Use local green products to boost energy efficiency

The cycle nears completion. In Buffalo’s infancy, the energy efficiency of the Erie Canal attracted commerce and industry that turned green fields brown. Now, adding green industry tips the scales of eco-justice toward a more earth-friendly balance.

As I applaud the heightened optimism, I would like to remind developers and planners of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 88, “Directing State Agencies and Authorities to Improve the Energy Efficiency of State Buildings,” signed Dec. 28, 2012. It requires that “an energy analysis must be included in the design phase of all capital project plans” and “the most cost-effective energy-efficiency measures or technologies should be included in the project.”

Most people are unaware that the most cost-effective and energy-efficient building block hails from right here in Western New York. Insulated concrete block is not even remotely sexy, but it does produce buildings that consume less than half the heating and cooling energy of conventional buildings, as evidenced by real-world utility bills.

There are a number of other local companies that march in the vanguard of green commerce, notably solar, wind and radiant floor pioneers. As new buildings are designed to house green industry and public attractions, I implore the governor and his team to follow his order. Please, use local green products and skilled labor to build the cost-effective and energy-efficient physical foundation of future growth.

Marty Walters