Governor George E. Pataki and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced two energy initiatives, totaling US$7.8 million dollars, that will be made available to New York State school districts. The initiatives are designed to reduce energy costs and promote efficiency.Albany, New York – September 4, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] “Schools are a perfect environment for implementing energy efficiency and installing Renewable Energy systems because we can use these initiatives to encourage our children to make smart and sustainable energy choices,” Pataki said. “But, equally important, energy efficiency and the solar energy systems will help to lower the energy costs for our schools and reduce the environmental impacts of school energy use.” The first initiative is NYSERDA’s US$1.8 million “School Power… Naturally” Program that will help schools identify opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades. This program also funds the installation of solar electric photovoltaic panels in up to 50 schools throughout the State. Application deadline for this program is October 11, 2002. Through the “School Power ….. Naturally” Program NYSERDA will provide 90 percent of the US$20,000 cost to install solar energy systems. AMERESCO, an energy services firm, will contribute US$500 per installation, thereby reducing the school’s installation cost to only US$1,500. NYSERDA will also provide funding to the Research Foundation of SUNY so that it may develop curriculum that will educate children about renewable and solar energy options. These materials will be made available to any interested school district within the State. The second initiative is NYSERDA’s US$6 million “Comprehensive Energy Strategies in School” Program. This program will provide cost-shared technical assistance, analysis, advice, and certified training to school districts so that they may identify energy savings through a variety of energy efficiency upgrades and aggregated energy options. This program will help school districts become more self-sufficient when it comes to energy use and facilities operations. This new initiative will be offered under NYSERDA’s Energy Smart Schools Program.