The bank installed 43 solar panels on the roof of our Red Hook branch.
The project was installed by Aries Power, Inc. from Albany, NY a company that specializes in renewable energy development and services. Each of the 450-watt panels has its own micro-inverter that allows for easy monitoring and troubleshooting. The cloud-based interface is controlled by computer or cell phone.
It’s anticipated that the bank will have a 28% annual offset of electricity with this 19.3kWp system. Any surplus of energy produced will feed into the Central Hudson grid and will be returned to the bank in the form of statement credits. New York State provided Ulster Savings with a one-time credit through NYSERDA that helped offset any upfront costs.
At our Kingston headquarters, we replaced and installed parking lot and outdoor building lights with energy-efficient LEDs. Not only are LED lights energy saving, they also have a better lighting performance with a significant reduction in maintenance costs.
Did you know our Schwenk Drive branch in Kingston has a white roof? The color of a roof not only affects energy use, but it can also impact global climate change. Black roofs absorb heat, which slowly heats up the buildings themselves. A building with a white roof maintains a cooler temperature than that of the outside air. Having a white roof also means we don’t need to use as much air conditioning thereby reducing our energy costs between 10-40%.
We are partners with Hannaford Supermarket’s Community Cash program that benefits the Benedictine Health Foundation. Recycled deposit bottles and cans are collected at some of our branches and brought to Hannaford. The funds are directly added to the Benedictine Health Foundation’s account. Monies raised will be used to support local cancer patients and mental health services for adolescents in our community.
The bank added a Nissan Leaf—a fully electric car—to its vehicle fleet. Battery electric vehicles don’t produce any tailpipe emissions, are cheaper to operate, require less maintenance, are safer and easy to use, and very quiet.
We are making concentrated efforts to reduce the amount of paper we consume. Our ‘Think First, Waste Less’ campaign encourages people to think before printing. Our online banking, online bill paying programs, and paperless statements further reduces our reliance on paper. We monitor our internal practices to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Besides paper, we recycle electronic waste such as toner and donate office furniture that we no longer need.