New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on January 16 that he was making $4.2 million available to train building operations and maintenance workers on best practices to promote energy efficiency and reduce energy bills in buildings statewide.
The funding will advance the state’s goal to transition to 50 percent renewables by 2030 and reduce energy use in buildings by 23 percent over 1990 levels.
“This training is a win-win that will help businesses lower operating costs, reduce energy use, and help New York fight climate change,” Cuomo said.
The funding is part of a broader statewide effort under the Clean Energy Fund to offer customized technical assistance to increase energy efficiency and drive greater use of renewable energy resources in commercial, industrial, multifamily and institutional buildings, and schools.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, building owners can save from 5 percent to 20 percent on their energy bills annually by implementing operations and maintenance best practices.
The $4.2 million Building Operations and Maintenance Workforce Training Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, targets the workforce at the following: multifamily housing, office buildings, retail facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals and health care facilities, state and local government buildings, not-for-profit and private institutions, industrial facilities and public and private K-12 schools. To be eligible for the funding, buildings or groups of buildings must have total annual energy expenditures of $1 million.
This funding will support the following training initiatives:
- On-site training laboratories,
- Curriculum development,
- Training trainers within a company, and
- Partnerships with manufacturers.
“Creating jobs and helping expand New York’s building operations and maintenance workforce is critical to Governor Cuomo’s strategy to create a robust clean energy economy. With investments like these, New York continues to ensure we are driving toward a cleaner, resilient and affordable energy system,” commented NYSERDA CEO John B. Rhodes.
There are currently more than 120,000 people employed in building operations and maintenance-related occupations across the state, including facilities and property managers; operating and stationary engineers; technicians; building superintendents; maintenance workers; mechanics and supervisors; electricians; HVAC technicians; procurement staff; facility coordinators; and energy/sustainability managers. Approximately 20 percent of the building operations and maintenance workforce is expected to retire over the next five years.
Applications will be accepted for qualified initiatives through April 27, or until the funding is exhausted. More information on this funding opportunity is available here.
In related news, on January 17, in his State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo pledge $360 million in funding for 11 large-scale renewable energy projects in the state. The projects include a 50-MW utility-scale solar farm in Coxsackie, two wind farms, seven hydro projects, and one fuel-cell project. The projects will leverage nearly US$1 billion in private investment and collectively generate enough clean energy to power more than 110,000 homes.