"Silda Wall Spitzer, wife of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, wants to turn the governor's mansion built in 1875 into a modern model of energy efficiency, an inspiration for home and business owners to do the same, and a place for children to learn the benefits of environmental concern [see full press release here] ...She said the goal of the $650,000 effort _ $200,000 paid from state energy efficiency grants available to all New Yorkers _ will include cutting the current $86,000-a-year electric bill to less than $60,000 a year..." Sounds like a 12 year payback roughly. "Greening the Mansion" will cut its electrical energy consumption by 50% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half. Highlights of the plan include: * Clean, Renewable Energy. Solar panels will be installed in three locations throughout the Executive Mansion's property: the parking lot, a building canopy, and the roof of the pool-house. The solar panels in the parking lot will serve as carports, providing shade and eventually enabling electric vehicles to re-charge. Solar panels will also be built as a canopy outside the State Police building. A fuel cell system will be used to power a back-up generator, replacing an existing diesel generator.
# Energy-Efficient Appliances and Equipment. Energy efficient appliances will replace several existing appliances. This process will begin today with the installation of an energy-efficient washing machine and dryer to replace old and inefficient models. Low-flow showerheads will also be installed to reduce the use of water and many of the existing light bulbs throughout the mansion will be replaced with energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
# Ecologically Sound Maintenance Practices. The mansion is phasing in the use of non-toxic cleaning products, organic pest control, mulching lawnmowers that recycle grass clippings in place, extensive recycling, and composting.
# Green Equipment. The mansion staff will begin using hybrid electric vehicles. Electric lawn mowers and lawn maintenance equipment will also be used to reduce gasoline emissions. (Electric equipment can plug into the solar carport for power.)
# Local and Organic Food Policy. The mansion has begun purchasing New York-grown, and preferably organic, produce to the greatest extent possible. The mansion will also purchase from a local food co-op, and join a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which allows consumers to buy a share in a farm and receive fresh local organic produce when it is harvested.
Via::AM New York