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New NYC Energy Laws: How To Boost Your Bottom Line By Engaging Your Tenants

In 2019, New York City passed the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings for any city in the world. However, over 60% of a typical building’s energy/carbon consumption is controlled by tenants, leaving landlords in a difficult position. Because if these regulations are not enacted, they will be forced to pay hefty new fines. Fortunately, there are targeted tenant programs and other local laws to assist landlords in getting the messages out to their tenants:

  • Local Law 33 mandates building energy efficiency grades starting in 2020
  • Local Law 97 sets the carbon emissions caps and heavy fines starting in 2024
  • Local Law 88 establishes lighting upgrade and submetering requirements in 2025
  • ULI Tenant Energy Optimization Program integrates energy efficiency into tenant space design and construction
  • NYSERDA Commercial Tenant Program supports tenants, landlords, and industry consultants in improving office spaces and reducing energy use
  • Green Leasing & Split Incentive Strategies

On January 21, 2020, the NYC 2030 District produced a webinar explaining how landlords can use utilize these programs and local laws to engage their tenants. Our panelist included:

  • Emily McLaughlin – Director, Urban Land Institute, Greenprint Center for Building Performance
  • Elihu Dietz – Project Consultant, ERS
  • Dario Gristina – CEO, CPL Group USA & PleXus PoE Lighting
  • Frank Maricic – Co-Chair, NYC 2030 District (Moderator)

To view the Webinar Slides Click Here

To view the Webinar Video Click Here

Brooklyn Completes Largest Community Solar Project in New York City

Nearly 200 NYC Households and Small Commercial Businesses to Benefit from 1.2-Megawatt Solar Array

December 19, 2018

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that the largest Community Solar project in New York City has been completed and is operational. Located in Brooklyn, nearly 200 households and businesses are benefiting from the 1.2-megawatt solar array which supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s mandate for half of all electricity consumed to come from renewable sources by 2030.

The solar array was developed by Daroga Solar. The project is fully subscribed with 196 total customers – 70 percent residential customers, 20 percent small commercial customers, and 10 percent low- to moderate-income customers.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Residents and small business owners throughout New York are rapidly embracing community solar as a means to lower their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment. I applaud Daroga Solar for their commitment to this project and the residents and small business owners in Brooklyn who have joined together to embrace renewable energy and support Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy and climate goals.”

NYSERDA through the NY-Sun program initiative provided over $850,000 in funding for the solar array, which includes a total of 3,325 solar panels on the rooftops of two locations on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. Combined, the 1.2-megawatt solar array will reduce greenhouse gases by 740 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 160 cars from the road. Projects of this size and capacity help to provide long-term certainty to New York’s growing solar market and lower costs for residents and businesses while supporting the ambitious goal to add more than 3 gigawatts of installed solar in the state by 2023.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Community Distributed Generation evolution, especially in New York. We haven’t scratched the surface of its potential and look forward to being a leader in its development. The more projects developed, the cleaner and greener our City will become,” said David Matt, Principal, Daroga Power.

NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased more than 1,000 percent, leveraged nearly $2.8 billion in private investments and has more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across the state.

Growing activity in community distributed generation (CDG) is in part due to the evolving Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) policies and Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which are driving greater investments in the CDG sector.

More than 84,000 solar installations have been supported by NYSERDA throughout New York State to date, with over 5,004 projects currently in the pipeline, including 700 megawatts of Community Solar. In 2018, through June, New York was ranked third nationally in residential and non-residential solar installed. In addition, during the months of July and August 2018, New York completed 80 megawatts of solar projects – the highest amount completed in two months in the state’s history.

An initiative of the NY-Sun program, Community Solar projects increase access to solar in areas where residents may not own property or have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their location by enabling them to subscribe to a community solar project. Once households and businesses subscribe, energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credits on their electric bills. Individuals and families interested in learning more about this project should visit NYSERDA’s community solar webpage.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

Media Inquiries

Brooklyn Completes Largest Community Solar Project in New York City

Nearly 200 NYC Households and Small Commercial Businesses to Benefit from 1.2-Megawatt Solar Array

December 19, 2018

The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that the largest Community Solar project in New York City has been completed and is operational. Located in Brooklyn, nearly 200 households and businesses are benefiting from the 1.2-megawatt solar array which supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s mandate for half of all electricity consumed to come from renewable sources by 2030.

The solar array was developed by Daroga Solar. The project is fully subscribed with 196 total customers – 70 percent residential customers, 20 percent small commercial customers, and 10 percent low- to moderate-income customers.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Residents and small business owners throughout New York are rapidly embracing community solar as a means to lower their energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment. I applaud Daroga Solar for their commitment to this project and the residents and small business owners in Brooklyn who have joined together to embrace renewable energy and support Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy and climate goals.”

NYSERDA through the NY-Sun program initiative provided over $850,000 in funding for the solar array, which includes a total of 3,325 solar panels on the rooftops of two locations on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. Combined, the 1.2-megawatt solar array will reduce greenhouse gases by 740 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 160 cars from the road. Projects of this size and capacity help to provide long-term certainty to New York’s growing solar market and lower costs for residents and businesses while supporting the ambitious goal to add more than 3 gigawatts of installed solar in the state by 2023.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Community Distributed Generation evolution, especially in New York. We haven’t scratched the surface of its potential and look forward to being a leader in its development. The more projects developed, the cleaner and greener our City will become,” said David Matt, Principal, Daroga Power.

NY-Sun is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased more than 1,000 percent, leveraged nearly $2.8 billion in private investments and has more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across the state.

Growing activity in community distributed generation (CDG) is in part due to the evolving Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) policies and Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which are driving greater investments in the CDG sector.

More than 84,000 solar installations have been supported by NYSERDA throughout New York State to date, with over 5,004 projects currently in the pipeline, including 700 megawatts of Community Solar. In 2018, through June, New York was ranked third nationally in residential and non-residential solar installed. In addition, during the months of July and August 2018, New York completed 80 megawatts of solar projects – the highest amount completed in two months in the state’s history.

An initiative of the NY-Sun program, Community Solar projects increase access to solar in areas where residents may not own property or have ideal conditions to install solar panels at their location by enabling them to subscribe to a community solar project. Once households and businesses subscribe, energy is still delivered through their regular electric provider while the power produced from the community solar array is fed directly back to the electric grid. As a result, the grid is supplied with clean, renewable energy while subscribers get credits on their electric bills. Individuals and families interested in learning more about this project should visit NYSERDA’s community solar webpage.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

Media Inquiries

NYSERDA’s REV Connect Wins Utility Dive’s 2018 Project of the Year Award!

On December 3, 2018 Utility Dive announced REV Connect as their 2018 Project of the Year Winner, stating: “The program represents a holistic way for utilities to approach problem-solving outside of the rigid formalities of an RFP process. New York’s undertaking prompted other states to follow suit with their own efforts.”

Highlights

Goal:

To help utilities source solutions without the rigid formalities of a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Progress:

Opened at least 16 major proceedings since launching in 2014.

Outlook:

The project’s energy storage Innovation Sprint is expected in the second half of 2019.

“Plenty of states have followed suit, but New York’s REV is a holistic reimagining of energy resources and the business models underpin the sector. While REV aims to bring about wholesale changes, one initiative within it is speeding the development of new resources and solutions while helping remake utility procurement processes.”

REV Connect has been running for about a year now without an end-date, drawing 250 submissions that generated 150 connections between utilities and market participants. NYSERDA says there are currently 11 partnerships in development, and a couple others very close to that stage.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

NYSERDA Launches RetrofitNY High-Performance Retrofit Solutions Pilot

On June 27, 2018, NYSERDA announced that it has awarded six design contracts to solution provider teams under RetrofitNY’s High-Performance Retrofit Solutions pilot program. The contracts are the initial step for RetrofitNY, a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. launched earlier this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The program is intended to create standardized, scalable deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions that can be replicated throughout the entire housing industry and support Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

 

Read the full announcement below:

NYSERDA Announces First Contract Awards for $30 Million RetrofitNY Initiative, a First-of-its-Kind Energy Efficiency Program in the U.S.

Winning Teams to Design Retrofit Solutions for Affordable Multi-Family Buildings that Achieve or Approach Near Net-Zero Energy

June 27, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced six design contracts have been awarded to solution provider teams under RetrofitNY’s High-Performance Retrofit Solutions pilot program. The contracts are the initial step for RetrofitNY, a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. launched earlier this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The program is intended to create standardized, scalable deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions that can be replicated throughout the entire housing industry and support Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Alicia Barton, NYSERDA President and CEO said, “RetrofitNY capitalizes on the expertise of building owners and designers for identifying and creating scalable energy efficiency solutions for New York’s building stock that will reduce energy costs and improve the quality of life for residents. Under Governor Cuomo’s clean energy economy, the state is creating opportunities for market-wide transformation and we are thrilled with the market response to the first phase of this innovative energy efficiency program.”

RetrofitNY was created to stimulate a new industry capable of delivering replicable net-zero, or near net-zero, energy retrofits to residential building stock at scale. Statewide, buildings account for 60 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in existing buildings is a critical component of achieving the Governor’s nation-leading clean energy and climate goals. The energy efficient retrofit products designed through the RetrofitNY program will offer multi-family buildings cost-effective and efficient means for cutting emissions and reducing their residents’ energy costs while making their homes more comfortable.

These six contracts are the first step in a two-step competitive application process led by NYSERDA. Under this process, review committees qualified both solution-provider teams to design high-performance retrofit solutions and multifamily affordable housing buildings to receive the prototype retrofit designs.

Each solution-provider team was awarded $75,000 for the design phase of their project, which will last approximately six months. Designs are also required to exclude the use of fossil fuels onsite, and demonstrate that the designs are cost-effective, standardized, scalable and aesthetically pleasing.

To initiate the design phase of these six projects, kickoff meetings are being held with the contract winners. Once complete, NYSERDA will offer additional funding for developing and installing the designs under a separate solicitation. NYSERDA will then monitor the construction and performance of the solutions to incorporate learnings from this first phase into future requests for proposals for improved designs, ensuring the program will be rolled out on an ever-larger scale until a self-sustaining market is created.

The RetrofitNY program supports the state’s greenhouse gas emission reductions of 40 percent by 2030 as well as the new 2025 energy efficiency target announced in April. The components developed and tested under RetrofitNY are anticipated to be applicable to new construction projects as well as retrofits, and serve the broader emerging net zero market in New York.

The winning contract teams are:

  • The International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST): working with Beacon Communities on a two-story, six-unit building that is part of a six-building campus in Troy.
  • The Levy Partnership: working with Joint Ownership Entity (JOE) NYC on a six-story, 21-unit building in Harlem.
  • Bright Power: working with Volmar on a five-story, 42-unit building in the Bronx.
  • SWBR Architects: working with Conifer Real Estate on a two-story, 24-unit building in Portville in the Western NY Region.
  • King + King Architects: working with Rock PMC on a two-story, eight-unit building in Phoenix outside Syracuse that is part of a five-building campus.
  • Chris Benedict, RA: working with RiseBoro Community Partnership on a four-story, 46-unit building in Brooklyn.

RetrofitNY is a $30 million program funded over 10 years and made available through the State’s Clean Energy Fund. It intends to bring a substantial portion of New York’s affordable housing units to or near net-zero energy over the next decade. Net-zero energy buildings consume no more energy, on an annual basis, than they produce onsite through renewable energy technologies like solar panels or other distributed energy resources.

RetrofitNY is based on a successful European program, Energiesprong, which has brought over 5,000 units of affordable housing to net-zero energy with 20,000 more units in the pipeline.

The teams’ progress and more information about the RetrofitNY program can found at the NYSERDA website.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

About the Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State’s commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $32.6 million in positive net income as a result of $457.5 million in investments in clean energy transactions across New York. Its $1 billion NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1,000 percent increase in solar deployment since 2011. The CEF supports New York’s ambitious Clean Energy Standard requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Media Inquiries

The Triacta Local Law 88 Submetering Video

With the groundbreaking Local Law 88 on the books, New York City real estate and energy professionals will need to be aware of the best submetering options available. On May 12, 2016, Triacta Power Solutions presented this webinar to educate viewers on their advanced multi-point submetering solutions for energy management and tenant billing.

Triacta Power Solutions designs and manufactures high-end, revenue grade energy management meters for multi-unit commercial, institutional and residential applications.

Every Triacta meter comes complete with leading edge software that combines meter management, automated data collection, powerful analysis tools and flexible billing capabilities — everything you need to create and manage your metering infrastructure.

Triacta’s hardware and software make it possible to monitor hundreds of meter points within a facility in real-time. Triacta’s meters can be integrated with existing building management and automation systems or used on their own to form a metering fabric for part of a building, an entire building, or a complete real estate portfolio.

Triacta’s solutions can be as simple or as sophisticated as required — simply and elegantly providing energy control and cost management information to property owners, managers and other stakeholders.

Long known for its high-reliability, revenue-grade, multi-protocol submetering products, Triacta’s meters have been easily and successfully deployed by submetering companies, property owners, building system integrators, and Local Distribution Companies since 2003.

Triacta-Sub-Meter

Community Solar Comes to New York

by Pamela Berns

According to Dennis Phayre of EnterSolar, even if we utilized all currently available sources, we’d only have about 100 years of energy left on the planet. But New York State isn’t waiting one more second to embark on innovative partnerships that will not only extend that timeframe but also significantly reduce the State’s carbon footprint.

On June 15, at the host offices of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), GreenHomeNYC introduced three key players in these new collaborations for an instructive and exciting program about community solar. Community solar brings together customers, utilities, solar companies, and the state government to develop an interconnected approach to electrical power that will not only impact the way in which we create and move energy, but also the way in which consumers participate in the energy marketplace.

Max-Joel

Max Joel is a Program Manager for Community Solar NY, a part of the NY-Sun Initiative, a statewide solar initiative whose goal is to expand the deployment of solar capacity throughout the state to build a self-sustaining solar market. NY-Sun is one of several programs within NYSERDA aimed at realizing the state’s energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Alison Kling is a Senior Specialist in the Distributed Generation group at Con Edison, where she focuses on solar customer communications, process improvements, and long-term policy changes for interconnection. Dennis Phayre is Business Development Director at EnterSolar, and is focused on PV project origination, site assessment, incentive and financial analysis, and proposal delivery.

According to Joel, the NY-Sun program reports that growth in the solar business in New York State is unprecedented, having increased 575% from 2012 to 2015. The number of megawatts installed (525) is already enough to power nearly 85,000 homes. New York State’s Reform the Energy Vision (REV) program is “Governor Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system,” and community solar is becoming an integral feature. It is made possible by taking advantage of a proposed new net metering structure to allow “any utility customer to be a subscribing member, and receive credit on their bill” for power sent back to the grid, said Joel. This means that solar can be developed in one section of the city, be it a large roof or an abandoned field, and sold back into the grid to be used by others on that same grid. Plus, said Kling, “New York City is a very renter oriented real estate market. This is a way to help make renters a part of it.” According to Joel, shared solar also enables building owners to increase income by leasing roof space and diversifying their income streams.

The Role of the Grid

meter

As Joel so aptly points out, “Just because you have solar doesn’t mean the grid goes away. You can’t do it without the grid.” Here’s how it works: Any utility customer within a single utility and NY-ISO zone may be a member of a project. Each individual member’s share of the energy production appears as a credit on their monthly utility bill. The solar meterproject or farm is installed at a remote site, and the utility manages the distribution of energy on the grid. In a nutshell, according to Kling, the utility’s role in solar interconnections is to maintain grid safety and reliability for all customers, install net meters, implement subsequent billing, and integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into load planning and forecasts. Each project also has a sponsor who owns or operates the project, organizes the membership, and interfaces with the utility. A sponsor may be the project developer, a private company, or other entity. Its role is to provide the utility with a list of members and their percent allocation of the credits prior to interconnection, and then to recruit, manage and track membership in the ongoing concern.

To help the audience understand how the grid fits into the process, Kling explained the basics of how Con Ed’s grid works. The Con Ed grid, which supplies electricity to Westchester County as well as the five boroughs, leverages 83 underground service grids to support a mesh network of systems that support “built in redundancy and reliability.” As a result, outages in one part of the system are addressed by checks and balances in another, which enables power to be delivered to customers seamlessly and uninterrupted. But the system also contains network protectors against the backward flow of electricity, which made sense before small scale, on-site power generation was introduced into the mix. The problem is that when solar flows into the system in a “backward” direction, the system “thinks” something is wrong and shuts down, says Kling. To enable community solar, she says, the utility “comes in and puts in new meters that go backward and forward. That’s when the magic happens.” She says Con Ed is responsible for ensuring that solar is “integrated in the best way,” and enabling solar power to “export into our system.”

Planting the First New York State Community Solar Farm

EnterSolar is currently constructing the first community solar project in New York State at a site in Halfmoon, NY, located in Upstate New York. The array will feed solar energy to the grid operated by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), and will allow more than 100 residential customers, including low-income residents, to participate in community shared solar. Until now, the company has focused its projects on businesses, and boasts Bloomberg and Target as two of its biggest customers.

Bloomberg-Solar

According to Phayre, the remote net metered Bloomberg project brings solar credits to two Bloomberg buildings in Manhattan from an installation at a site near JFK airport; the credits are utilized in the Manhattan buildings and “transferred to facilities elsewhere.” Likewise, says Phayre, “community solar lets us take solar from one source and distribute it to hundreds of others,” and sees it as a “large-scale” business proposition that equals that of the Bloomberg project. He noted that a project the size of the Bloomberg system could power as many as 250 residences.

An existing EnterSolar remote net metering site in Halfmoon, NY supplies power to seventeen Stewart’s Shops in the region, and serves as a model for the community solar project. As he projected a slide of the Stewart’s solar farm in Halfmoon, Phayre pointed out the importance of choosing land responsibly. “This was a hayfield before we built the solar farm on it, so the impact on the land is not great. It’s an eco-friendly installation…it almost looks like an apple orchard.”

Systems Thinking in Energy

In the complex web of the renewables marketplace, utilities, solar companies, sponsors, and customers are joined by additional stakeholders and technologies. “Net metering [alone] doesn’t create a smart grid,” Phayre reminded the audience. “Regulations are critical for creating markets.” Tax incentives also feed the machine, and at the time of this writing, the two-year extension of New York City’s solar property tax credit was eagerly awaiting signature in Albany.

In response to an audience question about the roles of micro-grids, battery storage, and energy efficiency, all three speakers agreed that ultimately there will be a place for all of these. “If you can reduce the use of energy, that’s the biggest win of all,” said Phayre. And while energy efficiency is not obligated for membership in the community solar program, “it will become a big business opportunity.” Phayre sees community solar as the “democratization of solar,” and he also emphasized business pragmatism as a key driver in the whole process. After all, “if you’re going to spend money, you want that money to be well-spent.”

NYC Launches Solarize NYC!

Today (Earth Day 2016) Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced Solarize NYC, a new solar incentive program. The new Solarize NYC program will allow communities — including neighborhoods, business districts and houses of worship among other affiliations— to join together to form single purchasing groups. This benefits communities by giving them greater buying power than individual entities, while encouraging solar developers to build out capacity and sell power to community groups. Groups can apply through a new website, nycsolarize.com.

solarizeNYC_horizontal_color_jpg_scaled

Solarize NYC is a core component of New York City’s strategy to expand access to clean, reliable, and affordable solar power for all New Yorkers. Through One City: Built to Last, the City of New York funded the NYC Solar Partnership to continue its work to reduce market barriers for solar, attract more solar energy companies to the city, and increase the city’s installed solar capacity.

In addition to supporting the City’s goal of installing 250 MW of solar capacity on private property by 2025, Solarize NYC’s mission is to reduce barriers for communities that have historically had limited access to solar by providing informational resources and offering discounted pricing. Further, Solarize NYC supports the local solar industry by stimulating demand for local installers and reducing customer acquisition costs by aggregating customers.

What is Solarize?

Solarize is a short-term, local, community-led initiative that brings together groups of potential solar customers through widespread outreach and education. The Solarize model helps customers choose a solar installation company or companies that offer competitive, transparent pricing. Solarize programs leverage community purchasing to bring down the installed cost of solar for all participants. The traditional solarize model has three hallmarks:

  1. Competitive installer selection
  2. Community-led outreach and education
  3. Limited-time offer

Solarize campaigns reduce prices through competition, lower customer acquisition costs, and achieving economies of scale. Numerous variations on the Solarize model have emerged to allow room for creativity and innovation at a community-level.

What is a ‘Community’?

You tell us! Community applicants will have the opportunity to tell the NYC Solar Partnership how their Community is defined, whether the boundaries are geographic or otherwise.

Apply to Solarize Your Community

Solarize NYC is designed to serve the needs of both NYC communities and solar installers. Interested communities can apply to the NYC Solar Partnership to participate in the program. Once selected, the NYC Solar Partnership will work alongside community members to design a Solarize NYC campaign that is tailored to the needs of their community. Based on the campaign design, solar installers will be selected. With the design in-place and solar installers on board, the campaign will launch, led by community volunteers with the support of the NYC Solar Partnership.

Visit Solarize NYC!

The questions of metering….

Some History

Over the last few decades, metering energy has become more than just a device on the side of the building, in the electrical room or physical plant. It has now become a tool that provides data for managing buildings, tenants, cost centers, sustainability and much more.

It started with the simple questions related to installing a meter, walking up to the meter, reading the dials or display, writing down the ‘clipboard’ and using ‘sneaker net’ to get the information to a spreadsheet or other reports. With today’s technology, we now have a process that can be integrated on many levels, with the capability to share information with many departments, agencies, consultants and more. Feeding big data gives us a new set of questions.

Energy management is being looked at now beyond just electrical. It now includes the gas, water, other thermal loads and non-utility parameters. Metering has taken on an expanded role in the last decade to facilitate business operations and has become a primary source to the Big Data of energy management and efficiency. This discussion can go on for pages, but I am going to stick to some basic thoughts and questions for now.

Click to jump down to the answer:

Why should you meter?
Why don’t you meter?
Which one do I use?
How do I know I will get a payback?
What information am I looking for from the meter?
How is the data being delivered?
Where is the data being delivered?
How often am I going to receive this information and make an actionable decision?
How do I maintain the data historically and use the data effectively?

Why should you meter?

 


You can’t manage what you don’t measure
This old but true adage has been the initial driver to metering because everyone can understand this concept. ‘Guest-a-mation’ is no longer acceptable.
Monitoring and Verification (M&V)
As a result of an energy audit, you may replace a piece of equipment or adjust a controlled operation in your BMS. To prove the savings, you will need to perform a verification based on historical and current data in order to show success or failure. From a failure you can make the necessary adjustments and start the M&V process over. But when proven successful, the meter will continue to provide the ability to continuously commission the change and eliminate any drift or re-occurrence. It is important to maintain your savings.

Information is golden, not just for you but other departments
Metering can provide the ability or capacity to act effectively in making and maintaining changes. You need to think about all the active meter data participants for this installation.

Extend energy management with engagement
Everybody can be an energy manager if they can visualize the metering data. Allowing non-energy managers to support efficiency in seeing what their role is can become a powerful tool in the whole process.

Cost Allocation and budgeting
Dollars and cents are the real reasons to invest in any business operations. Metering can provide the ability to allocate internal costs which can lead to conscience cost saving behaviors in departments.

Check the utility for billing and rate confirmation
Many energy users who are conscious of their bills are unsure as to whether the utility is charging them correctly. Most rates are pretty simple, but with deregulation of electricity and gas, there are now multiple bills and suppliers to check on.

Improve your Energy Star score or other building performance measurement score
There are many cities across the US that has implemented either mandatory or suggested participation in utility usage. By using the EnergyStar Portfolio manager, the score is then available for public access. Although this requirement is yearly and only requires the data off of utility bills, the best way to start improving your score is by metering. CBECS is another building scorecard that may also be used.

Mandatory sub metering requirements
At some point in the future sub metering may be mandatory. How many will follow New York Local Law 88? Investing in the future by starting now may be viable.
Back To Questions↑

Why don’t you meter?

 


Capital costs
The initial invest of metering have come down dramatically over the last decade. More suppliers, newer technologies such as split core CT’s and clamp on devices are lowering this investment. Also, funding is now more available.
Installation and maintenance costs
Proper installation has a cost. If a shutdown is required, then costs go up even higher due to loss of production or off hour labor. It must also be determine whether in house personnel are capable of doing the install, or whether the service needs to be outsourced. You may need to use the meter vendor to support this. Meter maintenance is also an issue. Utilities are required to recalibrate and check metering sites in addition to fixing those that are not providing data. Now this must be done on the other side of the utility meters for all the sub meters in a facility.

System costs
Today meters are delivered with some form of communication capability. This can be hardwired to a PLC or appliance box, connected to the local Ethernet or to a wireless network. This integration and pulling of the data from the meter to the designated database is a onetime cost and should be specified in detail to define what metering parameters and controls need to be done.
Technical resource for installation and system connectivity
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Which one do I use?

 


There are many manufacturers of meters in the market providing a lot of the same functionality, but they all have something that makes them unique. First, think through of the purpose of the meter data and who will need access to it. Second, think about any future actions that may be required of this meter such as DR, Tenant Star or sustainability reporting. Then select the meters or create a request for information. Some basic things to consider should be:

  • Price – You need to make sure the functionality and data requirements are there, but that you do not pay for more than you need.
  • Support – The meter vendor’s commitment and knowledge is critical. Look to see if there is online support, blogs, FAQ’s and other media to answer your questions.
  • Warranty – This period should be between 3 to 5 years for electrical. It may vary more for gas, water and other flow type meters.
  • Integration flexibility with my IT, BMS or service provider – If the meter is being used by your building management system, then it should easily integrate into the system with minimal work by the BMS team.
  • Accuracy – This should not only be an issue for internal billing (tenant and others), but also for utility participation programs such as Demand Response, peak shaving and more. Beyond these applications most meters will work fine where plus or minus 1% is a good guideline.
  • Additional loads digital and analog inputs or outputs – Consider all meters within a reasonable vicinity when installing a meter. Some meters provide the ability to support inputs (both digital and analog). These inputs can be gas, water or older electric meters. Also, the meter may have to provide additional outputs beyond the communication protocols where a digital or analog output may be required by a BMS or SCADA system device.

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How do I know I will get a payback?

 


You don’t always know. Your EnergyStar score can show you need more detail. In conjunction with an energy audit, the detail from the meters can show what needs to change to improve your score. If part of an ECM, it may be factored into the cost of the ECM as part of the M&V. A safe working number, if there has never been any kind of monitoring has shown to be a 5% to 15% savings once enough data has been analyzed and reviewed.

What information am I looking for from the meter?
Meters are capable of providing and storing an inordinate amount of data. How do you determine what data is required? Who are users of the energy and engineering data? Facilities, Accounting, Sustainability and Engineers all can contribute to this decision.

Make the meter data into information use against your KPI’s for savings.

  • Energy / Usage data / Therms / BTU
  • Demand / Power data / Flow / Pressure / Temperature
  • Per phase current and amperage
  • Power Factor, kVAR and kVA
  • %Total Harmonic Distortion
  • Harmonic distortion / Wave capture
  • External value from external digital and analog inputs
  • So now you select the data, how often do want to store, read and analyze. Technology is making this easier but also more confusing.

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How is the data being delivered?

 


The supporting meter infrastructure needs to be considered with the selection and installation of the meters. There are IT questions to consider in metering, particularly when the meter data is going to a BMS or EMS system. If working with Software as a Service provider, other considerations need to be made.

How does an IP based meter effect the bandwidth of the network? What about my local security policy?

Most meter data does not go directly from a meter to a database. There is usual and intermediary device to read the meter and push to a system. A sample of these devices are:

  • Jace from Tridium
  • Obvius
  • 38Zero
  • Intellastar

These devices can directly interface with the BMS or EMS system. In addition they can now communicate over cellular networks directly to a hosted or corporate solution (SaaS).
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Where is the data being delivered?

 


Data has been historically retrieved by the building management or Building Automation System. Technology has opened this up to energy information and management systems, cloud databases, local historian system and many, many more. Understand the meter data flow that is needed to meet the current and future requirements. Will the data be staying within the Intranet of your organization, or need to be delivered to a SaaS / Cloud Provider to support our operations.
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How often am I going to receive this information and make an actionable decision?

 


You probably have limited resources to take action based on the metering data. Meters can provide data for the short and long review of your operations. Understand clearly the analytic process of the data. Also, select the right metrics and KPI’s to the information, then automate as much as possible. Take actions on these exceptions.
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How do I maintain the data historically and use the data effectively?

 


Metering data is the center of the energy management and efficiency process. The meters feed information to multiple levels and organizations. It is not just energy ,facility managers and engineering but also maintenance and sustainability applications.

The questions have evolved over the years and the Internet of things will reshape metering even more. Be conscious of the process of metering and begin viewing it as a system component that is part of the overall integrated solution.
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The Importance of Right Lighting

In the last couple of years “everybody” has learned about the great cost savings to be achieved by switching to LED lights, direct cost savings of over 50% with additional savings due to reducing load on AC and reducing O&M. LEDs can be used in so many situations, can be dimmed, and now fit in virtually every type of fixture or ballast.

Thus the temptation is just to go to the store and pick up a bunch of LEDs and begin to substitute. Sure you’ll save some cost. But that’s a big mistake and you can actually harm the productivity of your workers, the ability to do business by your tenants, and the sellability of product by the retailers in your buildings.

In fact, even if you are not changing to LEDs, it is important to review your building’s lighting, as the very way we work has changed, as we have gone from reading and writing on paper exclusively to the common use of computers and other screens. Screens supply some light. Thus overhead lighting needs (number of lumens) of office workers to function well have dropped somewhat. Over-lighting is a potential issue, which increases costs, and may adversely affect worker health, mood, and productivity.

OverheadLights

In the “old” days of exclusive working with paper, the recommended lighting levels were as high as 1,000 luxs (1 lux = 1 lumen/sq. meter). However, the US General Services Administration now recommends levels such as 500 lux for open offices, 300 lux for conference rooms, and less in other areas.

Therefore, it is useful before and after changing a building’s lighting to perform a lighting study. Have light readings taken to determine whether you are over-lighting an area. It may be tempting to say after an LED upgrade “I don’t care if I over-light my areas. My electricity costs are now so low, I don’t mind over-lighting.” This is a mistake as over-lighting stresses employees, causes headaches and anxiety, and may interfere with sleep and circadian rhythms. In other words, it may affect productivity, which could cost your company more money than is saved by switching to LEDs.

If you find areas of over-lighting, do some de-lamping: remove some lamps to bring the light levels down to the recommended intensities. Not only will you improve the productivity of your workers and tenants, but you will save additional energy costs and O&M having fewer lights using electricity. But make sure you don’t overdo de-lamping.

Finally, take into consideration the time of day. During different times of day, sunlight may enter certain workspaces. During those times, allow the sunlight in. Workers work better under natural light. Either procure/use daylighting sensors to adjust the artificial light to the sunlight entering from outside or turn down or off certain banks of lights when the sun shines in. Again, make the effort not to over-light areas.

EE Reports has the expertise to conduct lighting studies for you and to make determinations of what types and intensities of lights should be brought in to meet standards for different uses and security. We can recommend the right daylight sensors for different parts of your building and where to re-locate lighting to get not the most, but the best lighting for your tenants and workers, based on their job needs. Contact Marc Karell, VP Engineerng,  today at 914-584-6720 or marc@eereports.com