Ways to Save Energy and Water
Renewable Energy and On-Site Generation
Installing renewable energy sources and other equipment that can produce energy on-site can reduce a building’s reliance on fossil fuels. It can also provide a power supply that is more reliable during emergencies, like a blackout.
Systems that convert sunlight into electricity are known as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems or solar panels. Installing solar PV reduces the need to purchase electricity from a utility. And any excess electricity produced can be credited to a building’s utility bill.
Now is a great time to consider solar—state incentives like NYSERDA funds, coupled with tax incentives from the City, state, and federal governments can cover as much as 80 percent of the costs of solar panels.
You can install solar PV on individual buildings. Or you can participate in a community solar program, like:
- Solarize programs. These help potential solar customers use group purchasing power to reduce installation prices by up to 10 to 20 percent. Two options in New York City include the NYC Solar Partnership’s Solarize NYC program and Solar One’s Here Comes Solar program.
- Community-shared solar programs. For building owners and renters without adequate roof space for solar PV, these programs offer subscriptions to portions of a large solar array located on- or off-site at another building. The Shared Solar NYC program offers this for building owners and multifamily renters.
Online Interactive NY Solar Map
The NY Solar Map is a free interactive map that displays every building in New York State’s solar potential, possible savings, and relevant incentive and tax benefit programs. Check it out here.
Solar hot water heaters—also known as solar thermal systems—use the sun’s energy to heat water for use within a building. These systems are typically connected to an existing hot water system to provide between 25–80 percent of a building’s hot water needs. Get more information about solar thermal pump systems here.
Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pump systems—also known as ground source heat pumps—use the relatively stable temperature of the earth to provide both heating and cooling. Get more information about geothermal heat pump systems here.
Combined Heat and Power
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems—also known as co-generation—generate electricity on-site for a building. They burn fuel—typically natural gas—and use the excess heat to provide space heating or hot water. These systems achieve up to 80 percent fuel efficiency as compared to electricity generated by a power plant, which is just 15 to 45 percent efficient. CHP systems can also provide back-up power in the event of an emergency, providing electricity to operate a building’s critical functions like elevators, water pumps, and emergency lighting.
Renewable Energy and On-Site Generation Resources
- Solarize NYC
- Here Comes Solar
- Shared Solar NYC Gateway
- NYC Department of Buildings: Solar Panels
- NY Solar Smart NYC Multifamily Solar Guide
- U.S. Department of Energy: Solar
- U.S. Department of Energy: Geothermal Heat Pumps
- U.S. Department of Energy: CHP Deployment
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: CHP Partnership
- Geothermal Systems and their Application in New York City
Ready to Start Saving on Renewable Energy?
Contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator team today.