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 2020, energy efficiency measures taken by Central Hudson’s customers saved an annualized 81.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and more than 91,000 dekatherms of natural gas, equating to nearly $12 million in energy costs. Since 2009, customers enrolled in Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs cumulatively save nearly $76 million annually, reducing energy demands by enough to power more than 45,000 homes and avoiding more than 946 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year, or the equivalent of removing 91,000 cars from the road or planting nearly 446,000 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 second consecutive year Central Hudson has been awarded the EPA’s highest honor. EPA recognized Central Hudson for substantially increasing customers’ energy-saving impact by nearly doubling measures to promote ENERGY STAR certified LED lightbulbs, which lead to the purchase and distribution of more than 2.8 million bulbs by and to customers since 2016 and for promoting Heat Pump Water Heaters.
“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 more than 10,300 systems installed by residents and businesses with 162 megawatts of total solar capacity. This level of capacity has the potential to supply the average electricity use of up to 25,000 homes or 3 to 4 percent of the region’s electric consumption while reducing carbon emissions by 40,000 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, subscribers in the Clean Energy Marketplace have helped offset 3,360 tons of carbon emissions.
- 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.
- Central Hudson aims to facilitate the installation of 12,000 ground or air-source electric heat pumps by 2025. In conjunction with the New York State Clean Heat Program, Central Hudson offers homeowners up to $1,600 off per 10,000 btus for air-source electric heat pumps and up to $2,000 off per 10,000 btus for ground-source electric heat pumps. As an example, a 1,600 square foot house with modern building code practices and average to better insulation could require a heat load of 40,000 Btuh, which would equate to an incentive of up to $6,400 for a whole home air-source electric heat pump system. The same home would qualify for up to $8,000 in incentives for a whole home ground-source electric heat pump system. To date, Central Hudson has exceeded its 2021 targets for this program.
- 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.
- Central Hudson is hosting a series of free, live discussions on Facebook with subject matter experts on the strategies and challenges associated with reaching New York State’s clean energy goals, as well as what residents can do to help. The debut installment of the series aired on Tuesday, April 20.
For more information on Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs, visit www.CentralHudson.com and click on My Energy and then Save Energy & Money.
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