP savings.
“Business owners on Long Island and elsewhere are leveraging programs like RECAP to improve their bottom line,” said Larry Kata who manages Ameresco’s RECAP activities out of the company’s Melville office. “In Long Island, there has never been a better opportunity for companies to save money on their electric bill by installing energy efficient equipment, or to pay less for the equipment and installation.”
Included in Ameresco’s service is a recommendation on what energy-efficient systems will offer the most savings, and a list of contractors capable of installing RECAP-approved energy efficient equipment. Ameresco has, for several years, helped businesses across the country secure rebates offered by utilities, as well as state and federal resources.
LIPA created RECAP to help its commercial customers lower their energy bills by reducing demand. Lowering demand on Long Island is critical, especially during peak summer months when electricity consumption is traditionally at its highest levels. It’s hoped that RECAP, in effect for about a year, will reduce the amount of electricity demanded by Long Island businesses of all sizes by as much as 75 megawatts (MW).
Among the area companies offsetting rising energy prices by installing more efficient energy systems that use less power are Clare Rose, Curtiss-Wright Flow Control (Target Rock Division), Four Seasons Sunrooms and King Kullen.
“The savings have been incredible and customer reaction has been very positive at the stores where we’ve upgraded,” said Stephen Mitchell, mechanical engineer at King Kullen. RECAP is part of LIPA’s overall energy supply and is in sync with the utility’s stated preference for reducing demand rather than increasing energy-producing capacity.
LIPA has contracted several other energy services companies to support its commercial customers including those assigned to work with mid-size and smaller businesses, multi-family dwellings and the public sector.
In addition to Melville, Ameresco has four other locations in New York. The company is North America’s largest and fastest growing independently held energy services company. With headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, the company is a single-source provider of comprehensive energy solutions. Ameresco is committed to developing renewable and sustainable energy generation worldwide. Visit Ameresco on the web at www.ameresco.com.