May 21, 2015 — The push to go solar is not a new one, nor is it necessarily a green one. Regardless of where you stand on the environmental agenda, making the move to harness solar power is an economic one. It's also an expensive one — at first. Depending on where you live (namely, how sunny it is), you can certainly save a lot of money in the long run. As with any investment, however, the upfront costs can leave you with a severe case of sticker shock, especially as rebates begin dwindling.
There's good news for those who are interested in sowing the seeds and reaping the beneficial rewards of solar power. Brooklyn Community Board 6 has launched Solarize Brooklyn CB6, a limited-time group-purchasing program led by Sustainable CUNY and the New York Solar Partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the New York Sun Initiative (NY-Sun) and is designed to make investing in solar power easier and more affordable for participating residents and businesses.
Historically, a Solarize campaign lowers the cost of going solar by 10 to 20 percent. Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is available for both residents and businesses in the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street District, Gowanus, Park Slope, and Red Hook.
By increasing New Yorkers' access to solar power through lower prices and a simplified process, Solarize Brooklyn CB6's initiative is in line with Mayor de Blasio's goals and targets for a sustainable and equitable city laid out in the OneNYC plan. When 2050 arrives, the comprehensive plan aims for an 80 percent reduction over 2005 levels of the city's greenhouse gas emissions. Solarize Brooklyn CB6 will also support the goal of increasing by 2025 the citywide solar capacity by 250MW, as outlined in One City: Built to Last — Mayor de Blasio's plan to reduce building-based greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 10 years.
Solarize Brooklyn CB6 makes implementing solar easier and more affordable by supporting locally organized community outreach aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar and obtain competitive pricing, thereby lowering the cost. After a thorough pre-qualification process, Solarize Brooklyn CB6 has selected Quixotic Systems and EcoMen Solar as the designated solar installers for the program. Residents and businesses who sign up for solar installations by September 30, 2015, will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. The more customers who sign up, the lower the price will be for everyone. Residents and businesses in Brooklyn CB6 neighborhoods can sign up for a free, no-obligation solar site assessment at http://www.solarizebrooklyncb6.com.
Residents and business owners can learn about the program and the economic benefits of solar at free educational workshops held throughout the 20-week campaign. More than 50 local residents and business owners attended Solarize Brooklyn CB6's kick-off workshop yesterday hosted by Brooklyn Community Board 6. The program will hold at least seven additional workshops, during which participants can have their questions answered by the designated installers, obtain a free site assessment, and contract to receive discounted installations through the program.
"Solarize CB6 is another important step toward reaching our ambitious goal of dramatically expanding solar, as detailed in OneNYC and One City: Built to Last," said Nilda Mesa, director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability. "More affordable solar not only makes economic sense but also equitable, sustainable, and resilient sense — and will play a key role in the mayor's sweeping green buildings plan and our commitment to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050. We look forward to working with the New York City Solar Partnership to support this program."
Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is a partnership of Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York, Brooklyn Community Board 6, the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, and New York City Economic Development Corporation. It is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge Initiative as part of Sustainable CUNY's NYSolar Smart program.
Potential participants — and all New Yorkers — are able to preview their roof's solar potential on Sustainable CUNY's NYC Solar Map at: www.nycsolarmap.com.
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