The New York State Public Service Commission recently approved more than $12 million in funding for three natural gas energy efficiency programs for large industrial customers. The programs are expected to save about 268,000 Dth through 2011, or enough gas to heat more than 27,000 average-sized homes annually.

“Large industrial companies are very eager to find ways to lower their energy costs to help improve their competitive position,” said commission Chairman Garry Brown.

The programs include those administered by National Grid for its upstate and downstate service territories. Additional commercial and industrial efficiency programs are planned for other parts of the state.

An approved National Grid $1.6 million program is designed to provide large industrial customers (customers with a gas demand greater than 10,000 Dth per year) with financial incentives and technical assistance to assess outdated/inefficient energy-using systems and recommend opportunities for replacement equipment and systems.

Meanwhile, National Grid programs valued at approximately $10.5 million were approved for its KeySpan affiliates serving New York City and Long Island. These programs are designed for industrial customers with gas usage greater than 12,000 Dth per year and will provide technical assistance and financial incentives to help customers analyze their operations.

The approved funding allocations are being guided by the commission’s May 19 order that established targets and standards for natural gas efficiency programs. That order adopted a gas usage reduction target of 4.34 Bcf/year through the end of 2011. It’s estimated that $130 million will be required annually to meet the target.

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