The Marriott Downtown Syracuse Hotel is one of the first buildings in Upstate New York to use a special tool that helps with efficiency and reducing energy use. Owner Ed Riley says he’s trying to make the hotel as close to net zero, meaning the lowest carbon footprint as possible.
He used the CPACE program to fund almost $10 million in cost-effective heating and cooling, as well as changes to LED lighting in 50 rooms and a restaurant. State Energy Authority Treasurer Jeff Pitkin explains CPACE allowed the hotel to use green financing for the improvements.
"So there's no municipal moneys and there's no tax moneys that are being used. If we have more municipalities in the region and across the state that offer this tool, we think it will drive a tremendous amount of investment and clean energy improvements that are critical to achieving our clean energy goals."
State officials say it can help other businesses reduce their energy costs and lower overall carbon footprint, as New York tries to hit reduced emissions goals by 2050. Energy manager Chris Carrick, with the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board, says heating and cooling are among the largest contributors to greenhouse gases. And, financing often gets in the way of a business upgrading expensive systems.
"There are thousands of commercial buildings in Central New York and we are working actively with our five member counties to implement an open CPACE financing, so that other property developers like Mr. Riley can have the same opportunities but it takes those visionaries to step up to the plate."
The money for CPACE comes from private investors and is paid back through energy savings. Information for businesses, homeowners, and builders can be found here.