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Category Archives:

Energy Efficiency

Solar One In the News: NYSERDA EDGE Edition

carnegiehouse_bigWhat do you do with a 350+ unit, 52 year old condominium on one of the most valuable corners in Manhattan, when you realize it needs a top-to-bottom modernization and energy efficiency upgrade?

You call the NYSERDA EDGE Team! In this great piece by Amy Zimmer for DNAInfo.com, you can learn how Carnegie House got help from NYSERDA to pay for their upgrades, which helped cut energy bills by 15%, enabling the building to pay for their upgrades in only six years.

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Congratulations to PS 126, First Place in the 2014 Energy Challenge

ps126Over a 4-month period from December to March, these five schools, as part of Solar One’s Green Design Lab program, combined saved 246,020 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 23 homes for one year*. As a result of their efforts, they avoided 374,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere**, the equivalent of burning 182,000 lbs of coal. As a prize for their success, each school will be awarded with $5,000.

PS 126 Academy of Technology in Manhattan came in first place with a whopping 33% reduction, and on Friday, May 9, Solar One presented them with their award.

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Carbon War Room’s Ten Island Challenge Will Help the Caribbean Switch to Renewables

arubaIsland nations are at particular risk from climate change, for fairly obvious reasons: Rising sea levels could obliterate whole nations over the next century. Many of them, particularly in the Caribbean, rely on diesel-powered gird electricity that must be imported at great expense- some countries pay up to $.55 per kWh (compared to NYC, where electricity rates generally stay at least a few cents under $.25/kWh).

The Carbon War Room (CWR) and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) thought that it might be possible to do better by harnessing investors, environmental consultants and island governments to broker commitments and create plans to switch from diesel to renewable power.

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2014 State of the State Puts New York on a Clear Path to Energy Independence

2014NYSotSOn January 8 in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State address. While the broadcast version of the address focused on tax relief, affordable housing and airport renovations, the print version of the address has a section with some very welcome and ambitious plans for energy independence for New York- not by focusing on hydraulic fracturing (more commonly known as fracking) but by increasing the amount of decentralized electricity generation. In other words, community solar, where neighbors band together to buy or lease systems together, lowering their initial costs and creating a neighborhood microgrid that can help restore power during blackouts and superstorms.

The relevant section on solar begins on page 70, and here’s a sample of what’s in store for community solar in NY in 2014:

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Bandwagon and HOP Lane Help You Get Where You’re Going, Faster and Greener

hoplaneIn 2012, 25.7 million people traveled through LaGuardia airport, many of them to or from other points in the city. We’re justifiably reknowned for our lack of private cars compared with the rest of the country, and while we have a public transportation system that’s the envy of the world, it’s a bit inelegant when it comes to getting to and from the airports. And we’ve all waited in long lines after a long flight to try and catch a cab- us and 200 other single riders. It’s expensive, it’s inefficient, it’s resource-intensive…there must be a better way!

And now there is: Bandwagon is a rideshare app that helps riders save money by carpooling via car service or taxi with another rider going in the same direction, or to the same destination. All you have to do is sign up and start sharing!

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Green Universities Lead Renewable Usage

American colleges and universities have long been facilitators of social and political change.  That they should lead the crusade on widespread renewable energy usage is no surprise, given the increasingly ‘green’ mentality of the current generation.

Maine’s Colby College achieved complete carbon neutrality two years earlier than it was scheduled to. In 2003 the institution adopted 100% renewable energy, replaced fuel oil with wood heat and hot water, improved the energy efficiency of buildings (and implemented LEED standards for new construction), and installed geothermal systems to heat and cool newer construction projects. Two other colleges are carbon neutral: Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vermont), and College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine).

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