In Celebration of Earth Day, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is reminding customers about the many ways they can reduce carbon emissions and help protect the environment through energy efficiency programs offered by the utility.
“Central Hudson is proud to help our customers conserve natural resources and protect the environment through our full suite of energy efficiency programs,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. “Thousands of customers have already seen how these programs can pay for themselves while helping New York State achieve its nation-leading clean energy goals.”
In 2021, energy efficiency measures taken by Central Hudson’s customers saved an annualized 74 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and nearly 65,500 dekatherms of natural gas, equating to nearly $10.8 million in energy costs. Since 2009, customers enrolled in Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs cumulatively save nearly $86 million annually, reducing energy demands by enough to power 52,250 homes and avoiding nearly 1.1 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, or the equivalent of removing 102,880 cars from the road or planting nearly 512,600 acres of forest.
Central Hudson was recently named an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for exceptional efforts in promoting and educating its customers on ENERGY STAR® certified products. It is the EPA’s highest honor, which recognized Central Hudson for substantially increasing customers’ energy-saving impact. Central Hudson has helped facilitate the purchase of more than 800,000 LED lightbulbs, 1, 600 smart thermostats and approximately 600 electric heat pump water heaters in the last year.
“As the technologies and resources that power our service area continue to develop, we continue invest in our local energy grid so that we can best deliver these critical services to our customers safely, reliably and efficiently,” Freni said.
There are many ways Central Hudson protects the environment:
- Solar installations within the utility’s service area are among the highest in New York on a per-capita basis, with nearly 11,400 systems installed by residents and businesses with 245 megawatts of total solar capacity. This level of capacity has the potential to supply the average electricity use of up to 40,000 homes or approximately 6 percent of the region’s electric consumption while reducing carbon emissions by approximately 90,000 tons.
- Central Hudson customers can subscribe to a share of the electricity generated by a local solar farm or other source of clean energy through the Clean Energy Marketplace. The marketplace allows customers to search and sign up for clean, renewable energy projects in their area that can help them save on their electric bill while reducing carbon emissions. Since the start of the program in July 2020, subscribers in the Clean Energy Marketplace have helped offset 6,927 tons of carbon emissions per year.
- Central Hudson promotes electric vehicles, which are less costly to operate and reduce emissions by 60 to 85 percent. A new Central Hudson program will facilitate the installation of 3,204 Level 2 chargers and 69 Direct Current Fast Chargers within the service area by 2025 through partnerships with municipalities and private developers. Central Hudson is also engaging municipalities and fleet owners in determining the feasibility of adopting select electric cars and trucks, including its own utility fleet.
- In 2021 alone Central Hudson facilitated the installation of nearly 6,500 heat pumps and plans to promote the installation of at least 12,000 ground or air-source electric heat pumps in total by 2025. In conjunction with the New York State Clean Heat Program, Central Hudson offers homeowners up to $1,000 off per 10,000 btus for air-source electric heat pumps for customers removing their existing conventional heating source and up to $500 per 10,000 btus for those retaining their conventional heating source. As an example, a 1,600 square-foot house with modern building code practices and average to better insulation could require a heat pump system providing a heat load of 40,000 btuh, which would equate to a Central Hudson/Clean Heat incentive of up to $4,000 when removing the old conventional heating system. Customers converting to a ground source heat pump system can receive up to $2,000 off per 10,000 btus.
- Central Hudson also assists residents and businesses in converting heating systems from oil or propane to natural gas, where available, to reduce energy costs and lower emissions by 30 percent.
- To support these initiatives, Central Hudson continues to invest in the electric and natural gas systems to modernize the energy delivery infrastructure and enable expanded use of clean resources. State-of-the-art equipment and systems are being deployed to improve the efficiency, durability and reliability of the energy delivery system. These improvements are also critical to integrating the growth of distributed resources such as solar and battery storage.
- Central Hudson also protects the environment through its operations, for example by reusing and recycling tons of materials through a partnership with Ulster-Greene ARC started more than 30 years ago; reusing and retreading tires for its fleet; and operating three hydroelectric plants to produce local renewable power to supplement the energy needs of its customers.
For more information on Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs, visit www.CentralHudson.com and click on My Energy then Save Energy & Money.