NYSERDA signs first-of-a-kind C-19, climate change mitigation deal


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has partnered with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to advance the combined goals of improved indoor air quality and environmental sustainability.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two paves the way for best practices to be quickly developed and implemented related to COVID-mitigating indoor air quality (IAQ), building electrification and energy efficiency improvements.

NYSERDA and ASHRAE will target a number of public and private buildings across the state.

ASHRAE and NYSERDA will evaluate and publicly release the energy impact of improved IAQ technologies including Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, which can be installed inside an air handling system and uses ultraviolet energy to inactivate organisms. This helps to minimise airborne exposure to potential diseases such as the COVID/Corona family of viruses.

NYSERDA and ASHRAE will ensure that existing and newly identified technologies will be deployed in an energy efficient and cost effective manner.

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ASHRAE will provide its technical expertise to help New York State meet its climate change, clean energy, market transformation and carbon emissions reduction goals codified in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

The two parties will ensure the safe reopening and operation of buildings across the state in accordance with the NY-Forward regional reopening plan.

NYSERDA and ASHRAE will also share existing research, resources, current knowledge, and best practices on minimising airborne pathogen exposure through improved IAQ/Ventilation/UVGI in buildings.

The two organisations will develop guidance documents, technical manuals, and associated training for building owners, operators and service providers, and encourage the development and adoption of new energy efficient designs, technologies, and operational approaches.

The partnership is expected accelerate New York towards its goal of an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

As New Yorkers return to work, minimising the transmission of health and life-threatening viruses and focusing on a healthy indoor environment will be key to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the press statement.

Doreen M. Harris, Acting President and CEO, NYSERDA said: “This is a groundbreaking partnership that establishes a framework to help address some of society’s most pressing health and climate issues as we build back better under the strong leadership of Governor Cuomo.

“Now more than ever, prioritising safe indoor air quality while simultaneously working toward energy-efficient and cost-effective solutions for existing and emerging technology will help reduce the overall carbon footprint of New York’s building stock and protect our health, and we thank ASHRAE for their ongoing support with these important endeavors.” 

2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. said, “ASHRAE has taken a leadership role in providing technical resources to ensure the health and safety of building occupants as we start the transition into a post-COVID-19 environment. Our partnership with NYSERDA will leverage the collective strength of our organizations as we implement innovative energy management and indoor air quality practices to address today’s building challenges.”

NYSERDA and ASHRAE will work together with partners such as the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and New York Energy Consumer’s Council (NYECC), in order to accelerate New York’s goal of carbon-neutral building stock.