WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. While walking down Main Street, Les Leong stopped by Renaissance Plaza to check out the Renewable Energy Expo, which is part of the White Plains Business Improvement District's second annual Earth Week Celebration .
Leong, of White Plains, was interested in the potential savings on utilities by using alternative sources of energy, such as solar, wind, hydro and thermal.
"I think this is something that's really needed," Leong said of the expo. "I think people don't really know where to start."
APEX Thermal Services , which offers solar energy services, was one of several renewable-energy companies on hand. Its founder, Alan J. Paul, explained to people like Leong, as well as Mayor Thomas Roach, how using solar hot water, pool heating or radiant heating could save them money.
Paul said that installing a basic solar hot-water system could save a homeowner $600 to $1,100 each year. People can visit the APEX Thermal Service website to calculate the costs and savings of such a system based on their location, current energy provider, home size and other factors. For a White Plains home with three to four people, using Consolidated Edison, a solar hot-water system would cost $9,700. The household would save $1,058 the first year on its bill, according to the website calculator.
"White Plains is a green and forward-looking city," said Roach, who had a healthy exchange with Paul about solar and geothermal energy. "This is an opportunity to highlight all of the different technologies that are out there."
The city recently unveiled five electric charging stations near the White Plains train station, and hopes to install 30 more in the North White Plains train station, Roach said. Coulomb Technologies provided the five chargers through ChargePoint America , a U.S. Department of Energy initiative designed to accelerate the use of electric cars and reduce petroleum consumption.
Another green initiative of the city's is creating bike lanes, which will run from Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard to the Metro-North station on Water Street and then back onto Lexington Avenue. Roach said the bike lanes should be ready by the end of May.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.