Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

NYS Governor's Awards for Pollution Prevention - NY Power Authority

New York Power Authority, White Plains


The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is continuously looking for ways to prevent pollution from electric generating stations. One way to prevent pollution is to implement energy efficiency programs. NYPA designed this program in cooperation with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to reduce the energy consumption in NYCHA's apartments by replacing old inefficient refrigerators with new highly efficient refrigerators.

The Energy Efficient Refrigerator Replacement program began in 1996 and is scheduled to continue through 2003. From 1996 through 1998, 61,045 new energy-efficient refrigerators were installed. Ultimately, 180,000 new energy-efficient refrigerators will be installed by the end of the program.

Methodologies and Procedures

The first step of the refrigerator-replacement program was to determine the potential for energy savings. NYPA contracted with an independent laboratory to meter the energy consumption of the old and new refrigerators. This metering was performed for a period of over one-year. It included both in-laboratory and field metering. The metering showed that the replacement of an old refrigerator averaging 650 kilowatts per hour with a new refrigerator averaging 437 kilowatts per hour would reduce the energy consumption by 32%. This reduction in energy consumption prevents pollution from electric generating stations.

The second step was to analyze the wastestreams that would be generated from the disposal of the old refrigerators. The waste products of most concern were the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from the refrigeration system, the oil in the compressor, and the scrap metals (steel, copper, and aluminum). NYPA developed an Environmental Procedure that stipulated that the CFCs were to be reclaimed, the oil in the compressor was to be drained and sent for incineration, and the steel, copper and aluminum were to be recycled. This procedure prevented any improper handling or release of the CFCs and oil. It also stipulated that the metals would not end up in a landfill. Overall, 85% of the old refrigerators are recycled.

NYPA contracted with a refrigerator recycler to properly dispose of the old refrigerators. Prior to awarding the contract, the refrigerator recycler's facility was audited by NYPA to insure that the facility was in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. The refrigerator recycler was required to follow NYPA's Environmental Procedure on waste handling. As the program continues, NYPA will periodically audit the refrigerator recycler for environmental compliance.


From the program's beginning in 1996 through the end of 1998:

  • Energy consumption by NYCHA has been reduced by 61,794 MWH
  • This reduction in electricity consumed has reduced emissions, based on a typical oil-burning electric generating station, by 95 tons of sulfur dioxide, 78 tons of nitrogen oxides, and 52,000 tons of carbon dioxide
  • 13,890 pounds of CFC-12 gas has been reclaimed
  • 214,627 pounds of aluminum has been recycled
  • 35,672 pounds of copper has been recycled
  • 8,097,400 pounds of steel has been recycled
  • 834,000 pounds of cardboard from the new units has been recycled
  • NYCHA has saved over $2.3 million on its electric bill
  • Over 21,000 energy-efficient refrigerators have been purchased on the NYPA contract by 41 other housing authorities across the country

Any comments or questions?
Contact us at: 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-1750;
518-402-9469 (phone); 518-402-9168 (fax)

This page was last modified April 21, 2000

  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions