Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal got a boost today, when it was announced that P-12 schools in the Empire State had access to $4M dollars to help increase energy efficiency and reduce costs. The money is available under the P-12 Schools: Green and Clean Energy Solutions program. The program supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050 and the Governor’s Green New Deal – dubbed the most aggressive climate and clean energy program in the nation.
The program is part of NYSERDA’s P-12 Schools Initiative that encourages schools to lower energy use and utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The P-12 Schools Initiative helps schools pursue carbon savings and clean energy projects – creating a healthier environment for children to learn and thrive. The P-12 Benchmarking Program launched in April 2019 has already served over 250 schools.
Schools participating in the program will receive complimentary services including free bench marking and free clean heating and cooling screenings. Bench marking serves as a tool to measure and track the impact of financial investments against energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, there are over 6,000 public and private schools in NY, and together these schools spend roughly $1 billion in annual energy costs while producing approximately 5.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide or other harmful greenhouse gases. Under Cuomo’s Green New Deal, his plan wants to achieve a zero-carbon emissions energy sector by the year 2040 – which would be faster than any other state.