Richard Kauffman Becomes ‘Energy Czar’ for NY Governor Cuomo

new-york-energy-czarRichard Kauffman has recently been appointed Energy Czar by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo. Previously a senior advisor to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Kauffman will be a member of the Cabinet and lead New York’s energy policy as well as the energy finance efforts.

According to Governor Cuomo’s 2013 State of the State Address, Kauffman will “coordinate the state’s clean-tech agenda and oversee the state government’s energy portfolio.” Following the announcement, Cuomo stated, “Richard Kauffman’s extensive private and public sector experience in energy and finance matters will improve coordination of the state’s energy policy and further the establishment of New York as the national leader in the clean energy economy.”

Kauffman previously held the position of CEO for an investment firm called Good Energies, Inc (now known as Bregal Energy). Before this, he chaired the Global Financial Group at Goldman Sachs. Both of these positions give Kauffman excellent and relevant experience for his new position working with Governor Cuomo.

One of his top priorities will be to establish New York’s first $1 billion “green bank.” Through this bank, loans and grants will be provided to further develop clean energy operations and manage the state’s spending on clean energy.

Additionally, Kauffman will work to boost solar energy in New York and produce a system of electric vehicle charging stations across the state. Dubbed the “Charge NY Plan,” 3,000 charging stations are expected to be installed in hopes of encouraging the purchase of 40,000 electric vehicles. Other major projects on the agenda are to address hydrofracking, the energy highway, and post-Sandy utility improvements.

When Kauffman officially takes his position as Cabinet Level Leader of Energy Policy and Finance on February 1, he will be overseeing the New York Power Authority, the Department of Public Service, NYSERDA, and the Long Island Power Authority. Kauffman states his enthusiasm-

“I’ve been very fortunate to serve in the federal government, and a lot of things I’ve been trying to implement are of course very difficult to do in Washington. States are the laboratories often for policies, and so the opportunity to work in a very big important state with a governor and Legislature that have a commitment to take on some of these big challenges, it’s not going to be easy but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”

As these projects slowly become implemented in New York, citizens across the United States have the ability to be a part of the energy efficiency movement. If your business is looking to get involved, consider working with an energy consultant. You will be supplied with valuable information on ways to take advantage of energy procurement and demand response programs available in your area.

Sarah Battaglia
Energy Curtailment Specialists

Sarah can be found on LinkedIn and Google+.

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