to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative
ASI Energy Snags First ENERGYSTAR for a NY Fraternity House
Thanks to the work of ASI Energy of Ithaca, a member of the TCCPI coalition, the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity House in Ithaca has become the first fraternity or sorority house in New York to undergo a comprehensive energy assessment through the state’s Home Performance With ENERGYSTAR® program. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which administers the program, recently confirmed the achievement.
Computer models indicate heating/cooling loss and air leakage in the building will be reduced by 21 percent, and the installed improvements will save the building's owner about $1,100 per year in energy costs, according to President and CEO Herbert Dwyer. The improvements included installation of cellulose insulation in the fraternity's exterior walls, repairs and improvements to doors and windows to make them more airtight, sealing gaps and holes in the attic and boiler room, and tuning up the building's boiler to make it more efficient.
Air leaks are a common problem in older buildings, and the conditioned air that property owners are paying good money for is literally being blown our, or should we say around the window," Dwyer observed. "In addition to saving $1,100 per year, the fraternity is also hedging against future risks in the energy market while becoming more energy independent and reducing its carbon footprint."
The fraternity at 106 The Knoll in Ithaca is home to students who attend Cornell University. The building is owned and maintained by Phi Delta Sigma, a housing corporation established and administered by the chapter's alumni to promote among its members excellence in leadership, academics, and service to the campus and greater community.
Phi Sigma Delta President Paul Martorano said there were two reasons for the decision to pursue the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program. "The financial incentives offered by NYSERDA through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program allowed us to do more for the building at a lower cost. We also knew that NYSERDA would have checks in place to ensure the quality of the work. From those standpoints alone, it simply made sense for us to pursue the program’s financial incentives."
NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program offers homeowners a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and home comfort while saving money. Energy assessments and upgrades are conducted by a participating Home Performance contractor accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Income-qualified homeowners are eligible for additional incentives to make energy improvements. Free or reduced-cost energy assessments and low-interest loans for energy improvements are made possible by the Green Jobs-Green New York Act of 2009.