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LI food bank saves $13G on energy costs

A Hauppauge food bank recently figured out how to save about $13,000 a year in energy costs: It installed new lighting through a program run by the Long Island Power Authority.

As a result, Long Island Cares, which distributed about 6.1 million pounds of food to agencies in Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2010, will be getting a smaller energy bill through LIPA’s Efficiency Long Island Program.

LIPA conducted an energy audit on the nonprofit’s building and determined that installing energy efficient lighting could save thousands annually, said Paule Pachter, executive director of Long Island Cares. Installation of the new lighting was completed in March.

Pachter said his organization used $36,000 in state funds to pay for the work, then received $16,000 back in a LIPA rebate, which he said was used to purchase food.

“We get to save more money in energy and we get to feed more hungry,” Pachter said.

The savings mean the nonprofit will be able to provide 26,000 pounds more food this year, he said.

Through the program, LIPA has helped several other businesses save money, said Michael Hervey, LIPA chief operating officer.

“Ultimately, the purpose is to reduce our carbon footprint and to reduce our peak electric usage,” he said. “We would encourage all businesses to contact us and participate in the program.”

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