Long Island Village Realty's decision to move to new offices was influenced by the energy-efficient amenities offered by a completely renovated structure. The firm, founded in 1994, had been located in one of the original storefronts in the village of Syosset which were constructed in the early 1900s. By contrast, the new location offered energy-efficient windows, insulation, lighting and a highly-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling system with a programmable thermostat. The 18 members of the staff were ready for more environmentally healthy surroundings.
Under the direction of owner Marilyn Urso, the firm decided to continue developing an energy plan. An energy audit led them to replace 14 high-hat light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). New computer equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR was the next step. Staff members are instructed to turn computer equipment off at night and stand-by mode automatically activates during office hours to reduce electric consumption. The ENERGY STAR was also sought when making decisions on a postage meter and printer/copier. A system of setting the thermostat a few degrees higher was developed, keeping windows and doors open in warmer weather and relying on air conditioning only when necessary for staff and visitor comfort.
Long Island Village Realty is Nassau County's first Certified EcoBroker. The firm actively works to inform businesses and residents how to save energy and become aware of their energy usage. The group has hosted seminars for local community groups, the Chamber of Commerce and REALTOR groups on Long Island as well as nearby Westchester and Passaic County, NJ. Seminars include information about ENERGY STAR tools and resources and focus on environmental concerns associated with the real estate industry.
The company participates in the annual Syosset Chamber of Commerce Street Fair, distributing reusable shopping bags stuffed with ENERGY STAR literature, other energy saving tips and a free CFL bulb. As another outreach effort, the firm works with area PTAs to support Earth Day activities at various schools. These efforts are continuing and growing. According to Ms. Urso, Long Island Village Realty has benefited beyond the cost savings their energy program has generated. "The new location provides greater comfort and has created a very pleasant and more productive work environment," she says. "We've received media attention for our "Go Green" and EcoBroker status. But the best benefit is the knowledge that our efforts are helping people become more aware of the green issues and guiding them to make a difference in their energy usage habits."
Ms. Urso believes REALTORS have the best opportunity to educate and advise homeowners on energy efficiency. "We're confident we can make a big difference here on Long Island, one home at a time," she noted. Long Island Village Realty is saving nearly $2,700 in annual energy costs as a result of their energy saving program. This represents a reduction in annual greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) of nearly 15 tons, the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of two homes.
Marilyn Urso, Owner
2 Jackson Avenue
Syosset, NY 11791
Phone: (516) 921-0220