New York state has made $4.2 million available to support programs providing training to building operations and maintenance workers on best practices to reduce energy use and energy bills in buildings across the state.
The funding will advance the state’s goal to transition to 50 percent renewables by 2030 and reduce energy use in buildings by 23 percent over 1990 levels, officials said.
“This training is a win-win that will help businesses lower operating costs, reduce energy use and help New York fight climate change,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “With this funding, we are taking one more step toward a cleaner, greener and more sustainable New York for all.”
He said the funding is part of a broader statewide effort under the Clean Energy Fund to offer customized technical assistance to increase energy efficiency and drive greater use of renewable energy resources in commercial, industrial, multifamily and institutional buildings, and schools. This training will help advance the state’s clean energy efforts because as energy use is reduced in buildings, fewer renewable energy resources will be needed to reach the 50 percent renewables goal.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, building owners can save 5 to 20 percent on their energy bills annually by implementing operations and maintenance best practices. Best practices include requiring an energy management plan with energy-efficient operation as a primary component and using an energy accounting system to locate savings opportunities and track and measure the success of energy efficient strategies.
The $4.2 million Building Operations and Maintenance Workforce Training Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, targets the workforce at the following: multifamily housing, office buildings, retail facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals and health care facilities, state and local government buildings, nonprofit and private institutions, industrial facilities and public and private K-12 schools.
To be eligible for the funding, buildings or groups of buildings must have total annual energy expenditures of $1 million.
This funding will support the following training initiatives: on-site training laboratories, curriculum development, coaching/mentorships, apprenticeships, internships, training trainers within a company and partnerships with manufacturers.
Workforce development and training also have the potential to lead to higher wages, advancement and national certification for workers, state officials said.
New York State Energy and Finance Chairman Richard Kauffman said, “A skilled workforce plays a critical role in our path to reduce costs, cut emissions and meet the Governor’s aggressive 50 percent by 2030 renewables commitment. Under Reforming the Energy Vision, New York is driving progress to meet our energy and climate goals for a clean energy future.”
There are currently more than 120,000 people employed in building operations and maintenance-related occupations across the state, including facilities and property managers; operating and stationary engineers; technicians; building superintendents; maintenance workers; mechanics and supervisors; electricians; HVAC technicians; procurement staff; facility coordinators; and energy/sustainability managers.
Approximately 20 percent of the building operations and maintenance workforce is expected to retire over the next five years.
Applications will be accepted for qualified initiatives through April 27, or until the funding is exhausted.
An informational webinar for potential applicants to learn more about the opportunity will be held on Feb. 23. Applicants who intend to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘PON 3442 Applicant Webinar’ and information on how to participate will be provided.