By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer
New York—A groundbreaking loan program recently announced by New York City-based FS Energy LLC, a subsidiary of FirstService Corp., is financing a sweeping energy retrofit project at New York City’s Turtle Bay Towers, a 338-apartment luxury cooperative apartment building in Manhattan.
The centerpiece of the program is an innovative partnership between FS Energy and top-tier financial institutions to secure loans that will be repaid in their entirety from energy savings. The energy retrofit is expected to generate approximately $187,000 in annual operating expense savings at Turtle Bay Towers, meaning savings will exceed costs in less than three years time.
The carbon output at Turtle Bay Towers will be reduced by more than 540 metric tons each year. That’s the equivalent of removing 106 cars from the roadways.
“FS Energy has clearly demonstrated the value of implementing an energy- efficiency initiative that lowers energy consumption and reduces operating expenses,” says Wade Brennan, a member of the Turtle Bay Towers shareholder-elected board of directors.
“We were impressed with its ability to customize a program specifically to fit our needs, while introducing us to this attractive financing option.”
FS Energy CEO David Kuperberg reports this is the first of many energy-efficiency loans the energy management and advisory plans to coordinate with its financial partners to benefit properties managed by its parent FirstService Corporation and its New York City affiliate Cooper Square Realty.
“Most board members in cooperative buildings understand the importance of implementing a customized energy-efficiency initiative,” Kuperberg says. “Thanks to this unique loan agreement, many can now easily and affordably convert from oil to gas without the need to make a huge capital investment. In addition to the financial and environmental benefits, an upgrade of this nature will improve residents’ comfort without increasing monthly fees.”
The energy retrofit at Turtle Bay Towers involved the replacement of a boiler, installation of two new high-tech oil burners, and an upgrade of the chimney and control system. As a result, the structure can now burn both natural gas and No. 2 heating oil and can phase out No. 6 oil.
That soon-to-be-prohibited, so-called “dirty” oil has until now been used in fueling the heating and hot water needs at Turtle Bay Towers.
The 25-story structure, which for more than 40 years served commercial tenants, was converted to residential use in the 1970s and operated as a rental building until 1988, when it was converted to cooperative ownership. Cooper Square Realty has managed Turtle Bay Towers since 2005.
FS Energy not only facilitated the loan agreement between participating financial institutions and Turtle Bay Towers, but designed the custom energy management plan and is overseeing the project.