Turning off lights, turning down the heat and buying with an eye toward energy efficiency is saving New York more than $3.1 million so far this fiscal year.
The energy efficiency program for state offices was aimed at promoting the idea publicly. But the payoff halfway through the fiscal year is also a boost for the cash-strapped state.
State General Services Commissioner John Egan says the savings include a new natural gas contract and retrofitting more state buildings to be more energy efficient.
Halfway through the fiscal year, Egan says the state's energy bill is down 5.15 percent compared to the first half of last year and down more than 13 percent from 2007.
The strategies used in more than 50 state buildings include:
_ Setting building temperatures to 70 degrees during the winter and 76 degrees in the summer.
_ Reducing the light levels in offices.
_ Replacing older fixtures and bulbs with more efficient equipment.
The Henderson Smith State Office Building in Hornell in Steuben County cut energy consumption by 25 percent between April and September, Egan said.