Queens Chamber of Commerce announces new initiative to increase energy efficiency across borough

The Queens Chamber of Commerce launches a new initiative to make its members more energy efficient at a time of skyrocketing utility rates. (Photo by Dean Moses)

With exorbitant energy costs tormenting small businesses and residents across the borough this winter, the Queens Chamber of Commerce announced the launch of its “Queens in Green Initiative” Tuesday that will strive to make the borough the greenest county in the state.

This new energy partnership — featuring industry leaders in solar, electric vehicles, biofuels and more — will help the Queens Chamber members conserve energy and save money.

“The Queens Chamber of Commerce is proud to convene this group of chamber members and other industry leaders in an effort to help businesses not only save their hard-earned dollars but also make Queens the greenest county in the largest city in America,” Queens Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Grech said. “By bringing together chamber members Reliable Power Alternatives Co., SUNation Solar Systems, Green Energy Technology, National Grid and Con Edison, we will help our businesses become more energy-efficient, and ensure Queens is leading the way in the fight against climate change.”

Under the initiative, Reliable Power Alternatives Co. (RPAC) will provide Queens Chamber members with expert advice on sustainability, energy procurement, Local Laws 84, 87, 97, 133 and available incentives around efficiencies.

“In New York City, we like to lead the way when it comes to innovative solutions to combat the reality of climate change,” Mayor Eric Adams said. “Queens is setting the bar high. This new initiative will ensure residents have clean communities to live in and are saving money at the same time. This is proof that sustainable policies are good for New Yorkers, good for the economy and good for our planet.”

As part of the Queens is Green Initiative, RPAC has created a low-cost, carbon-free electric pool for Queens chamber members. The pool is the first of its kind that will aggregate the membership’s electric load in order to purchase lower-cost energy with no long-term commitments. Members have the ability to opt out with no penalties if they choose.

“Queens knows all too well the drastic impacts climate change has had on our borough and the importance of investing in the use of clean, renewable energy,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “By connecting our small businesses with green energy industry leaders, this initiative will help ensure Queens remains a leader in combating climate change while significantly cutting energy costs for our local entrepreneurs still recovering financially from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to providing the service that helps chamber members conserve energy and save money, the Queens is Green initiative will also play a lead role in organizing a substantive team to respond to the request for public comment on the Climate Action Council Draft Scoping Plan to ensure Queens’ interests are represented in the final plan.

“This initiative will not only save businesses money during these uncertain times but will also help Queens Chamber members conserve energy,” said Councilman James Gennaro, chair of the committee on environmental protection. “These types of programs play a crucial role in addressing the very real threat that is climate change. I look forward to working with the chamber and its partners for a greener and more sustainable New York City.”

The 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act represents one of the most ambitious climate laws in the world. The law created the Climate Action Council, which is tasked with developing a draft scoping plan that serves as an initial framework for how New York state will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions, increase renewable energy and ensure climate justice. The initiative comes at a time of increased anxiety over the skyrocketing cost of energy.

“Con Edison is proud to support the Queens Chamber and its members to advance incentives that will accelerate energy efficiency upgrades, reduce the use of fossil fuels and implement new technologies to ensure a seamless transition to clean energy,” said Richard David, Con Edison director of Queens regional community affairs. “We look forward to helping businesses across Queens and beyond reduce their energy costs and stay up to code with local laws.”

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