Saturday, January 21, 2012

Competition to Reduce Energy Use Results In Savings for Six Brooklyn Neighborhoods - NYSERDA Sponsored Energy Competition Saves Residents Money While Changing Their Habits
Residents in six Brooklyn neighborhoods participating in “Reduce the Use in District 39” have demonstrated how awareness, education and competition can lead to money-saving energy reductions.

The program was a year-long energy savings competition sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison and the office of New York City Councilman Brad Lander.

A total of 158 households in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Borough Park took the challenge. On average, they cut their electricity usage by 4 percent over the course of the competition, compared to the previous year. Their overall savings was $2,542 and 12,108 kilowatt hours (kWh), the equivalent of the amount of electricity needed to power approximately two average-sized homes for a year.

“The competition made the participants look at their energy use in a new and different way – in comparison to their neighbors, friends, and other social connections,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “It shows that this type of program can make a difference in the way people use energy. Competition coupled with awareness is a strong motivation to reduce consumption.”

Innovative initiatives, such as this contest, are becoming more common nationwide, as using behavioral economics to lower energy consumption can be a way of impacting many homes that otherwise would be difficult to reach. Participants were provided with monthly reports on how much energy they used, how much they had reduced from last year, and how their numbers compared to their neighbors’ results. They also received energy-saving tips to help them reduce their electricity consumption and ideas to improve the energy performance of their homes.
Two Park Slope residents won special awards – one for the household with the “Smallest Footprint” (lowest total electrical usage), and the other for “Biggest Reduction” (the greatest reduction from last year).

The “Smallest Footprint” award went to Lloyd Hicks, whose household used only 213.7 kWh per person during the competition.... The “Biggest Reduction” winner was Katherine Degn who reduced her household’s energy use by 49 percent compared to the previous year. “The competition and its monthly updates made me constantly aware of my energy consumption, more so than my monthly electric bills,” she said. “And I liked seeing my usage relative to Councilmember Brad Lander’s, so that gave me some sort of comparison.”

Residents achieved reductions by turning off lights, shutting off multiple appliances at once with advanced power strips, reducing the number of computers in use, cooking in microwaves and toaster ovens rather than full-sized ovens, using Con Edison’s free programmable thermostat initiative for central AC, and pulling down shades and closing windows during the summer days.

In addition to the Park Slope winners, Sarah Goodman of Windsor Terrace was a co-winner in each category, as she installed photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on her home in 2010 and reduced her electric bills to nearly zero. PV systems convert sunlight into electricity and generally offset 70 to 80 percent of a home’s electricity needs.

“Reduce the Use in District 39” was NYSERDA’s second pilot neighborhood energy-savings competition in Brooklyn. For more information about how you can be a part of future NYSERDA-sponsored energy competitions, contact  For more information on NYSERDA’s residential energy efficiency programs, visit For more information on Con Edison's energy efficiency programs, visit Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.  or call 1-800-870-6118.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
Press Release dated November 21, 2011

No comments:

Post a Comment