In honor of Earth Day, New York State passes legislation to extend the NY Sun Initiative. With Standard Solar’s recent expansion to the Northwest area, this is great news! The NY-Sun Initiative was established to increase the amount of customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity added between 2011 and 2013.The passing of this bill solidifies the state’s long-term commitment to solar energy and will allow New Yorkers to benefit from a stable and predictable long-term incentive program. “New York State is a leader in efforts to combat climate change, and the NY-Sun program is an important part of those efforts by supporting the expansion of clean energy projects to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Cuomo.
The NY-Sun Initiative has been expanded to 2023 and will allow for 2,200 MW of clean reliable solar electricity to be installed in the state. The program stimulates the NY market place and increases incentives for large commercial size projects while also providing additional funding for large scale and aggregated systems that would beneficial to businesses, schools and other large buildings located throughout the state. The solar bill will create thousands of jobs, lower solar costs and increase energy reliability for all New Yorkers. Currently 3,300 New Yorkers are employed in the state’s growing solar industry, this increase will boost the state’s economy and strengthen the energy infrastructure. The program will support the growth of the solar industry across the state by providing stable and dependable funding of $150 million per year for the next ten years.
Standard Solar supports the NY-Sun Initiative program and encourages customers to take advantage of its benefits. As a trusted leader in the industry, we look forward to partnering with NY government officials, businesses and schools to develop the best solar solution that implements the program’s initiative in the most efficient way. With our knowledge and expertise, our NY sales team can support the increased demand among commercial customers who will be ready to go solar with the help of this program. “The Northeast solar market is definitely starting to ignite- specifically with The NY Sun Initiative. Many in the industry are looking at these programs as more drawn out and systematic which can create more stability to solar in the northeast,” said our Northeast salesman Gentry Rouse.
The solar industry is rapidly expanding and leading as a top energy industry. This move is great growth for the State of New York and will provide benefits for a lifetime. Solar is the future and with Standard Solar’s turnkey approach we can assist customers to attain the clean renewable energy that will provide stability for a lifetime.
Energy efficiency is coming to the forefront of everyone’s minds–businesses, homeowners, even utility companies are finding way to lower their energy usage. Lighting makes up 11% of the average electric bill making this a good place to start when looking to lower energy costs.
LED bulbs are popping up everywhere–and they’re not just becoming more popular, they’re becoming more affordable. New York Times columnist David Pogue started raving about LED bulbs last year and has recently begun touting the greatness once again. From their lifespan, to their durability to their efficiency, Once Pogue made the switch from incandescent and CFLs to LEDs, it was a no-brainer.
According to another article by the New York Times, “LED sales grew faster than any other lighting technology” and the use of LEDs is even more common in the commercial and industrial sector. The well-known global home store, Ikea, has recently announced that in 2016 they will begin selling only LED light bulbs. According to a study conducted by Ikea “43 percent of Americans have at least one LED lamp in their homes. In China, the figure is 80 percent, in Russia 65 percent, and in Sweden, 61 percent.”
We had a chance this week to sit down with our Standard Energy Solutions (SES) Energy Efficiency Business Manager (and resident LED expert) Timothy Croman to find out more about the benefits of LED lighting.
How do LED bulbs work in comparison to traditional light bulbs?
The technology used in incandescent bulbs goes back to the turn of the century and was used until the last decade. Light is produced through heating up a filament in the light bulb. In an incandescent bulb, 90% of the energy released is heat and 10% is actual light. CFL light bulbs to not emit as much heat, but work in a similar way. The electricity heats a gas inside the light bulb and when the gas heats up it produces light. LEDs produce light through a computer chip, a driver, and optics. The computer chip programs the light; the driver produces the light and the optics give off light so it can be seen
What are the benefits of switching to LED bulbs?
The greatest benefit of LED bulbs is energy savings. 9 times out of 10 people are looking for savings when they are looking to switch to more efficient bulbs.
LED bulbs produce less heat, which also helps reach the goal of energy savings. We were in a house today that had 50 incandescent light bulbs. The average temperature of an incandescent light bulb is 180 degrees where an LED bulb runs at an average temperature of 90 degrees. If each of those is producing 90% heat and 10% light, you can imagine how much heat those 50 light bulbs are emitting and overheating your house.
There are a lot of unexpected benefits of LEDs as well. LEDs turn on instantly, are fully dimmable, have a longer lifespan and can also be incorporated easily into a smart home system. They also are direct replacements to incandescent bulbs and have a broad range of light appearance which is hard to achieve with CFLs.
What are some of the common concerns you hear about LED bulbs?
Homeowners are sometimes disappointed with their CFL light bulbs – you couldn’t dim them and the quality of light wasn’t very good. You won’t have the same experience with LEDs that you did with CFLs. The light will be a warmer shade, close to the incandescent bulbs that so many people prefer. LEDs will last much longer – typically 50,000 hoursdepending on use. Compare that to the 2,000 hour life span of an incandescent or the 8,000 hour lifespan of CFLs. Plus, LEDs are much safer for your home since they don’t have mercury like CFLs do.
Another main concern is the cost of the bulbs. You really have to consider the savings and the ROI in the long run. In the 4 or 5 years you might wait to replace your bulbs, you could have 5 years old reduced energy costs. The LED bulbs we use have an average payback period of about 4 years, so your bulbs will have paid themselves off in the time you were waiting to buy them.
Solar is one of the fastest growing markets and continues to have great impact on our society. In 2012 alone, the solar energy industry grew by 76% in the United States! One particular area of growth for US solar has been school districts across the country that have gone solar to better manage their budgets and reduce their energy bills. The Dublin City High School District in central Georgia, for example, was just recently in the news for their 1.1MW project on their school campus. The solar array is expected to save the school district $3.5 million over the next 25 years.
Why does solar and schools make so much sense? One reason why the Dublin City School Districts and others are going solar is because of the financial benefits that may come with a solar installation. There are several rebates and credits to help make solar more affordable for schools and most solar schools are eligible for Net Metering credits. This Net Metering credit allows schools to route excess electricity back onto the grid and receive credit from the utility company for the energy produced from the solar system. A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is also another great financial option to reduce or eliminate the cost of a solar system. As utility bills are typically the second highest expense for a school district, solar offers schools the security of predictable and reduced energy costs for almost 20 years!
Another important benefit of solar for educational institutions are the teaching opportunities the system can offer the students and local community. Solar installations can offer real-life curriculum content – from the engineering and technology of how solar works to the environmental offset and impact the system will have on the surrounding community. For our clients, Standard Solar offers education programs where students, grades K-12, are introduced to solar and educated with an in-depth curriculum on the benefits of having a solar system and how it works. This helps to grow the students’ knowledge and appreciation of their environment, health and future.
Educational institutions, like The Dublin City School District and others, are discovering how solar makes sense for their budgets and their students. Standard Solar has partnered with several schools to develop, design, engineer, finance and install their solar arrays. “Solar installations are a great fit for educational institutions, providing significant economic and environmental benefits as well as offering educational opportunities for the students,” said Scott Wiater, president, Standard Solar. Some of our education clients Sandy Springs Friends School(SSFS), Catholic University of America (CUA), University of Delaware, Anne Arundel Community College, Wilmington Friends School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools and others.
|Kent County School students touring the Worton 1.26 MW installation with Standard Solar staff.||Students at Sandy Spring Friends School celebrating the completion of the 477 kW solar array.|