SUNY Plattsburgh Receives Stimulus Funds for New Metering System
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (March 2, 2010) -- A new $375,000 grant will go a long way toward
helping SUNY Plattsburgh cut its energy usage, according to college officials.
The grant, which has been awarded to the college through federal stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will pay for a new campus metering system. The system will provide the college with information on heat, electricity and water usage in all of the buildings.
"The metering system is important because it will help us better understand what is
happening on campus when it comes to energy and water usage," said SUNY Plattsburgh
President John Ettling. "It will inform our future decision making, helping us understand
where critical energy-saving capital investments are needed as well as where behavior
needs to change, so that we can do what is right for our students and the environment."
Currently, all of the college's electrical energy usage is billed through one meter at a substation. As a result, there has been no way of monitoring usage in any given location on campus. The same is true for the campus' natural gas usage, which is measured at one meter in the central heating plant.
"Because of this set up, we have no real history of how each individual building is performing, and we don't know where our energy inefficiencies are," said Chris Jackson, the college's facilities financial manager.
The new system will change all of that.
"We will be able to know our energy usage by the hour, by the day, by the month, and we will be able to start targeting where we put our capital dollars," said Jackson.
In addition to helping campus officials plan energy-saving investments, the new system will enable the college to effectively target behavior-changing campaigns. For instance, once the system is installed, the college may utilize competitions between residence halls or academic buildings, with an eye toward reducing environmental impacts.
The grant application was submitted to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority through a partnership between SUNY Plattsburgh and the New York State Power Authority. The Power Authority paid for the design and hired the consultants.
The grant is part of the $40 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding that has been awarded to New York municipalities, public schools, universities and colleges, hospitals and non-profit agencies to support 118 energy conservation projects. The energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean fleet projects are expected to reduce energy and operating costs by $13.5 million annually and fully return the initial investment in just under seven years.
"At a time when many are working with less, we must make wise investments that both create savings and plan for our future. These funds will provide public and non-profit entities with critical resources needed to make long-term investments that will reduce their energy costs and save taxpayers money," Gov. David Paterson said Monday in a press release announcing the awards. "These projects will invigorate the state's economy, heighten the demand for clean renewable technologies, and help put New Yorkers to work in the clean energy economy. I applaud President Obama and our congressional delegation for their work to secure these critical funds that promote economic recovery, energy independence and strong environmental stewardship."
The SUNY Plattsburgh grant is the largest of six given to municipalities, schools or colleges in the North Country. Other recipients are the Malone Central School District, the Thousand Islands Central School District, Plattsburgh International Airport, the Town of Alexandria and SUNY Potsdam.