Improve

Energy upgrades don't have to cost your building a ton of money

By Lucy Cohen Blatter | July 16, 2014 - 2:59PM 

By now, we've all heard about how energy-efficient air conditioners and washer/dryers can save us money, but why not think bigger? The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, a so-called public benefit corporation aimed at helping New Yorkers conserve energy, has a slew of financial incentives to help offset the cost of making your building more environmentally friendly. 

Here are a few big-ticket items from a roundup in DNAinfo, along with the incentives offered and the time it reportedly takes to break even on your investment.

Brand new lighting

Incentive: For buildings that are larger than 50,000 square feet, ConEd will cover about 20 percent of the cost of replacing the lights and also offers $15 rebates for smaller jobs. 

Payback time: About two years

Rooftop solar panels

Incentive: A relatively small-scale solar project can cost about $26,250 to install, but between city, state and federal tax credits, plus a NYSERDA incentive, you could wind up spending only about $6,000.

Payback time: Three to five years

Wind turbines

Incentive: NYSERDA—which just approved its first small wind project in the city at Long Island City's Pearson Court Square rentals—​offers rebates that cover almost 50 percent of the total cost. (Note: The Pearson Court Square project cost $100,000).

Payback time: Under 10 years. But sometimes the installation costs so much it's not worth doing the project (especially if, for example, a crane is needed to hoist up the turbines).

Roof to rafters retrofit

Incentive: As part of its "multi-family performance program," NYSERDA will pay up to $1,000 per apartment for energy upgrades in buildings of four stories or more. If the building cuts energy use by 15 percent, it's eligible for a bonus of up to $300 per unit. 

Payback time: Less than six years

Related:

Upgrade your co-ops's green space with a rooftop garden

Compost 101: All the dirt New Yorkers need for "organics collection"

Why isn't your building going solar? Blame the expediters

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.
topics: