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energy efficiency

September 16, 2019 - 3:20pm

Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in New York, Northern Pennsylvania, and Vermont, is proud to announce its registration for the 2019 Clean Up the World (CUTW) program.

Established in 1993, CUTW is one of the largest community-based environmental programs in the world, uniting community groups, schools, businesses, and local governments to carry out activities that address local environmental issues. The organization inspired billions of people across all continents to tread lightly, clean up, and conserve the planet in addition to combating waste and plastic pollution.

In order to fulfill its commitment to the program Tops is hosting a Clean Up the World Weekend, Sept. 20-22, at all 159 of its stores across three states, including its two stores in Genesee County -- Batavia and Le Roy.

Over the course of the three days, 10,000 reusable bags made of 10-percent recyclable materials will randomly be given away, encouraging shoppers to use recycled bags over plastic. This is especially pertinent in New York State where a plastic bag ban is currently in legislation and set to go into effect in March.

Additionally shoppers will learn more about specific earth friendly brands available at Tops including Full Circle, Mrs. Meyers, Method, Seventh Generation and more as they make their own personal choices to make a difference in their own carbon footprint.

Lastly, Tops associates will be participating in environmental clean ups across the communities in which it serves. From river and beach clean ups to beautifying trails and parks, Tops is encouraging its associates to make a difference.

“At Tops Friendly Markets, social responsibility and sustainability have always been at the core of our mission, upholding standards that ensure we reduce environmental waste and energy consumption while providing our customers with sustainably sourced, high-quality products,” said Kathy Sautter, public and media relations manager for Tops Friendly Markets.

“We continue to make great strides in reducing our environmental impact in every facet of our business. For example we are able to reduce the amount of inedible food going back into landfills by recycling over 346 tons of inedible food and over 156 tons of unusable organic products this year alone.”

Across the chain, Tops raises its efficiencies in other ways as well by implementing energy efficient lighting which drastically reduces energy consumption throughout their stores properties. The chain began upgrading interior lighting to LED lights/fixtures thru a program with Lime Energy Services in several of its stores as well as its corporate offices and mailroom. In 2019 these retro-fittings now save over 1,909,725 kWh annually.

As Tops launched into a year of remodels in 2019 LED lighting continues to be used to ensure additional savings. LED lighting was also used in fuel canopies in 2019 helping to save over 181,000 kWh annually in exterior lighting as well.

Tops also took a look at how it could reduce the amount of refrigerant containing ozone depleting gases and retrofitted multiple systems companywide resulting in 20,000 pounds less for an overall 10-percent reduction. Overall the company was able to reduce its leak rates on these harmful refrigerants by 20 percent keeping 5,600 pounds out of the atmosphere.

Tops is also on track to exceed last year’s totals when it comes to recycling. So far this year alone the company has recycled more than 9,500 tons of cardboard and over 395 tons of plastic bags and film.

June 18, 2019 - 3:50pm

County officials can expect a state rebate for their energy-saving efforts that began last spring.

How much of a rebate remains to be seen, Deputy Highway Superintendent Paul Osborn told the Public Service Committee on Monday.

In the update, Osborn said his department is waiting to receive summary reports from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to show where savings have been made and where more savings can occur later on.

“NYSERDA still has to review all of it to make sure that the realization of the energy savings that they say that they were going to do initially is realized again as well,” Osborn said. “And then, if there is more realization in the savings, then they give us a rebate for that.

“We are not anticipating a significant rebate, but we are anticipating some rebate from them. So, we can take that rebate and put it into some of those facilities that they reviewed that may need some work.”

Some cost savings will be realized with the completion of smaller projects like switching lighting in county buildings to more energy-efficient systems. More extensive projects include electrical panels, boilers, HVAC systems and breakers or air handlers.

So far, heating at County Building #1, ventilation and insulation work at the animal shelter and HVAC improvements to the highway garage have been underway.

Osborn said that once the NYSERDA report is released in late July, it will paint a clearer picture of where the funding can be allocated.

“Our biggest thing is we want to see the report — see where our idealized savings can be furthered,” Osborn said.

County Manager Jay Gsell added, “The Highway Department has one of our older buildings. [It] is also one that had probably the least internal changes made to it as with anything with HVAC and lighting and other things. So, this is one of those times, finally, let’s really make some significant improvements.”

The energy-savings projects are being conducted by Johnson Controls, which entered into a $4 million contract with the county last spring after the company conducted an energy consumption audit of county facilities in 2017.

The projected energy savings are expected to be nearly $4.3 million, for a potential net savings to the county of about $300,000.

There was debate about whether to hire Johnson Controls, but a key selling point was the claim that energy-saving projects will pay for themselves in 20 years.

Initially, legislators Gary Maha and Andrew Young approached the agreement with skepticism, while legislators Shelly Stein, Marianne Clattenburg and John Hilchey expressed their approval.

The Johnson Controls contract allows the county to undertake projects that are already part of the county's capital investment plans and save money on existing utilities. The money saved from lower energy costs will flow back into the capital project budget to cover additional upgrades.

Legislators seemed satisfied with the information contained in the energy-saving projects update and raised no objections.

Stein requested that Osborn return to the Public Service Committee in September to present the next update on Johnson Controls.

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