A report earlier this month by business broadcaster CNBC found that – although President Donald Trump has moved at flat-out speed to freeze U.S. energy-efficiency standards finalized during the last days of the Obama Administration – the Trump business organization has taken big-time advantage of energy incentives available in New York State.
Specifically, the network news outlet said, in 2012, records show that the Trump Organization finished securing nearly $1 million in energy incentives and low-interest loans from the Empire State to install eco-friendly fixtures at what his business described as “truly a luxury landmark” residential tower in Westchester County, New York.
“I strongly believe in clean energy, in conserving energy, all of that – more than anybody,” Trump is quoted in a company fact sheet about the project, at Trump Tower at City Center in White Plains. As part of the construction project, a state-of-the-art power system that recycles energy was installed.
Specifically, the building’s new power system, called a cogeneration, or combined heat and power, system, traps thermal energy from two generators and uses it for the heating of air and water, Larry Gomez, the property’s resident manager, told the network.
The luxury residential tower also features energy efficient hallway lights controlled by motion sensors; and a special cover on its rooftop swimming pool that minimizes evaporation and reduces pool-heating costs.
In addition, the Trump Organization received smaller incentive payments in 2011, for a total of about $40,000, for energy-saving projects at two separate condominium buildings in Manhattan, at 100 and 106 Central Park South, according to state records obtained by CNBC under New York’s Freedom of Information Law.
Amanda Miller, a Trump Organization spokesperson, did not respond to the network’s questions about the clean-energy incentives. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
But others were eager to opine on the subject. “Donald Trump’s own properties benefited from energy-efficiency upgrades, courtesy of successful clean-energy and climate change policies,” Dave Anderson, a policy analyst at the watchdog Energy and Policy Institute, an organization that supports renewable energy and that has been tracking Trump’s use of energy-efficiency incentives.
“However, his incoming administration appears to be heading in a very different direction on clean energy and climate change,” Anderson said.
Alan Neiditch, who has lived at Trump Tower at City Center for 11 years and heads the building’s board, told CNBC that each of the 200-odd units saved about $100 a month in utility costs during the spring and fall thanks to the retrofits, and more during the summer and winter.
For the installations, the Trump Organization received more than $280,000 in incentive money from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. A low-interest loan from the agency covered the rest of the approximately $1 million cost.