Alternatives Federal Credit Union
- Created customized, 18-month interest only “Solar Loan” program offered through partnership with installers. Originated 27 of these loans totaling over $700,000 to support implementation of solar energy systems.
- Completed Green Plus audit. Worked with Cornell University student group and Green Resource Hub to develop sustainability plans.
- Completed Solid Waste audit to identify opportunities to reduce waste in internal operations
- Sold ASI Renovations, a construction and remodeling company, so that we can fully dedicate our efforts on developing clean energy solutions
- Continued further developing Energize Ithaca;
- Energize Ithaca is an ASI Energy program that replaces various inefficient energy infrastructure currently used to power Ithaca, NY, with an innovative, highly-efficiency, low-emissions microgrid that supplies the area’s heating, cooling and electric needs with cutting-edge technology.
- Built out and moved into a brand-new office space in the corner office of South Hill Business Campus; all labor and materials were locally sourced
- Began to do work in the state of New Jersey
- Utilized Energy DiligenceSM to run financials for numerous CHP projects
- Energy DiligenceSM is ASI Energy’s world-class proprietary suite of finance tools that accurately computes the economic feasibility of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and microgrid projects.
- Energy DiligenceSM can be used before a financial commitment is made, and it can also be used after design has been completed to accurately run financial due diligence that is required for project investment.
- Installed CHP system at South Hill Business Campus:
- Annual electric savings of 2,890,564 kWh
- Peak demand savings of 350kW
- Overall efficiency of system close to 90%
- Capable of producing 4,000,000 kWh annually
- Reduce 25,000 tons CO2 annually
- Red Cross Certified Place of Refuge
Black Oak Wind Farm
- Signed 10-year power purchase agreement with Cornell University
- Final Environmental Impact Statement accepted as complete by Town of Enfield
- Completed final interconnection study to the grid
- Got FAA approval for siting of project
- Opened third equity investment round
- Put project out to bid
- Placed orders for electrical transformers
Cayuga Medical Center
- Received LEED for our new Clinical Laboratory building
- Worked on submittal for LEED certification for the Surgical Services building addition
- Submitted for LEED certification for the newly constructed Cayuga Birthplace
- Explored feasibility of remote net metering for possible solar system
- Completed a study and approved 2015 capital funding for a new Chilled Water Loop project, which will have significant impact on winter cooling needs and water consumption reduction
City of Ithaca
- Began a new sustainability partnership with the Town of Ithaca through creation of a shared Sustainability Coordinator position
- Participated in the Residential Energy Score Project, along with four other municipalities in Tompkins County. NYSERDA Funding secured, consultant contracts signed, 18-month project officially kicked off
- Obtained resolution to sign a Power Purchase Agreement with Solar City for a 2-megawatt solar farm on Tompkins County property
- PV system will provide about 30% of City government electrical energy needs at below market-rate prices, with significant GHG emissions reductions
- Adopted a stormwater local law that incentivizes green infrastructure improvements
- Purchased Renewable Energy Credits for 100% of City government electricity use
- Enrolled as a Founding Adopter in the emerging 2030 District project
- As part of the program, City Hall will try to help meet the collective goal of being 50% better than the national median in energy use by 2030
- Tracked energy and water use in 12 City facilities using Portfolio Manager, an online energy and GHG emissions tracking software
- Began discussing legislation to enable property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing
- Helped organize events in City for, and promoted in general, the Solar Tompkins program, which surpassed the goal of doubling solar capacity in the County in one year
- Supported successful NYSERDA Grant proposal for electric vehicle feasibility study
- Continued publishing Ithaca Sustainability newsletter and Facebook page
- Supported the operations of the Sustainability Center through City staff board membership
- Joined the Urban Sustainability Directors Network
- Marked five-year anniversary of joining NYS DEC’s Climate Smart Communities
Climate Justice Youth Network
- Completed Assessment of TCCPI Youth organizing program reach and resource use and transitioned program development into community relationship building, primarily with the leaders and members of long standing community institutions focused on social justice and equity. Relationship building is leading to collaborative program building with a focus on social justice and equity, in addition to climate justice, in 2015.
- Community Events and Organizations
- Joined Building Bridges Steering Committee
- Joined Planning Committee for Juneteenth Festival, Southside Community Center
- Joined Planning Board, International Youth Arts and Culture Festival
- Partnered with CULTURA Ithaca for community play, “Upon the Fragile Shore”
- Trainings Attended
- It Takes Roots Action Camp with the Climate Justice Alliance
- Training for Social Action Trainers and Advanced Training for Trainers, with Training for Change
- From Scarcity to Abundance: Cultivating Diverse Leadership for Ecologically Sound, Inclusive and Just Communities, with the Natural Leaders Initiative
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (CCETC)
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
- In the early part of 2014, CCETC continued to support the Solarize Tompkins SE pilot program as we worked to help shape the countywide Solar Tompkins program. CCETC was the driving force behind making the program much more inclusive than other Solarize programs, and more able to meet the needs of both area residents and solar installers. Ultimately, Solar Tompkins conducted more than 60 community workshops over a roughly 2-month period, led by program director Melissa Kemp. Working with three "installer partners" (one made up of a partnership between two local firms: Taitem Engineering and ETM Solar; with Renovus and Astrum being the other two firms), the program enrolled more than 1300 homeowners, resulting in more than 400 contracts signed, making it one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. Installations are continuing into the summer of 2015; once completed, this will more than double the amount of residential solar in Tompkins County
- CCETC was instrumental in the adoption of the Solar Diversity Apprenticeship by “installer partners”, providing opportunities for local disadvantaged workers, for good jobs in the solar industry. This program will continue in the Renewable NY program below. Received NYSERDA funding for promoting solar energy in the four western southern tier counties (Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung and Tompkins) as part of a multi-region, three-year project called Renewable NY. Other partners will support solar expansion in the eastern southern tier, and parts of the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Program will take place 2015-2017.
- Collected data on road culvert capacity as part of assisting communities to prep for the increased number and intensity of storms predicted as the climate continues to change. Data were used to improve a model that tags culverts for their capacity to handle different size storms now and in the future. Communities can use the information to prioritize where to expend resources. The project will continue into 2015 and is part of a suite of activities around flood resiliency.
- Led a successful effort by a public/private consortium to secure funding for the development of a regional bulk wood pellet distribution system across the Southern Tier. The infrastructure will be installed in 2015 and when in place will facilitate the transition of thousands of homes and commercial buildings from fossil fuels to wood pellets for space heating. Projections of annual GHG emissions reductions are in the thousands of tons.
- Received NYSERDA funding for a woodstove change-out program to incentivize homeowners to switch from outdoor woodburners or old indoor woodstoves to high efficiency wood pellet burners. Program will roll out in 2015.
- Launched at the Lansing Residential Facility the Energy Warriors curriculum for training youth in residential detention facilities on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The curriculum is intended to introduce youth to potential careers and give them opportunities to develop associated skills. The program will be expanding to two more facilities in NYS in 2015. Plans are underway for the second phase of the training which will include on the-job training in select home communities to which the youth return when they leave the residential facilities.
- Developed an Excel-based tool for calculating the potential for job creation, cumulative money saved and greenhouse gas emissions reduction with the transition from heating oil or LPG to wood pellets in the 8 counties of the Southern Tier. Once rolled out, the tool will be used to help policymakers and others in the region understand the enormous economic potential of transitioning from fossil fuels to wood pellets for space heat.
- Provided strong support to the GetYourGreenBack campaign described elsewhere in this document. That program has reached tens of thousands of county residents and helped thousands of them take new steps to save energy and money while creating jobs and reducing GHG emissions.
- Our own outreach and education programs related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, carried out under various CCE brands in Tompkins County, reached over 20,000 individuals in 2014, including over 65,000 unique visitors to our energy efficiency and renewable energy web pages.
- The Energy Corps, a group of approximately 8 university students in Tompkins County, continued their outreach and education efforts and greatly contributed to the successful residential retrofit outreach and education campaigns that resulted in the highest rates in the state.
- Received NYSERDA funding with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative to create a 2030 District that will showcase ways to significantly reduce the environmental impacts of building construction and operations, while maximizing Ithaca’s economic viability and profitability for building owners, managers, and developers.
- In collaboration with Ithaca College, NYSEG, and PPM Homes, CCE has been implementing a four-year comprehensive energy efficiency curriculum for IC students known as SHORE (South Hill Outreach Rental Experience). Workshops are implemented both on and off campus by a number of collaborators, including IC.
- Residential Life, Peer Educators, Landlords, and the South Hill Neighborhood Association. The program is creating “Certified Tenants,” students who have the information and skills they will need for energy-efficient off-campus living.
- The Residential Energy Score Project, RESP, in collaboration with the Towns of Danby, Ulysses, Caroline, the Town of Ithaca, the City of Ithaca, and the Tompkins County Planning Department, CCE is designing an energy rating system for homes. The “Energy Score” of a home will inform buyers of the level of energy efficiency of a home that is on the market. The goal of this project is to make energy efficiency a significant part of the market for home sales.
- The Smart Energy Policy Initiative is guided by an ad hoc group including representatives from local municipalities, Tompkins County Planning, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative. The initiative is designed to identify actions local governments in Tompkins County can take in the near term to help accelerate the transition to a more efficient, renewable energy future. The group has identified three main areas of work, including policies that support the adoption of renewable energy, improving the understanding of Energy Codes and review processes, and providing energy ratings of buildings that will allow renters or purchasers of property to make more informed choices. These actions will benefit municipalities and their residents by clarifying and streamlining steps to greater energy efficiency and CO2 reductions.
- Button UP! is a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Park Foundation. The Initiative started its pilot effort in Enfield endorsed by the Enfield Town Council, and Enfield Neighbors for Clean Air and Water. This initiative was created to help residents of Enfield tighten up their homes in order to use less energy, save money, and be more comfortable. We are holding short informational sessions for local groups, businesses, or clubs to give people information, and organizing in-home do-it-yourself sessions where people can invite friends or neighbors into their home for a hands-on session to learn simple ways to tighten up their house. The effort has been embraced by small groups of friends and church groups.
Alternative Modes of Transportation
- The Way2Go Transportation Education program continues to provide thousands of people a year with information and opportunities to switch from the use of single occupancy vehicles to a wide range of alternatives. Won the NYSERDA Smart Trips award.
- Received NYSERDA funding with Ithaca Carshare and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance to conduct individualized outreach in downtown Ithaca to educate residents about the benefits of using sustainable transportation options in 2015-2016.
- Produced an educational video educating audiences about sustainable transportation options in Tompkins County.
- Reached thousands of county residents through two Streets Alive! events and Bike to Work Day in 2014. These events provide education, encouragement and resources for residents interested in biking and walking for transportation.
- Developed a crowd funding website which has been used for fundraising for energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change education and awareness building campaigns. The site has been especially effective in helping young people raise money for their energy and climate action campaigns.
- The campus carbon neutrality goal was accelerated to 2035 from 2050.
- Cornell signed a contract to purchase all of the electricity produced by the proposed community-owned Black Oak Wind Farm for 10 years.
- The 2MW Cornell Snyder Road Solar Farm came online September 19, 2014, supplying 1% of Cornell’s electricity.
- Cornell contracted with Distributed Sun, LLC to successfully seek funding from NYSERDA to construct a 2MW solar farm on Cornell property in the Town of Seneca. Upon completion in 2014 it will supply about 40% of Cornell’s Geneva NYS Agricultural Experiment Station’s electricity.
- Cornell actively engaged in the NYS Public Service Commission matter 14-00847 regarding net metering for renewable energy projects.
- The Think Big Live Green sustainability engagement campaign expanded to the College of Human Ecology following a successful pilot in the College of Engineering. This year’s energy reduction competition netted $23k in savings.
- 30 more buildings were added to the interactive Building Dashboard with real-time energy use data and information to (it now includes more than 80 campus buildings).
- The ECOReps student development program was expanded
- ECOReps became a capstone class for the ESS major
- A new sustainability orientation video and survey was created and distributed to all incoming students
- Numerous Energy Conservation Initiative projects have been completed and energy savings documented. Selected projects include:
- New LED lights Illuminate Sports Venues’ Vibrancy
- Ives Hall Complex ECI Project Saves $280,000 and 410 Tons CO2 Annually
- Langmuir Lab Chiller Replacement Project Saves $6,000 and 23 Tons CO2 Annually
- Malott Hall, ECI Project Saves $30,000 and 60 Tons CO2 Annually
- New Statler Entryway to Lower Energy Costs for Hotel School
- Emerson Hall Controls Energy Conservation Project Saves $54,000 and 107 Tons C02e Annually
- Vet Education Center Energy Conservation Project Saves $21,000 and 55 Tons CO2 Annually
- Riley Robb Heat Recovery Energy Conservation Project Saves $35,000 & 61 Tons CO2e Annually
- Emerson Heat Recovery Energy Conservation Project Saves $25K and 48 tons/per CO2e Annually
- Kinzelberg Hall Energy Conservation Project Saves $181,000 and 575 tons/per of CO2eAnnually
- Duffield Hall Control Upgrade Energy Conservation Project Saves $221,500 & 550 Tons CO2e Annually
- Wilson Lab Lighting Energy Conservation Project Saves $5,700 & 36 Tons CO2e Annually
- The 2014 Holiday Setback Program saved $95,000.
- The Law school addition was certified LEED platinum.
- The Lights Off Cornell student group continues to recruit volunteers to turn off lights in campus buildings – to date they’ve turned off nearly 550K lights, saving more than 82K kg of CO2.
- The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future provided significant faculty and student funding investing in projects and people at the intersection of energy, environment, and economic development. Funding includes 12 projects selected for the 2014 AVF awards including Biofuel Surrogates for Transportation Fuels, Healthy Living in Smart Cities, Greening Greenhouses with Yard Waste, and Bioenergy from Dairy Manure.
- Overall Cornell has added nearly 15% square footage, about 2 million gsf since 2000. Due to the Energy Conservation Initiative investments, there has been a slight decrease in budgeted annual sales of total metered energy for heating, cooling and electricity negating all load growth due to expansion and renovation.
- Every major high bay Athletics space plus Barton Hall and Stocking Hall Food Science Laboratory were all retrofit to LED lighting with an expected savings of over 2 million kWhr annually, about 1% of total campus usage and nearly equivalent to the Snyder Road Solar Farm.
- Major ECI projects were completed during the year at very large buildings on campus totaling $6 million. The projects included the Veterinary Medical Center, Baker Laboratory, and S.T. Olin Chemistry.
Downtown Ithaca Alliance
- The DIA continues to work on a transit corridor plan to improve bus service between downtown Ithaca and the campus communities. Downtown Ithaca is the regional transit hub for Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT), which was recently recognized by its industry peers as being the best transit system of its size in North America. TCAT contributes greatly to the community by reducing traffic congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and the cost of building parking facilities. Its fleet currently includes eight electric-diesel hybrid buses
- Downtown Ithaca is home to the headquarters of Ithaca Carshare, a non-profit carsharing service with a fleet of 23 fuel-efficient vehicles shared by over 1,300 members. Users can save hundreds of dollars per month in avoided gas, maintenance, and insurance costs while reducing traffic congestion, pollution, and space and money devoted to parking. Independent studies show that for each Carshare vehicle, over 15 privately-owned vehicles come off the road.
- Press Bay Alley, two blocks southwest of the Ithaca Commons, serves as a pickup spot for the Full Plate Farm Collective CSA each Thursday. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a cooperative relationship between a farmer and consumers; consumers commit to buying a crop “share” and growers commit to growing that amount of produce. Full Plate Farm Collective farms grow over 50 acres of organic vegetables and share the vision of building community, farming with integrity, and growing high-quality food with fair prices for all involved.
- Downtown Ithaca is a “Walker’s Paradise.” That’s according to Walk Score, a tool that rates the walkability of over 10,000 neighborhoods throughout the continent. The numerical Walk Score for the Ithaca Commons is 94 out of a possible 100, signifying that daily errands do not require a car. Our Walk Score is just five percentage points shy of midtown Manhattan’s; by contrast, Cayuga Heights ranks in at 32. We were also listed as number one on MSN Real Estate’s “Ten Cities Where You Want to Walk to Work.”
- There are over $140 million of private smart growth projects planned and underway in downtown Ithaca. With so many multi-story buildings close together and sharing walls, there are tremendous savings in heating, power, and the delivery of essential municipal services. When new construction occurs downtown, it takes advantage of this sustainable platform and conserves land by building upwards rather than outwards. Moreover, downtown projects decrease dependence on automobiles and increase walkability and access to public transit. The DIA continues to advocate for zoning changes that incentivize downtown density.
- Downtown Ithaca is an important green retailing showcase, with at least 14 independent, locally-owned stores that specialize in reused and recycled products. Explains Karim Beers, coordinator of the Get Your GreenBack Tompkins campaign, “Making stuff is very energy intensive; it constitutes ten percent of our carbon footprint. Shopping at reuse stores means no additional energy was used.” Such stores include Sheldon Hill Vintage & Estate Jewelry, SewGreen, and Home Green Home.
- The newly rebuilt Commons will boast many sustainable features. The project aims to greatly increase energy efficiency by upgrading antiquated water, gas, sanitary sewer, and storm utilities. The surface will also include such green-friendly amenities as native-species trees and planters, bike racks, and solar-powered trash and recycling compactors. The DIA also received a grant to showcase local sustainability-related initiatives using the new touch screen kiosks on the Commons and has convened a focus group of sustainability leaders to help guide this program.
- Downtown living is sustainable living. According to the Center for Sustainable Economy, a couple living in an apartment in downtown Ithaca, using TCAT, and adopting excellent green habits (e.g. unplugging appliances, composting, buying organic food) would have a carbon footprint approximately 34 percent of the national average. A couple with the same commendable habits but residing in a single-family home outside of town and commuting in a mid-size car would be at 76 percent.
- The DIA has implemented composting and recycling systems for its major downtown events, including Apple Harvest Festival, the Summer Concert Series, and Chili Cook-Off, which are attended by over 100,000 locals and tourists. Local service organizations like the Cornell Rotaract Club have helped to oversee these composting stations. Additionally, the DIA has coordinated a shared recycling and trash compactor program to encourage proper disposal of recyclable materials generated by over 300 businesses and residents on and around the Commons.
- The DIA has prepared a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan with the immediate goal of removing 300 private vehicles from the city garage system. This will optimize downtown land use and taxpayer revenue by forestalling the construction of a new garage. It will also reduce carbon emissions by millions of pounds and promote health, social engagement, and employee goodwill. The DIA has collaborated with Ithaca Carshare and Cornell Cooperative Extension to secure state funding for an individualized marketing pilot program that will offer one-on-one planning assistance and a suite of new transit services (including remote parking and an emergency ride home program) to newcomers in downtown Ithaca.
- Downtown Ithaca is now home to a Coltivare, a farm-to-table restaurant and bar as well as a major culinary education facility. Coltivare, an initiative of Tompkins Cortland Community College, offers a unique hands-on experience alongside working professionals for students studying sustainable food systems and entrepreneurship. The team aims to find all their menu items within a 300-mile radius, with some food sourced from the college’s own farm. Their new waste management system, which reduces food scraps to a grain-like compostable material to be used by the farm, is the first of its kind in the United States.
- Energize Ithaca continues to move forward with its strategy to create a mini-nodal, combined heat and power program that proposes to reduce downtown’s carbon footprint by 40 percent. The first node will be in the Center Ithaca building.
Finger Lakes Land Trust
- During 2014, the Land Trust added 25 acres of forest to the Roy H. Park Preserve in Dryden – providing additional buffer to Six Mile Creek – the source of Ithaca’s drinking water supply.
- We also conveyed 86 acres in this same area to New York State as an addition to Yellow Barn State Forest.
- In Lansing, we completed a conservation easement on 45 acres of wooded hillside overlooking Cayuga Lake.
- In addition, we completed an easement in Cayuga County that will protect more than 3,000 feet of undeveloped shoreline on the lake.
- Just over the hill from Tompkins County, we acquired a 16-acre addition to Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area.
- We continued our successful Story Walk program for children and also offered a variety of outdoor educational programs at no cost to the public.
Finger Lakes ReUse Center
Community ReUse Centers
The intent of the Community ReUse Center model is to maximize convenience and offer a robust portal to exchange used goods in high volumes effectively, exemplify best practices in the reuse industry, use the storefronts as powerful outreach points for messaging to the general public, and share strategies to enable other communities to maximize the diversion of materials currently being overlooked and transform used materials into valuable local resources.
- Collaborated with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County to design an Online Business Plan Template available for NYS communities and beyond to efficiently develop their own, independently operated Community ReUse Centers, supported by a grant from the NYS Pollution Prevention Initiative (NYSP2I). The project was successful and NYSP2I has committed more resources to the project in 2015.
- Purchased a highly visible property on Elmira Road in the City of Ithaca to be developed into the future home of the Ithaca ReUse Center, to expand upon and provided added convenience to the Triphammer ReUse Center, opened in 2008.
- We received notification that we will be granted $1.89 million from NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Southern Tier program to assist us in the future development of a new, LEED-certified project involving additional buildings on the 2.4 acre parcel purchased earlier in the year.
- Presented on the Community ReUse Center model at the national Reuse Alliance conference, ReuseConEx, in Austin TX, attracting the attention of the Cascade Alliance, a national effort to provide in-depth technical assistance to organizations who want to expand capacity to “provide jobs for vulnerable populations through waste-based industries”. This is supported by a major grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
- Sold more than 90,000 items through the Triphammer ReUse Center in 2014, generating revenues exceeding $400,000, and diverting more than 350,000 pounds from landfills.
- Total labor for the organization includes 18 living wage employees, 2,400 trainee hours, and more than 18,000 volunteer hours (averaging 39 individuals each month).
eCenter Computer Refurbishing Program
Technology is a priority for ReUse, due to the particularly energy-intensive processes of mining and extracting raw materials, to the also energy-intensive processes of recycling materials at end of life.
- 247 refurbished computers were sold in 2014
- 80 refurbished printers sold in 2014 (with 100% volunteer effort)
- Logged more than 2,700 volunteer hours in the eCenter program alone
ReSET Job Skills Training Program
ReUse Skills & Employment Training (ReSET) is designed to offer mutual benefit to both the trainees and the efforts to maximize waste diversion from landfills. In ReSET Tech, in exchange for assistance in assessing, processing, troubleshooting, and installing new software on used hardware, local employers volunteer to train on varying field-relevant sessions including networking
- ReSET trainees tested and refurbished more than 1,000 items in 2014, including keyboards, mice, optical drives, power supplies, desktop and laptop computers, at an estimated resale value exceeding $30,000.
Get Your Greenback Tompkins
Green Benefit Package
- We further explored supporting large employers to incorporate incentives for green behaviors into the list of benefits and perks offered to employees. While some progress has been made with one employer (Cornell) towards implementation, we are nowhere near the 20 employers we aimed to have. We are, however, much more aware of the gap between the type and amount of effort needed for the approach, and the immediate resources available to HR departments to implement such changes.
- Working with Local First Ithaca and dozens of local businesses, we compiled roughly 20 coupons in a well-designed educational booklet which was distributed to over 500 employees at the college of Engineering and other staff through the college’s office. The coupon book provided an easy to implement solution that did not require new policies or procedures, and could be readily incorporated into existing routines.
Reduced Commercial Building Energy Costs
- GYGB helped translate initial discussions into a concrete plan for commercial building outreach, market broadly and recruit a dozen participants, including GYGB coalition members, for the workshop set to begin in January 2015.
- Get Your GreenBack also designed a handout for commercial buildings that compiles existing programs and incentives for saving energy and money. This handout along with a recruitment flyer for the workshop, is included in the attached appendices document.
- Finally, GYGB has directly helped at least four faith communities connect with resources to help them reduce their energy use and waste.
- GYGB supported Solarize Tompkins outreach, co-sponsoring a standing-room only meeting held at GIAC in July, and creating outreach materials and a calculator designed to address concerns of people with limited outcomes.
- Supported Streets Alive!, helping incorporate into it other diverse community events and energy, like Culture Fest over at the Skate Park, and Earth Day at Boynton.
- Worked with the organizers of Green Building Open House to incorporate 1,000 energy assessment forms and a list of local contractors into the maps handed out for the tour. The printing costs for the forms were covered by the local energy contractors.
- GYGB helped expand Bike to Work & School Day to rural areas, recruiting four breakfast stations through coalition contacts in Danby, Caroline, Dryden and Trumansburg.
- Built on our first year’s effort to support low-income families to grow some of their own food by formalizing a network of gardeners, educators, community organizers, and emergency food distributors. Over 500 households received plants, seeds, and sometimes soil and pots to grow nutritious vegetables.
- Initiated discussion around getting City of Ithaca Walk-Friendly Community designation, and helped the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council take on the project
- Built on growing network of 40+ reuse stores, updated print directory, and created online reuse directory. The costs of design, printing, and web development were all covered by contributions from 16 stores and Tompkins County Solid Waste, raising over $2,000.
The campaign also helped spearhead new initiatives:
- Together with Way2Go, created a carpooling competition called the Coolest Carpool Challenge. Initially a pilot for five employers, we had 10 organizations participating. Results:
- 27 Carpool Teams with 66 members
- 4,262 shared miles, which means 5,872 miles and almost 3 tons of CO2 emissions avoided
- $3,523 saved (Each member saved an average of $53 by carpooling in one week. If they continued at the same level of carpooling each carpooler would save almost $3000 a year.)
- 27 miles is the average one-way distance travelled by regular carpoolers
- ~50% increase in new members and posts in Jan and Feb 2014 on zimride.com, the ridesharing platform used locally, compared to 10 previous months
- Collaborated with CCE Tompkins Energy Team on targeted outreach in Enfield to “Button Up” homes. Provided GIS analysis of homes that are in the best position to upgrade.
- Recently hired student intern to develop online and print directories for CSA farmers. Also helped develop CSA PSAs, and connected CCE educator with workplaces interested in CSA workplace drop-offs. The GYGB director also met with a representative of the Cayuga Center for Healthy Living to discuss the possibility of their doctors and nurses “prescribing CSAs”. There was initial interest, which the director will follow up on.
- Currently developing collaborative initiatives to encourage adoption of wood pellet stoves, hunting and fishing, upgrading cars, working with businesses, including banks, non-profits, and large employers. Already, for example, Alternatives, CFCU, and two used-car dealerships have expressed interest in working together on an initiative to promote fuel-efficient cars.
- The campaign directly supported eight CEOs, including four youth CEOs over the year. They have cumulatively engaged several hundred community members from under-represented populations in conversations and activities related to the four areas of the campaign.
- Youth CEOs helped organize the youth festival and network. Other examples of CEO projects include a community garden in Groton, energy efficiency support for low-income renters, and making local, affordable food more accessible. A more comprehensive assessment of CEO impact is planned for January 2015.
- Aside from the youth CEOs, the campaign engaged many other young people in the work of the campaign. The campaign coordinator worked with interns from Ithaca High School, Ithaca College, and Cornell University. Some of them have said that their experience with the campaign has influenced their study and career decisions.
Other efforts the campaign has supported:
- Supporting ICSD Green Team in big picture, system change planning
- Interfaith Climate Justice Action Network Steering Committee member
- GYGB coordinator is a Bike Walk Tompkins Steering Committee member; led group to hire director, and building up institutional capacity
- Supported GIAC Conservation Corps, creating experiential learning activities around transportation, energy and food.
- Helped CCE Tompkins Green Team implement waste reduction strategy, reducing office landfill waste by 60% in last 6 months
- Supported Ithaca Sustainability coordinator with planning and strategy, also in regular contact with Sustainability Center and Sustainable Tompkins. Actively contributed to City, Town of Ithaca, and County Comprehensive Plans.
- Spoke at Interfaith Climate Justice series and joined Steering Committee
- Supported Food and Energy Teams at CCE-Tompkins
- The GYGB educational booklet was published in January. The county planning office paid for 1,000 copies, of which half have been used and distributed in schools, libraries, and other non-profits. CEOs and interns have found them particularly useful.
- GYGB’s coordinator participated in a few staff development opportunities, most notably the five-day Collective Impact Summit in Toronto (funded by a competitive grant from the Community Foundation); a five-day NLI Sustainability Leadership course; and a Poverty simulation led by TC Action. He also taught himself SEO (Search Engine Optimization) basics which he has used to improve the visibility of the Reuse Tompkins online directory.
- We have begun a process of re-envisioning the GYGB Website. After finishing registering steps in May 2015, traffic on the site has subsided. Conceptual sketches of a new site that will provide focused attention on key steps for both individuals and organizations have been made.
- The campaign has continued to connect with faculty and graduate students from the universities, exploring potential partnerships for action-research with them. Connections include with a professor and PhD student from Human Ecology at Cornell, and marketing and physical education at Ithaca College.
- GYGB contributed in a modest way to activities that may have led to increased financial support for TCAT, including speaking to TCAT’s board at its annual meeting, and writing a letter to the editor
- Through connections made at the Collective Impact Summit, the coordinator is in contact with two Canadian counterparts who lead environmental organizations in college towns of Guelph and Petersborough. We speak monthly and use each other for ideas and support.
- Following HOLT's 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2013, with Keynote speaker Ed Mazria, who introduced the concept of 2030 Districts as a structure for achieving reductions in energy and water use, and carbon footprints of urban buildings by 2030, HOLT President, Graham Gillespie, and Associate, Andrew Gil, attended the first 2030 District national summit with TCCPI ED Peter Bardaglio. Following that, an “Ithaca 2030 District”” exploratory committee was formed. As interest and the viability of forming an Ithaca 2030 District coalesced, HOLT Architects committed to an annual $30,000 in-kind contribution of Andrew’s time. Andrew was appointed to the Ithaca 2030 District Steering Committee. Throughout 2014, seven (7) property owners submitted signed pledges of commitment, and HOLT created an on-line “Ithaca 2030 Map” via Google maps.
- Having become signatory to both Architecture 2030 and AIA 2030, HOLT continues to monitor energy efficiency performance of all projects, and submits annual energy use data of all projects with AIA2030.
- HOLT’s SUNY Buffalo Educational Opportunity Center project was awarded LEED Gold certification. Sustainable design and construction attributes achieved include a documented energy cost savings of 25.3% compared to a code-compliant baseline building.
- HOLT’s SUNY Broome’s Natural Science Center project was awarded LEED Silver certification. Sustainable design and construction attributes achieved include a documented energy cost savings of 52.8% compared to a code-complaint baseline building (a noteworthy achievement given the inefficient “once-through” HVAC design system of a laboratory building necessitated by the potential indoor air toxicity).
- HOLT’s Cayuga Medical Center Laboratory Addition project was awarded LEED certification. Sustainable design and construction attributes achieved include a documented energy cost savings of 20.5% compared to a code-complaint baseline building (a noteworthy achievement given the inefficient “once-through” HVAC design system of a laboratory building necessitated by the potential indoor air toxicity).
- HOLT’s Park Foundation Offices completed LEED certification documentation sufficient to achieve a Gold certification. The certification process is still open pending final submission of additional credits.
- HOLT Associate Andrew Gil was appointed a member of the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative Steering Committee.
- In-house, HOLT promotes a cleaner, greener office through composting, reducing and recycling waste, and moving towards paperless correspondence and record-keeping, and construction administration practices through use of the "HOLT Cloud."
In the spring 2014, the Office of Energy Management and Sustainability, reporting through the Vice President for Finance and Administration is formed, consolidating efforts to achieve the goals established in the Climate Action Plan.
- Ongoing work on improving the energy efficiency of our campus facilities through collaboration with the Office of Facilities.
- Installed Synchronous Belt Drives in Air-Handling Applications: greater efficiency and requires less maintenance
- Ongoing lighting replacement: LED’s installed to replace fluorescent and HID completed at Dillingham Performing Arts Center: James J. Whalen Center for Music; Facilities Administration Building; and Warehouse. Next building on our list: Gannett Library.
- Portions of campus parking lot lighting continue to be upgraded to use new LED lamps.
- Wrapping up a multi-year campus-wide energy studies and retrocommissiong project.
- Continuation of our green cleaning program
- Achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification - the only higher-ed print shop in New York State to do so.
- We offer and encourage use of surplus, recycled, & remanufactured furniture instead of new. Energy savings from the use of remanufactured furniture from the Hill Center addition and renovation:
- Equivalent to energy use for 722 average American homes for one day.
- Diverted 10 tons of material from dumpsters/landfills. (~ 2-1/2 tractor trailers full!)
- Diverted ~ 6,250 lbs. CO2 compared to manufacturing new products.
- Ithaca College continues to support alternative transportation modes, including offering 100% support for faculty/staff willing to use local transit services, and underwriting about 30% of purchased TCAT student bus passes.
- In addition, Ithaca College underwrites support for members of our campus community to become Ithaca Carshare members. Ithaca College also collaborated with Cornell and Tompkins Cortland Community College and other transportation to create Zimride Tompkins, a local four-portal community rideshare system.
- TCAT expanded their bus service to the College Circle Apartments
- The College also continues to meet with local transportation planners to strategize how to improve pedestrian and bicycling connectivity and safety between the College and downtown as well as increase transit support to the campus.
Resource and Environmental Management Program
- The REMP program continues to work with EcoReps encourage the campus community to encourage participate in energy and water conservation, and waste reduction efforts, especially in the areas of recycling and composting. EcoReps create “Installments”, one-page newsletters that advocate for more sustainable, less resource consumptive practices. Starting in the fall of 2015, all resident hall floors will have one volunteer EcoReps.
- The Office of Facilities continues to work with departments to retrofit traditional water fountains to water bottle fill stations, which assists our efforts to minimize the use of disposable water bottles.
- In 2014, Ithaca College again participated in RecycleMania, placing very highly in the Composting category (#15 out of 164 competing schools, three places up from 2013).
- EcoReps conducted energy studies of office electronics and lighting.
- EcoReps replaced incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs with LED’s in task lighting at the East and West Towers residence halls.
- Departments that present courses that focus on climate and energy issues include: Art History, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, History, Health Sciences and Human Performance, Math, Communications, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, and Writing.
- The First Year Residential Experience continues to work with faculty and staff associates to link the ICC themes to extracurricular student learning experiences for students living in campus residence halls. The Residence Hall Association held their first Residence Hall Energy Competition in the spring of 2014. The second annual event is March and April 2015.
- Fall 2014 the inaugural EcoFest was held to inform the Ithaca College community of our sustainability efforts and to foster collaboration between students, faculty and staff towards achieving the goals of the Climate Action Plan
- The Office of Energy Management and Sustainability collaborated with the Wellness Clinic with programs on sustainability in lunchtime seminars.
Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services
- Green Housing Development: INHS has become a national leader in the development of green affordable housing. Over the past two years, INHS has competed over 70 new rental and homeowner housing units that incorporate extensive green features. The 50-unit Breckenridge Place Apartments has been certified as LEED Platinum. INHS’s Holly Creek townhomes were awarded a Department of Energy Challenge Innovation Award for affordable housing. INHS has an ambitious pipeline of over 400 new or renovated housing units, nearly all of which will be LEED certified. INHS is committed to smart growth principles so its new housing is built in places with full municipal services; easy access to public transportation; and close to shopping, recreation, and jobs.
- Permanently Affordable Housing: In 2010, INHS launched its Community Housing Trust program, which guarantees that the homes that its sells to buyers with modest incomes remain permanently affordable to future homebuyers. The Community Housing Trust produces high quality homes that are sold at below-market prices. Deed restrictions ensure that the valuable public subsidies that enhance affordability are utilized to their maximum benefit and that these homes remain community assets. INHS also provides new buyers with extensive homebuyer education services and affordable financing alternatives, both of which help to guarantee long-term affordability for the home buyers.
- Energy Efficient Rental Housing: INHS analyzed and upgraded the energy efficiency of its existing 164-unit rental portfolio. Insulation, air sealing, heating system upgrades, high efficiency lighting, reduced water consumption, and heat exchangers were the primary tools used to upgrade these 100+ year-old buildings. The INHS program has been cited as a model for other rental property programs throughout New York.
- Non-Profit Leadership: INHS staff has been active at the national, state and local levels in the creation of new tools and new programs to promote green, energy-efficient housing. On the national level, Executive Director Paul Mazzarella has helped to secure over $100 million in new loan capital for affordable housing development through his service on the board of Community Housing Capital, a national lending corporation. Scott Reynolds, Director of Real Estate Development, was instrumental in the creation of the LEED for Homes program and plays an active role with NYSERDA, the US Green Building Council and private consultants in the development of new housing technologies. Houses developed by INHS incorporate new construction methods and are being monitored for long-term energy performance. Locally, INHS staff is very involved in a county-wide effort to enhance the energy efficiency of existing homes.
- Green Organization Certification: INHS has been certified by the national non-profit NeighborWorks America as a NeighborWorks Green Organization. This designation certifies that INHS complies with green standards across all aspects of its operations, including everything from the purchase of office supplies to pesticide free lawn care. The NeighborWorks network consists of 240 non-profit housing organizations that work in all 50 states. To date, only a handful have achieved the NeighborWorks Green Organization status.
Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council
- Much of the ITCTC effort went into completing the 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan. The document can be viewed at www.tompkinscountyny.gov/itctc. The plan includes ambitious goals to shift transportation away from drive-alone automobile dependency to having a higher percentage of trips using other shared and active transportation modes: transit, carshare, rideshare, walking, bicycling.
- On December 2014 Tompkins County was awarded a NYSERDA grant to conduct an Electric Vehicle (EV) Feasibility Analysis. This project will study strategies and technologies for EV recharging stations, with particular attention to local (Ithaca-Tompkins County) conditions. The ITCTC will manage the project, which will be implemented starting in 2015.
- In 2014, 618 new Ithaca Carshare members reported that they would sell or avoid the purchase of 185 vehicles.
- 1,400 members took a combined 17,418 trips totaling 237,839 miles. That comes out to only 12.5 trips and 169 miles per member per year.
- Fleetwide fuel economy was 16% above the national average. Meanwhile overall fuel consumption was the lowest it has been since 2010, thanks to the fuel-efficient fleet including eleven Toyota Prius C hybrids.
- As a result of the shifted driving habits of these members and higher than average fuel economy, an estimated 20,600 gallons of gasoline and 256 metric tons of carbon dioxide were avoided.
- The low-income Easy Access membership plan, which subsidizes regular membership costs by more than half and reduces financial barriers to getting started with carsharing, supported 58 individuals over the course of the year.
- Partnering with the County Planning Department, Learn@EcoVillage wrapped up a four- year EPA Climate Showcase Communities grant which demonstrated that with the inclusion of standard rooftop PV, it is both practical to build net-zero or near net-zero energy homes that provide extremely high levels of resident satisfaction, and can be constructed at costs comparable to other high quality new homes. Most data comes from EcoVillage's third neighborhood, "TREE." For more information, read the final report:http://community-that-works.org/docs/FinalReport.pdf
- EcoVillage's third neighborhood TREE finished 25 homes, all of which meet LEED Platinum, with 7 certified by the Passive House Institute of the U.S.(out of only 84 certified PH buildings in the U.S.)
- Two out of 11 TREE homes studied reached Net Zero energy use, and more are expected to, once there is year-long data with PV use.
- TREE's builders won a national award for building homes to the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home certification standard
- Rutger's PhD student Jesse Sherry's dissertation found that EcoVillage residents in the first two neighborhoods use 63% fewer resources compared with the average American ecological footprint.
- Held a state-wide contest won by inner-city Troy, NY neighborhood. EPA CSC team provided free consulting to create sustainable community schematic design.
- Learn@EcoVillage executive director Liz Walker gave a keynote talk at the Climate Crisis Solutions conference in Yellow Springs, OH
- Received ongoing national and some international media coverage, including mention in New York Times, NPR, PBS documentary on Aging, Global Ecovillage Network news, and more.
Local First Ithaca
- Membership topped 200 local businesses, organizations & non-profits and still growing
- Partnered with Cornell’s Think Big, Live Green campaign, Get Your GreenBack and CCE on a pilot project to produce a special, mini edition of our Guide. The goal was to help Cornell employees take steps to save money, energy and support local businesses
- Published our 4th issue of the annual "Guide to Being Local"
- Continued our work/collaboration with GreenStar Community Projects/Feeding Our Future, Get Your Green Back and Building Bridges
- Held the 7th Annual Local Lover Challenge, a community-wide Buy Local initiative
- As a representative of the New York State Sustainable Business Council, American Sustainable Business Council, and Local First Ithaca, worked and spoke in Albany with Public Citizen and Move to Amend to make New York the 17th state to call for overturning Citizens United.
- Continued laying the foundation for Local Procurement with Anchor Institutions, locally, as well as NYSSBC statewide & community based initiative.
New Earth Living
- Amabel is our latest pocket neighborhood development
- We plan on starting work on the utilities, the road, and a few houses in fall 2015
- Twenty-eight fee-simple single family, net-zero homes close to downtown Ithaca and many life- enriching amenities and activities
- Houses are arranged to insure privacy while simultaneously allowing opportunities for easy-going, spur-of-the-moment interactions between residents and visitors
- In addition, the homes are positioned and designed to maximize solar energy production, preservation of mature trees and planting, cultivating and enjoying many different plant based food sources
- In particular, Amabel will include the following features:
- Beautiful park-like setting, one flat mile from Downtown Ithaca
- Large mature trees and open meadow on the Cayuga Lake Inlet and Coy Glen Natural Area
- Homes meticulously designed for quality of life, energy efficiency and solar power production
- Large private yards
- Organic gardens
- Edible landscaping
- Intra-neighborhood web-connection for communication, car and resource sharing and more
- Thoughtful, fun process for community building and resiliency
- Classic old barn for garden, bike and canoe storage
- Canoe or kayak travel to Cayuga Lake, Ithaca Farmers Market, Wegmans, Cass Park and Downtown
- Located on the future Black Diamond Trail to four local NYS parks, Cayuga Lake, Wegmans, GreenStar grocery, Downtown, Farmers Market and Cass Park and more
- We will be hosting workshops on low carbon solutions, food production and preservation, how to make biochar, and what plants like to be grown next to others
Paleontological Research Institution (Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center)
- Our Weird Weather exhibits -- two kiosks focusing on local impacts of climate change on weather, agriculture, public health, and the economy – continued to travel to locations around upstate New York. Installations in 2014 included Jefferson Community College in Watertown, DCMO BOCES in Norwich, the Sustainability Center of Tompkins County, Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, and the New York State Fair. The kiosks were funded by the Park Foundation and NSF.
- From January 24 to May 12, 2014, the Museum of the Earth hosted the traveling exhibition Then & Now: the Changing Arctic Landscape. The exhibit paired historic photographs with recent images taken from the same vantage points. Some photo pairs show minor differences, while others reveal dramatic changes to the Arctic landscape.
- We conducted sessions at national and regional conferences (e.g., Geological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, North American Association of Environmental Educators, National Science Teacher Association, Ecological Society of America, and others), teacher professional development workshops, and colleges and universities on teaching controversial issues, using the Marcellus issues to teach about energy systems and environment, and climate and energy literacy.
- We published the Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Earth Science of the Midwestern US and another for the Western US, the latest additions to our series of Earth systems science resources for teachers. The Guides contain new chapters on climate and energy, and we are completing Guides for other regions of the US that also contain climate and energy chapters. We are also working on a separate Guide in this series specifically on climate change.
- We created a tree phenology trail at the Cayuga Nature Center, registered with the USA National Phenology Network. Visitors to the Leopold Climate Room at the Nature Center will find a map, instructions, and materials to make observations on up to ten different species of trees, plus brief information about each species.
- We continued our Glacier Lecture Series from January to April 2014, with four talks for general audiences on the science of glaciers and climate change. Speakers were from Cornell, University of North Carolina, Penn State, and NASA.
- We worked with New Roots High School 9th graders on climate change-related outdoor education activities at the Cayuga Nature Center, and Caroline Elementary School 4th graders on studying streams, trout, and climate change.
- We published a series of three articles about climate modeling on our Climate Change 101 blog (http://climatechange101.blogspot.com.) These articles have been written by Dr. Ben Brown-Steiner, a postdoc at Cornell, and his goal is to make complex topics in climate science accessible to the public. He will continue to write these articles in the coming year.
- Following the release of the National Climate Assessment, we co-authored a National Climate Assessment Education Guide for the Northeast that is published online at http://www.climate.gov/teaching/northeast-region.
- Much of what Park Foundation accomplished on greenhouse gas reduction in 2014 is via the many grants we made to the organizations listed elsewhere in this report, so that won’t be reiterated here. Significant in 2014 was the Governor’s announcement of a ban on hydrofracking of natural gas in New York State. While this was the result of many communities’ outcry and massive grassroots advocacy, the Foundation is proud to have provided over $7 million dollars in support of antifracking activities from 2008 to 2014.
- In 2014 the Foundation moved to new offices with the goal of seeking LEED Commercial Interiors certification and Green Plus certification for its operations. These applications are now in progress.
- Related to our grantmaking mission is our work on corporate responsibility around greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014 the Foundation provided its stock holdings to intermediaries (As You Sow, Trillium and Walden) for shareholder resolutions with ExxonMobil, Simpson, Clarcor, Chevron, Entergy, Anadarko, and Hess. These resolutions included seeking reports on greenhouse gas emissions, impacts of hydrofracking and climate change risk to investors. In some cases resolutions were withdrawn when the company agreed, others went to vote. Most notably, resolutions with ExxonMobil and Chevron were 30% and 41% respectively. The Foundation sees shareholder resolutions as a tool to put additional pressure on these corporations to address environmental impacts of their activities.
- Completed more than double the number of systems that we installed in 2013
- Participated in the Solar Tompkins program, playing a significant part of the effort to double the number of solar systems in Tompkins County
- Constructed a 5kW mobile solar power station to provide clean, quiet, solar power at community events
- Donated a solar system to the Ithaca Children's Garden
- More than tripled our staff company wide—we are now over 50 strong
- Converted our entire fleet to biodiesel—we use the most efficient diesel trucks in the industry, and small diesel cars all powered by biodiesel
- Expanded into a sales and administrative office on W. MLK/State St. and purchased a new, 15,000 square foot facility just outside of town
- Awarded winner of the 2014 “PV Racking Installation of the Year” Contest for a 23.4kW ground mounted solar array installed in Seneca Lake on a pier foundation.
- Launched a Commercial/Utility PV division
Rev: Ithaca Startup Works
- Installed LED lighting with occupancy sensors in new facilities
- Joined Commercial Energy Efficiency Collaborative
- Installed and programmed a smart HVAC control system
- Put in place a recycling system
- Set out plan for 2015 goals
The Sciencenter takes a triple-bottom line (environmental, societal, and financial) approach to sustainability. We consider each of these three elements from two perspectives: internal (i.e., organizational) and external (i.e., community and beyond). Each year, we seek to advance all six components of sustainability.
Environmental (Internal: Management - External: Education)
- Added exhibitions: 2 new exhibits on fresh water and watershed health
- Toured a major traveling exhibition “Ocean Bound!” on watershed health and ocean conservation to museums nationwide.
- Delivered field trips on the topic of renewable energy to 400 2nd grade students in Tompkins County through the Kids Discover the Trail! program.
- Delivered ocean health and science field trip to over 750 2nd grade students in rural Tompkins County and Cortland City School District through the Sciencenter’s endowment.
- Offered exhibits in our “Sustainability Corner” on waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, composting, and consumer behavior.
Societal (Internal: Staff – External: Community, & Museum Field)
- Donated $13,000 in free family memberships and museum passes to organizations throughout upstate NY
- Supported local health and human services agencies by participating as a United Way Pacesetter Organization, raising over $2,500 for the United Way 2013 campaign
- Offered a new access program for low-income guests called Museums For All, which provides $1 admission for anyone in a family with an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card (formerly Food Stamps)
- 27 staff served on boards and volunteered for 35 other not-for-profit organizations in Tompkins County and beyond
Financial (Internal: Organization – External: Community)
- Grew the Sciencenter endowment to $3.4 million, with the goal of providing sustained funding for the museum and its programs in the future
- Visitors to the Sciencenter from out-of-county spent nearly $1,000,000 in Tompkins County during the previous year
- Completed insulation on high-performance homes at the EcoVillage at Ithaca TREE neighborhood.
- Began insulation and ventilation work on the TREE Sustainable Living Center, a super-efficient four-story building which will contain 15 apartments and community facilities.
- In partnership with DOW Building Solutions and Taitem Engineering, completed the final two deep energy retrofits funded by NYSERDA’s PON 2254.
- Completed 100+ energy saving retrofits in Tompkins County and surrounding areas.
- In collaboration with Ithaca College Professor Kathryn Caldwell, presented a poster, “Contractor-Led Social Marketing to Promote Energy Efficient Decisions and Behaviors in the Residential Sector,” at the AAAS/NYSERDA Workshop on Behavior in White Plains, NY in June.
- The program exceeded its goal of doubling the amount of residential solar in Tompkins County with more than 400 solar installations in the county scheduled to be completed by June 2015, totaling over 3MW
- Over 1,310 families enrolled in the program by the time the program came to a close on November 1
- Solar Tompkins stimulated a rapid expansion in the solar installation business that has resulted in the creation of at least 30 new, permanent, full-time, living-wage jobs with the participating local installers and an additional 20 full time living-wage jobs, all in central New York, with the participating regional installer
- The program reached out to every town in the county, holding 34 community meetings and more than 25 other educational events during the summer of 2014
- Besides the available state and federal incentives, Solar Tompkins provided a 20 percent below regional market pricing as a result of volume discounts negotiated with participating installers. These prices, in general, have stayed low even since the program enrollment ended, and in some cases may even have dropped further. The ongoing low prices are, at least in part, attributable to the strengthening of the local market. New customers in Tompkins County can still get very good deals on new PV systems!
- As a result of these incentives, an average family using 7,500 kWh/year was able to purchase a system to cover 100 percent of their electricity needs with a 7 kW system at an average price between $7,500 and $9,600, depending on whether it was roof- or ground-mounted. These prices differed slightly among participating installers. For families paying 11 to 12 cents per kW for electricity from the grid, the systems at these prices could usually be financed for monthly payments that were less than their former electricity bills.
- Homeowners could also lease a system for no upfront cost and pay about the same price per month they are paying to their electric utility
Finger Lakes Climate Fund
- Our local carbon offset fund continues to benefit local families. We gave out 4 grants in 2014, which offset 427 tons of CO2 and contributed $8,561 toward energy improvements for low-income households in Newfield, City and Town of Ithaca, and Richford (Tioga County). To date, we have given out $25,543 in grants and offset 1,310 tons of CO2. Details are on our website (fingerlakesclimatefund.org). This year’s grants were made via Halco Energy, Tompkins Community Action, and Snug Planet.
- Last year, Cornell’s President Skorton formed the Climate Neutrality Acceleration Working Group to plot a course for reaching their zero net carbon goal by 2035 instead of 2050. ST was invited to submit a short proposal to be included in their report to Skorton in June that outlined ways in which our local carbon offset fund could be expanded to make a significant contribution to energy democracy by greatly expanding our portfolio to help dozens of low-income residents every year. We were invited back in November to co-host a breakout group on carbon offsets at their campus sustainability summit.
- ST hosted a popular climate salon series from April-June where we explored the connections between “The Climate, the Market, and the Commons.” Because of several requests to record the sessions, we quickly found sponsorships to have all four videotaped and placed on our Vimeo channel (http://vimeo.com/album/3195335) where over 160 viewers have enjoyed them.
- ST hosted the Lansing Communergy Circle to build grassroots support and solidarity for a renewable energy future. The spring workshops on solar hot water, microhydro, and energy efficiency were well attended and favorably received. This base of support translated into large and successful solar tours and public meetings arranged by ST on behalf of Solar Tompkins. A fall pilot of circles led by local citizens looked into helping promote the shared renewables bill and getting neighbors to get energy audits.
- To help the groups get oriented to local and statewide efforts, ST created an online spreadsheet of over 100 projects which can be sorted on locale, type of group, and purpose; updated as projects come and go; and referenced for building coalitions and preventing duplication.
Alternatives to Dryden Pipeline
- ST has helped organize a network of 40+ activists, energy experts, and property owners to challenge the proposed addition of a 7-mile gas pipeline to supply new development in Tompkins County. The group has examined in detail some of the assumptions of the pipeline’s supporters and presented a seminar on “Building and Heating with the Climate in Mind” at several venues to educate policymakers, the building sector, and local business leaders on the overall better returns on investing in smarter design and heat pumps powered by renewable energy.
Grassroots Policy Advocacy
- ST has been involved in statewide conversations among grassroots groups, nonprofits, and clean energy businesses concerned that the NYS Energy Plan and the PSC’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) process have been dominated by the utility and gas industries. Both draft documents paved the way for increased dependence on fracked gas and were silent on the topic of energy democracy.
- We are also part of a statewide coalition working to pass a shared renewables bill that would open up the market for large numbers of citizens to co-own solar and wind systems offsite from their own buildings. ST serves on the Tompkins County Energy Road Map Steering Committee and TCCPI’s Smart Energy Policy Committee.
- Last May at the Building Bridges forum on Collective Impact, ST presented a hypothetical sketch of what our community would need to do to reach a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Work on behavior change, infrastructure development, policy, and financing would need to be coordinated across numerous sectors including low-income and middle classes, business, government, and institutions.
- The Building Bridges Collective Impact (BBCI) working group on energy (Karim Beers, Elan Shapiro, Anne Rhodes, Gay Nicholson) is discussing ways to bring the many organizations in this arena together to link the energy sector to those working on structural poverty.
- Taitem completed 31 small commercial energy audits.
- Taitem completed forty-five farm audits for dairies, wineries, greenhouses, vegetable growers, a cidery, a mushroom farm and others. The NYSERDA Farm Audit Program has been successful in providing reimbursement for energy improvements at farms.
- Taitem continued its work with larger properties in NYC, focusing on compliance with Local Law 87, which requires buildings over 50,000 square feet to undergo periodic energy audit and retrocommissioning measures as part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP).
- Westhill Central School District’s Cherry Road School addition was officially awarded LEED Silver certification. Taitem worked with Ashley McGraw Architects on the project and provided LEED Commissioning.
- Taitem provided LEED Cx services and worked with Altanova to get 260 W 26th Street New York, NY a LEED Silver certification.
- Taitem Engineering is providing program management Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC), spearheaded by the New York Power Authority and is a subject matter expert on the design and implementation of emerging technologies.
- Taitem joined New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA). By joining NYSEIA, Taitem is supporting the advancement of markets for all solar technologies in the Empire State.
- Taitem earned LEED Platinum Certification. In recognition of this momentous achievement, The Ithaca Journal published an in-depth write up of our facilities and many of the energy conservation measures we’ve implemented.
- The Huron Building 33-40, located at 1701 North Street, Endicott, NY 13760, earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR label for 2014.This is Taitem’s first ENERGY STAR Certified building. The building received a score of 87 out of 100 and will be listed in the EPA online Registry of ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings.
- Taitem helped develop the training materials lead some of the sessions at the Small Commercial Energy Auditor Training at SUNY Buffalo.
- Meeting the goals of the Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY) initiative requires a significant increase in the number of qualified Commercial Energy Auditors trained to address the needs of smaller organizations and facilities. This seven-day pilot course was designed for experienced commercial energy auditors and other technically qualified individuals, and will train them to support the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) and the GJGNY Small Business and Not-For-Profit program.
- In partnership with the Consulate General of Canada in New York City and Green Light New York, Ecosystem Energy Services hosted a round table to discuss ways to overcome challenges in current building retrofit practices. Taitem president Lou Vogel was part of the group
- Taitem presented at the Syracuse Center of Excellence for the Research and Technology Forum to explore Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps on May 13, 2014 in Syracuse, NY.
- Taitem and ETM solar joined the Solar Tompkins team, local government officials and other installer partners to announce the launch of the Solar Tompkins program.
- The Taitem diversity committee worked over many months to develop a Diversity Mission Statement for Taitem Engineering. The mission statement is posted to our website at www.taitem.com/about.
- Taitem joined local business leaders and the New York State Sustainable Business Council at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Binghamton on Friday. Opportunity for change was the main topic on sustaining the economy.
- Taitem was awarded two contracts by NYSERDA to investigate and demonstrate emerging, energy savings technologies:
- Optimizing Solid State Lighting and Controls in New Low-Rise Affordable Housing;
- Energy-Efficient Lighting and Controls in Common Areas of Multifamily Buildings
- We are participating in a third project as a subcontractor to the Lighting Research Council:
- Accelerating the Commercialization of Solid-State Lighting
- These three projects are funded through NYSERDA’s Emerging Technology and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC) programs.
- Taitem joined the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a purchasing cooperative that is 100% owned and democratically managed by its member companies. Amicus Solar Cooperative exists to support its membership of independent solar PV developers, EPC’s, integrators, and installation companies.
- Taitem sponsored the 14th Annual Syracuse Center of Excellence Symposium, Advanced Building Systems: Integrating Efficiency, Quality and Resilience. See the complete agenda here.
- Grupo Fenix, a group of women in rural Nicaragua formed around the use of solar cookers and other sustainable technologies, visited Taitem to learn more about sustainable design projects we are working on and bring ideas back to their village.
- Taitem completed its first net zero audit at 109 S. Albany St., Ithaca, NY. The owner plans to implement all measures.
- Ian Shapiro conducted research through a Syracuse Center of Excellence Innovation Fund Grant for a project on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Heat Pumps: The Case for Making the Switch from Steam.
- In training, Ian Shapiro was awarded a contract to write his second book following Green Building Illustrated. Ian is developing green building training around the publication. His first training is tentatively scheduled for spring 2015 at EcoVillage at Ithaca.
- Taitem is working with the Urban Green Council/NYC chapter of USGBC to develop and deliver training on the energy code to stakeholders throughout New York on behalf of NYSERDA.
- Ian Shapiro’s abstract was selected for a platform presentation at the upcoming NYS Green Building Conference. Ian will present illustrations and green building concepts that are highlighted in his book, Green Building Illustrated. The 2015 Conference will also feature a plenary session hosted by Rick Fedrizzi, the CEO of the USGBC and CEO of the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).
- Taitem collaborates with local organizations (Chamber of Commerce, Coop Extension, Get Your Green Back) to create the TC Commercial Energy Efficiency Collaborative workshop series. Small businesses and non-profits in Tompkins County are invited to set energy saving goals, get an audit, and learn and work together to reduce energy use in a 6 sessions workshop over 12 months.
Tompkins Community Action
Tompkins Community Action, Inc. has been the designated US Department of Energy/NYS Homes and Community Renewal Weatherization Assistance Program provider for the City of Ithaca and Tompkins County for thirty-two years. We work closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) as a Home Performance with Energy Star contractor, and are licensed by NYSERDA to provide Assisted Home Performance and EmPower programs. Members of our Energy Services Department hold multiple Building Performance Institute (BPI) certifications. We partner with numerous municipal (City and County) entities, not-for-profits, and private sector organizations to leverage funding associated with weatherization, energy efficiency, and other types of home repair and housing rehabilitation programs.
- Completed 43 energy efficiency upgrades to low-income housing units under The Weatherization Assistance Program (Contract Year 2014).
- Completed 21 energy efficiency retrofits under the NYSERDA Home Performance with Energy Star Program and the Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star Program.
- Provided 54 free energy audits / electric reduction / energy efficiency upgrades to low-income households as a designated NYSERDA EmPower NY contractor.
- Participated with Better Housing of Tompkins County to provide energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades to 17 housing units.
- Participated with Solar Tompkins at their PV public forums to provide information about energy efficiency opportunities for Tompkins County community members.
- Facilitated radio spots and news articles in support of National Weatherization Day 2014.
- Participated with Sustainable Tompkins’ Finger Lakes Climate Fund “Residential Energy Efficiency” grant program to provide energy efficiency retrofits to two Tompkins County homes.
- Increased Energy Services Department staff to more efficiently respond to growing demand for energy efficiency retrofits throughout the County.
- Participated in diverse local forums, presentations, and conferences, etc. to inform the Tompkins County community about the benefits of weatherization (for housing units and the environment).
- Tompkins Community Action staff participated with diverse community-wide agencies and their standing committees to address issues associated with climate protection.
- Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan Update. Developed a scope of work based on public input, researched issues and drafted actions to address opportunities and constraints within topic areas and across sectors. Staff also conducted extensive public outreach, revised the plan accordingly, and are bringing it to the Legislature for adoption in March 2015.
- Energy Roadmap. Conducted a search and contracted for professional services to complete the Energy Roadmap, formed a steering committee to guide its development, and supported technical analysis of renewable energy potential and energy efficiency technologies in order to formulate future energy system scenarios.
- Solar Tompkins. Advised and assisted the Solar Tompkins Board of Directors in launching a county-wide solarize program and acted as the fiscal sponsor for the Park Foundation grant that supported that effort. The program succeeded in helping over 400 families decide to move forward with solar, totaling over 3 MW of solar power, and well exceeding the program’s goal of doubling the amount of residential solar installed in Tompkins County.
- Residential Energy Score Project. Partnered with five municipalities to implement a NYSERDA Cleaner Greener Communities Grant that aims to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes by increasing homebuyer awareness of the amount of insulation and air-tightness they can expect in their new house. In 2015, the project will study various building envelope rating methods and consider how best to create value for energy efficiency in the local housing market.
- Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan. Partnered with a coalition of members from the Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, Tompkins County, City of Ithaca, Town of Ithaca, Cornell University, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County to implement a NYSERDA Cleaner Greener Communities Grant to develop a plan for the infrastructure necessary to support electric vehicles in the county, including the benefits and potential drawbacks of implementation, the best locations in the county for implementation, the anticipated market effects, and the best method of implementation.
- EPA Climate Showcase Community Grant. Completed the final year of Tompkins County’s Climate Showcase Community EPA grant to fund innovative on-the-ground approaches to creating dense neighborhoods that enhance residents’ quality of life while using fewer resources. Homes that were completed in the pilot projects met or surpassed project goals. The 11 EcoVillage TREE homes submitting energy use data had an average savings of 78% over a typical Tompkins County household, and homes with renewable energy systems installed during the study period achieved a 92% average savings, with several at or close to net-zero operation.
- Economy-Energy Collaboration. Developed a plan with Tompkins County Area Development to collaborate on addressing long-term and immediate energy needs and emissions in ways that contribute to a vital local economy. This collaboration will include bringing a broad variety of voices to the discussion of community goals and strategies, as well as tangible steps in 2015 to meet both energy and economic development goals.
- Energize NY Finance. Facilitated several public workshops and meetings to help City of Ithaca and County officials explore legislative authorization to participate in the State’s property assessed clean energy (PACE) program for commercial properties. The Energize NY Finance program offers low-cost long-term financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, supporting up to the entire project cost, for owners of existing non-residential properties, with repayments collected by the municipality through a charge on the tax bill.
- Ithaca 2030 District. Assisted the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative with initial background work on the project and continued to serve on the steering committee to help in the District’s launch.
- Smart Energy Policy Initiative. Partnered with several individuals and organizations to identify actions local governments in Tompkins County can take in the near term to help accelerate the transition to a more efficient, renewable energy future.
- Tompkins County Sustainability Strategy. Developed a strategy, which was accepted by the County Legislature in May 2014, to provide a coordinated approach to integrating sustainable practices into Tompkins County government operations during the 2014-2019 time period. The Strategy’s areas of focus include leading by example, social equity, transportation, facilities and grounds, purchasing, sustainable materials management, protection of County-owned lands, and employee engagement.
- County Property Tax Exemption for LEED Certified New Construction and Renovations. In March 2014 the County Legislature approved a new local law that provides an exemption from county property taxes, under certain conditions, for up to ten years for construction or renovation of buildings that achieve LEED certification in order to encourage sustainable building practices in the community.
- Food Scraps Recycling. With increased capacity to process food scraps in 2014, Tompkins County Solid Waste focused on four collection components: the commercial sector, drop spots, residential curbside collection, and multifamily homes. Through the ReBusiness Partners program, local businesses and organizations receive a free waste assessment and support to start recycling food scraps. Four food scraps recycling drop spots were added in 2014, totaling 5 locations throughout the county where residents can drop off food scraps for recycling. Additionally, the curbside collection pilot was expanded in May of 2014 to help additional households divert food scraps from the waste stream.
Tompkins County Area Development
- Delivered sales tax incentives for an energy related investment to South Hill Business Campus/ASI Energy for a 250KW combined heat, power, and cooling system. The project will reduce emissions in year one by 15,862 tons CO2e.
- Approved a low interest loan to Finger Lakes ReUse for the renovation of an existing building to open a storefront in the City of Ithaca to facilitate waste reduction and reuse of household, electronics, and construction materials. .
- TCAD and the Tompkins County Planning Department pledged to work together to meet the county's energy reduction goals and the economic development needs of the community.
- Negotiated a payment in lieu of property tax (PILOT) agreement for Black Oak Wind that will fix tax payments for the first 15 years of operation with an estimated 50% savings.
Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
- Along with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Get Your GreenBack Tompkins, and Taitem Engineering, the Chamber helped to organize the Tompkins County Commercial Energy Efficiency Collaborative, a hands-on workshop series led by energy professionals from Taitem Engineering and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, in which participants receive a comprehensive energy audit of their building and support reaching their energy savings goals. The 6-session series will begin in early 2015.
- The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce Foundation continued to work with the City of Ithaca to raise funds for the third and final section of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail, which is slated to begin construction in April 2015. The Cayuga Waterfront Trail will be a six-mile, multi-use trail providing an active, non-motorized transportation and recreation way connecting our community’s most popular waterfront destinations. The Waterfront Trail will help Ithaca develop a sustainable transportation system, enhance our quality of life, and contribute to the revitalization of our community’s waterfront.
- The Chamber, along with Tompkins County Area Development, participated in a presentation by EnergizeNY Finance, the entity established by New York State to operate the State’s property assessed clean energy (PACE) program.
Tompkins County Environmental Management Council
- The EMC sponsored several community programs focusing on energy issues. To assist the community in submitting public comments, programs on the draft State Energy Plan were held; March 5 (Tompkins County Public Library) and April 23 (Unitarian Church) with more than 100 in attendance at both. Among the several presentations provided were those by Jackson Morris, Director, Eastern Energy, NRDC and Jessica Azulay, Program Director, Alliance for a Green Economy. The EMC subsequently filed comments by the deadline of May 31. In July the EMC co-sponsored a presentation on Alternative (non-fossil fuel based) Visions for Economic Development in the Town of Lansing. On November 15 we participated in the conference at Ithaca College: Collateral Damage from Fracking: Coming Together to Protect Our Communities. We also co-sponsored an event with the League of Women Voters on Responding to Climate Change at the Tompkins County Public Library on November 17.
- The EMC promoted the adoption of NY-Sun’s Unified Solar Permit by local municipalities. A barrier to installing a solar system for many residents is the confusing permit process. This standard permit procedure would provide homeowners with a combined building and electrical permit for a grid-tied solar electric installation.
- Brian Eden and Melissa Kemp, Director, Solar Tompkins, made a presentation to the County’s Planning, Energy, and Environmental Quality Committee urging them to Opt-in to Section 487 of the Real Property Tax Law that provides a 15 year real property tax exemption for residential solar systems. The Tompkins County Legislature which had Opted-out on May 15, 2012 (LL No.1-2012) unanimously opted-in to the provision on July 15, 2014 (LL No.4-2014).
- The Committee supported the City of Ithaca’s proposed Local Law to ban all outdoor wood boilers. On May 3 Committee members attended an all day workshop on micro-hydro installations that was held in the Town of Lansing. The EMC sponsored a tour of the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility in March to review the $8M investment in energy efficiency and energy conservation upgrades. Of special interest was the newly installed biogas production and storage equipment which will assist the facility in becoming 70% energy self-sufficient.
- Increased building energy efficiency is dependent on adherence to the NYS Energy Conservation Code. Discussions with local code enforcement staff as well as building contractors indicated that neither had a sufficient understanding of the Code to faithfully adhere to it. We have urged that greater attention and resources be devoted to trainings of both sectors to encourage better buildings with building science. We participated in code trainings on 11/18-11/19 at the Town of Ithaca Hall featuring the 2014 NYS Energy Conservation Code for commercial buildings. We hope to co-sponsor a similar training for residential buildings in 2015.
- NYS utilities spend more than $10M per year supporting their requests for rate increases from the NYS Public Service Commission which they then pass on to ratepayers. More than 40 states have an independent agency to support ratepayers in rate-making proceeding cases. This is not the law in New York. We support legislation that would fund an Office of Independent Utility Consumer Advocate.
- The Tompkins County Area Development’s Economic Development Strategy has been somewhat in conflict with the County’s long-term greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. We have encouraged the County Legislature to reconcile these 2 policies.
- On April 25 the NYS Public Service Commission issued an Order instituting the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Proceeding (14-M-0101). This initiative aims to align electric utility practices and our regulatory paradigm with technological advances in information management and power generation and distribution. These developments promise improvements in system efficiency, greater customer choice, and greater penetration of clean generation and energy efficiency technologies, but only if barriers to adoption are eliminated and proper regulatory incentives are established. EMC members have provided several written comments to the NYSPSC on various provisions of the proposed program.
- The Committee has initiated some community education efforts on Shared Renewables (this program allows residents with limited solar exposure to join with others to contract with those who may have sufficient solar exposure and space to generate community solar benefits) and Community Choice Aggregation (this proposed state policy enables local governments to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions in order to procure clean energy electrical supplies while maintaining the existing provider for transmission and distribution services).
- Tompkins County shall not be able to achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals if we import new sources of methane. In this regard the EMC has joined with a coalition of other groups to research alternatives to a proposed natural gas pipeline in West Dryden and Lansing. Working with others we have contributed to a presentation, “Building and Heating with the Climate in Mind,” that has been shared with several audiences in our community.
- On November 2 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report was released. Secretary General of the United Nations Ban-Ki-Moon noted that climate change is set to impose “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on the Earth. This is sufficient reason for the EMC to recommit itself to our work of promoting energy efficiency and expanded production and distribution of renewable energy resources. We shall continue to coordinate our activities with other local organizations dedicated to these objectives including Solar Tompkins, Tompkins County Energy Road Map Steering Committee, Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, Smart Energy Policy Initiatives, Ratepayer and Community Intervenors, Solutions Group, Campaign for Renewable Energy, and the Energy Democracy Working Group.
Town of Caroline
- The NYS Office of State Comptroller came to audit the Town and was so impressed by the zero carbon footprint of the Town Office Building that they wrote a report which is posted on their website.
- The key players on the Town Energy Committee put their 2014 energy into Solar Tompkins.
- We have begun a revisit of our Comprehensive Plan. Sustainability will be a new section.
Town of Ithaca
- Celebrated the end of a successful sustainability collaboration between the Town of Dryden and the Town of Ithaca
- Began a new sustainability partnership with the City of Ithaca through creation of a shared Sustainability Coordinator position
- Administered the Residential Energy Score Project, which also involves four other municipalities in Tompkins County. NYSERDA Funding secured, consultant contracts signed, 18 month project officially kicked off
- Purchased Renewable Energy Credits for 100% of Town government electricity use
- Adopted new Comprehensive Plan that heavily incorporates sustainability principles and includes a new section on energy and climate
- Made progress on the Town’s Community Energy Action Plan
- Modified Town Code, removing site-plan requirements for rooftop and building-mounted solar collectors, and simplifying regulatory process for solar installations
- Adopted a Green Purchasing Policy
- Tracked energy and water use in Town facilities using Portfolio Manager, an online energy and GHG emissions tracking software
- Helped organize events in Town of Ithaca for, and promoted in general, the Solar Tompkins program, which surpassed the goal of doubling solar capacity in the County in one year
- Engaged three interns and three volunteers to aid in sustainability efforts
- Continued publishing Ithaca Sustainability newsletter and Facebook page
- Supported the operations of the Sustainability Center through Town staff board membership
- Supported successful NYSERDA Grant proposal for electric vehicle feasibility study
- Joined the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and continued membership in ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability
- Marked five-year anniversary of joining NYS DEC’s Climate Smart Communities
Travis Hyde Properties
- Last year, Travis Hyde Properties (THP) became a charter member of Ithaca’s own District 2030. This year, THP has executed a contract with ASI Energy for the installation of a cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) facility in the basement of Center Ithaca. This innovative project will utilize an Intelligent reciprocating engine to generate on-site electricity generation with sales of surplus capacity to adjoining property owners. Heat will also be generated for in-building use. In the cooling season, excess heat will be converted to cooling with the use of an absorption chiller. This $1.7MM, 130kW project represents a pilot program for distributed energy generation that is being closely watched by NYSERDA, NYSEG, and the Public Service Commission as a potential model for creating micro-grids for power generation and distribution. The projected completion date is June 1, 2015.
- Travis Hyde Properties is also a respondent to Tompkins County’s RFP for the redevelopment of the Old Library site in downtown Ithaca. THP is the only developer to partner with the adjacent Lifelong organization for the proposed redevelopment site. This joint venture with Lifelong would provide a permanent home for Lifelong’s programming as well as much-needed housing for seniors and finally would host a second node of CHP for downtown Ithaca.
- THP is in early stage feasibility analysis of converting its approximately 2.8 mW electricity demand to renewable energy powered by solar PV. THP remains committed to the goals of District 2030 and will also this year investigate the viability of geothermal and air-to-air heat pumps for select properties in its 850,000 SF portfolio.
- In furthering its commitment to density in downtown Ithaca, Travis Hyde Properties has commenced a five-story “overbuild” of the 1923 vintage Carey Building. This approximately $7MM project is already host to the Downtown Ithaca Business Incubator, Rev, which is an unprecedented collaboration among Cornell, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College. The new building will utilize highly energy efficient HVAC equipment and lighting, and will be eligible for LEED certification.
Weaver Wind Energy
- The most significant milestone for Weaver Wind Energy in 2014 was advancing the certification process of its first commercial product, the Weaver 5, through to its final stages. The turbine will be certified to the American Wind Energy Association quality standard. Certification is required for eligibility for federal tax credits and various state incentives that reduce the final cost to the customer. The Weaver 5 is a residential-scale 5000 watt wind system, typically offsetting 50% of electric usage.
- WWE was awarded an $800,000 NYSERDA grant to scale the Weaver 5 technology to a larger wind system capable of meeting 100% of residential or small commercial electric usage. Over the next three years, WWE will be working with local and regional companies as well as Cornell University to implement, test, and certify the scaled up design.
- Since mid-2014, WWE has been working with manufacturing partners to optimize the design of all mechanical and electrical components to reduce the manufacturing footprint and overall life-cycle costs and environmental impact.
- At the close of 2014, WWE made the decision to move its offices and warehouse space to Freeville, NY. With renovations ongoing in 2015, Weaver Wind Energy has committed to becoming a zero-waste, net-zero energy business and a recognized leader in sustainable manufacturing practice.
- As part of our sustainability endeavors, we began researching ecological packaging options for our wind system components, committed to installing on-site electric vehicle charging stations, and initiated design plans for 100% renewable energy at the new facility.