Galef and Wishnie Sponsor NYSERDA Meeting to Review Energy Needs

July 30, 2003

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (AD 90), State Senator Vinnie Leibell, and Westchester County Legislator Richard Wishnie co-sponsored a meeting this morning with representatives of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in the Chamber of the Westchester County Board of Legislators in White Plains.

Christine Benedict, Director of Energy Affairs and Paul DeCostis, Director of Energy Analysis of NYSERDA provided an overview of the group’s organization and programmatic functions. Included was a description of how NYSERDA functions, ideas as to what it perceives as local energy needs for mow and the future, and options for energy conservation.

NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature to use innovation and technology to solve some of New York’s most difficult energy and environmental problems in ways that improve the state’s economy. NYSERDA places a premium on objective analysis as well as collaboration, reaching out to solicit multiple perspectives and share information. The organization is committed to public service, striving to be a model of what taxpayers want their government to be: effective, flexible, responsive, and efficient.

NYSERDA administers the New York Energy $mart program, which is designed to support certain public benefit program during the transition to a more competitive electricity market. Some 1100 projects in more than 30 programs are funded by a charge on the electricity transmitted and distributed by the State’s investor-owned utilities. The New York Energy $mart program provides energy efficiency services, including those directed at the low-income sector, research and development, and environmental protection activities. Federally funded, the Energy Efficiency Services program is working with more than 540 businesses, schools, and municipalities to identify existing technologies and equipment to reduce their energy costs.

Assemblywoman Galef remarked, "It is important for government officials in New York to be well-informed about the state’s energy needs and to learn about effective approaches to energy conservation. NYSERDA is offering creative solutions that should be considered by residents and businesses to help conserve our resources."

Senator Leibell said, "I am pleased to join with my colleagues in government in hosting this most important forum. Meeting New York’s energy needs over the next decade will present some of our greatest challenges. I believe this exchange will help us begin to achieve our goals."

County Legislator Wishnie stated, "In this time of energy concerns it is important for government officials to explore all possible approaches to encouraging new energy resources as well as energy conservation."

In attendance at the meeting and participating in the question and answer section were many elected officials from Westchester and Putnam County.

Please call Assemblywoman Galef’s District Office at (914) 941-1111 for more information.