The Broome County Office of Energy Development may not be an official body just yet, but the organization has already kicked into action. As our Elyse Mickalonis explains, the group’s first initiative was Tuesday, with the goal of helping area businesses save on energy and by doing so, boost the economy.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Running a local business can be expensive in a struggling economy. That’s why many in Broome County are looking for cost-saving measures.
"Our energy costs have skyrocketed. When we look at our electric and gas bills, they keep climbing and climbing. We can’t afford that,” said Broome County Executive Debbie Preston.
The Broome County Office of Energy Development held a free energy seminar at the Riverwalk Hotel in Binghamton. The purpose was to give companies the tools they need to cut down on their energy bills.
"You’ve got solar, NYSERDA, NYSEG, the Foam It people are here. Any way you can save energy,” said Preston.
Solvei Blue, ST NYSERDA Home Performance with Energy Star Program Outreach Coordinator, added, "A lot of buildings around this area and old and drafty. People are just wasting money when they have heat flowing outdoors in the winter."
Don Bush, Foam It Insulation Energy Auditor, said, "We’re looking to help people cut down energy costs with spray insulation, cellulose insulation, high energy products such as high efficiency furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters."
The county executive says cutting costs can help business owners spend more money locally and boost needed in an area hit hard by flooding.
"I'm excited, because they're going to find ways to save on their energy costs and the bottom line is, that means when the save there they'll be able to put more money into the business and local economy,” said Preston. “This runs parallel with economic development."
The Office of Energy Development has been operating since January 2nd, even though it doesn't have approval from the legislature yet. For now, it's running on temporary funds from the county executive’s budget. A formal vote by the county legislature is scheduled to take place on February 21st.