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UB Energy Efficiency Projects Projected to Save $513k
The University at Buffalo, Upstate Medical University and the taxpayers of New York who subsidize the budget for the State University (SUNY) system, all have great cause to celebrate the significant energy cost-savings projected for years to come due to the energy efficiency projects implemented at both schools. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s BUILD SMART NY initiative and financial awards distributed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NSERDA), these public institutions are on track to secure new and lasting victories for the respective communities these prudent energy investments will promote. Considering the steady barrage of fiscal challenges faced by the state, coupled with consecutive years of losses in the budget for education, these developments represent some much-needed relief from their struggles to prevail over tough economic battles.
Like the residents of most states, New Yorkers have felt the sting and perpetual rash of biting fiscal pains that ensued from the economic trauma inflicted on the nation by The Great Recession. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities “the Great Recession that started in 2007 caused the largest collapse in state revenues on record,” leading to hefty budget deficits that forced the Empire State and local government bodies to slash funding for the public agencies and services on which many of their residents depend. For instance, education spending was cut by $1.5 billion in Governor Cuomo’s 2011 inaugural budget subsequent to the $1.4 billion reduction in 2010 under the previous administration that followed a year when aid “was frozen,” Reuters reports. The fiscal policies enacted were agonizing but deemed necessary to address the monstrous deficit that welcomed the governor into office. Added to their financial strains was the massive recovery costs incurred from the devastation that ‘Super Storm’ Hurricane Sandy dealt to public and private property in late October of 2012, after claiming the lives of 60 New Yorkers. The reactionary budget cuts seemed only to salt the wounds of the state during an insufferable time of economic turmoil, giving further credence to the idiom that “When it rains, it pours.”
Despite the financial clouds lingering from the torrential budget storm, New Yorkers can take comfort in the positive economic developments beginning to shape the state’s recovery. Bloomberg reports that the fiscal 2014 budget gap is “less than the $2 billion Cuomo closed last year and the $10 billion deficit he confronted in his first year.” Investments in energy efficiency projects for state buildings like the University at Buffalo and Upstate Medical University forecast significant savings that will reduce their demand for public funds; UB’s annual energy costs will be slashed by $513,000 and Upstate Medical’s energy bills will enjoy a reduction of $167,000 per year. Although gray skies will remain for some time, these are encouraging signs of the brighter days ahead.
Energy efficiency gives cause to celebrate!
By: Geoffrey Pottinger