Building Audits & Upgrades
Plug Load Audit & Reduction Measures
In 2005, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority conducted a plug load audit for 2 city buildings. A plug load audit analyzes the electricity used by different appliances (e.g., computers, copiers, refrigerators, etc.) and compares it to the projected electricity usage if power management strategies were implemented. This audit found that the city could save 60,000 kWh per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30 tons of eCO2 per year by implementing such measures in the 2 buildings. Following the study, the city's IT Department issued guidelines for all departments on how to reduce energy consumption of equipment, including recommended power management settings, and is purchasing only Energy Star - certified equipment (computers and related), city-wide.

City staff is encouraged to put these measures into practice as part of their daily routine (for example, turning off all devices at the end of the day or when leaving for extended periods), through their supervisors, new employee training, and as part of a recently developed Annual Learning Packet (Human Resources Department), which all staff must complete.            

Energy Savings Performance Contract
In 2007, the city signed a 15-year Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with Johnson Controls, Inc., which identified and implemented various energy conservation and facility improvement measures at city-owned facilities with no out-of-pocket expenses for the city – in short, these projects are financed through the expected energy cost savings. Some implemented measures include: lighting upgrades and controls, facility management systems and other automatic temperature controls, building envelope improvements, high-efficiency furnaces and condensers, window replacements, steam traps, and more. As part of this program, the city also chose to include a Sustainable Energy Education program, which engaged all city employees and provided training in different subject areas and how we can make a difference through our own behavior.

Now more than 3 years into the contract (2012), it is estimated the city has saved approximately $523,057 in energy costs, 2,015,686 kWh (electricity), 114,885 Therms (natural gas), and eliminated about 1,498 metric tons of CO2.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)
Beginning in January 2012, the city has been purchasing Green-e Energy-certified renewable energy credits (RECs) for 100% of its electricity. By doing this, the city will help to increase the market for renewable-sourced generation facilities that do not use fossil fuels and, therefore, do not generate greenhouse gases, while at the same time offsetting city government emissions.

Following the implementation of this contract, the City of Ithaca joined EPA's Green Power Partnership program (February 2012), committing to continue to pursue and support renewable energy sources.
Renewable Energy Projects
Geothermal Heating & Cooling at IYB
In 1996, the city installed a geothermal heating and cooling system at the Ithaca Youth Bureau building, next to Stewart Park. This system extracts heat from, or pumps it into, the earth through a set of underground pipe loops; these pipes contain a heat transfer fluid that is circulated through heat exchangers in the building. In winter, the system absorbs the heat from the earth and distributes it throughout the building, whereas in summer it absorbs heat from the building and returns it to the earth. This geothermal system is still being used today, thus reducing energy costs and the use of fossil fuels for heating/cooling.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Solar Thermal Hot Water Systems at Two City Facilities
In 2011, the city was awarded a grant from NYSERDA – using ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds – to install solar thermal hot water systems on a small number of city facilities. Solar thermal systems collect and use solar energy to heat water for the various hot water needs of a building. This funding was used to install such systems in 2 city buildings: the Cass Park main building and the Streets and Facilities building. The project will be completed by Spring 2012 and is projected to supply about 50% of the annual DHW (domestic hot water) load for the Streets & Facilities building and 43% for Cass Park, with total annual energy savings of approx. 166 MMBTUs (million BTUs, the standard energy consumption unit).

Other Energy Efficiency Projects
Traffic Signal Retrofit
In 2006, the city undertook a project to replace all city-owned traffic lights with LED bulbs. These bulbs use about 1/10th of the electricity used by traditional bulbs. The project was completed that same year and has already reached the expected 3-year payback period, and will continue to save taxpayer dollars spent on electricity in the future.
Low Energy Asphalt
Low-Energy Asphalt
In 2010, the city completed 2 paving projects using a Warm-Mix Asphalt technology (WMA), called Low-Emission Asphalt (LEA). This technology uses foaming of the asphalt, in conjunction with a chemical additive, to improve mixture workability, coating of aggregate, and adhesion characteristics. The energy savings are reaped during the production phase at the plant, by enabling the production of asphalt at temperatures as low as 200-220°F – conventional hot-mix asphalt (HMA) is typically heated to 350-375°F and cools to approximately 300°F, while being transported to the job site. This temperature reduction in the asphalt production process translates into energy savings, financial savings, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and diminished odor intrusion to the community.