“We’re very committed to creating jobs,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito declared to 26 green job trainees at Solar One’s Workforce Training Lab on Monday. She was joined by the City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Council Member Donovan Richards, Chair, Committee on Environmental Protection.
“We must all do our part to make New York a more sustainable City. The Solar One Workforce training program provides needed green job training skills to New Yorkers, and I’m proud to support this important initiative,” the Speaker told our trainees as she toured our lab in Long Island City.
Back in March 2014, the NY City Council began considering the ramifications of ending the long-standing practice of giving shoppers free carrier bags. The bags have a dismal recycling rate, tend to blow everywhere (I mean, who hasn’t seen trees with bags stuck in the branches?) and create problems when they clog storm drains and get into waterways. Some people seem to take the bags- and stores hand them out- without even thinking, so many get used for an even shorter time than disposable coffee cups. Other cities, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and even Washington DC have either banned single-use plastic bags or imposed a small fee, usually 5 or 10 cents per bag.
The reason the bill hasn’t passed, though, is that some Council members worry that the new fee would place an undue hardship on low- and fixed-income households. Proponents argue that this will not happen, because WIC and SNAP recipients won’t have to pay, and the city will work hard to distribute free, reusable bags in lower income neighborhoods.
However, this may not be enough.
Solar can be a great fit for NYC cooperatives that are looking to contain their ever-rising operating costs and save for necessary capital improvements. When a large roof is matched with a large ConEd bill, substantial savings can be realized, year after year, once solar is installed. However, no matter how compelling the argument may be, making the case for solar to an overextended volunteer board and a diverse shareholder base that is unfamiliar with the technology can be a challenging, time-consuming and even highly frustrating undertaking . . . and one that many solar contractors are not willing to take on.
So what can be done?
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems can help building owners and facility managers generate electricity, save money and ensure the delivery of critical services in the event of a grid outage. Attend NYSERDA’s breakfast to learn about CHP and the financial/technical support available for the installation of CHP systems sized 50 kW and larger. See how buildings count on CHP systems to:
• Generate electricity every day of the year.
• Save money.
• Protect the environment.
• Operate when the grid goes down.
• Provide enhanced reliability over diesel standby generators.