Clean energy holds immense importance for nonprofits in New York City. By embracing renewable energy solutions such as solar power, nonprofits can not only reduce their environmental footprint but also strengthen their organizational resilience and deepen their impact on the communities they serve.

Read to learn more about the benefits of solar panels for nonprofits in NYC and find out if it makes sense for your organization!

Can Nonprofits get Solar Panels in NYC?

New York City nonprofits play a crucial role in serving communities and addressing societal needs. However, amidst the challenges they face, one question arises: Can nonprofits harness the power of solar energy to push their missions forward? The short answer is yes.

Now, not every roof in NYC is suitable for solar. Just like residential homes and businesses, nonprofit roofs need to be assessed. The ability to go solar depends on factors like energy usage, sun exposure, and roof space. What sets the stage for NYC-based nonprofits to make the switch to solar is the array of super-rich incentives that make solar panel adoption not only possible but highly affordable.

solar canopy installed in Manhattan for Harlem Grown nonprofit with community gardens.
Solar canopy installed for Harlem Grown in Harlem, NYC.

Want to see if your roof is fit for solar and what incentives you qualify for? Schedule a free consultation!

Benefits of Solar Panels for Nonprofits

Cost-Saving Benefits

Nonprofits often operate on tight budgets, with every dollar allocated to critical programs and services. Clean energy, such as solar power, offers a sustainable solution to reduce energy expenses. By generating electricity from renewable sources, nonprofits can lower and stabilize their utility bills, freeing up funds to invest in their core missions and better serve their communities.

Con Edison electricity bill that shows solar savings in Queens, NYC.
This is a June 2023 bill from one of our customers in Queens. Despite summer typically being an expensive season for electricity, he did not have to purchase any energy from Con Edison and only paid the $18 service charge.

Environmental Impact

In 2019, to combat the ever-looming climate crisis, New York City put in place the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA). The CMA will put NYC on the path to reducing building carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. For NYC-based nonprofits, running operations on clean energy can substantially reduce their carbon footprint, aligning not only with their practices with sustainability goals but the city’s as well.

Enhancement of Public Image

Public perception plays a crucial role in the success of nonprofits. Embracing clean energy initiatives, such as installing solar panels, enhances the public image of nonprofits as forward-thinking and socially responsible organizations. This can attract positive attention from donors, volunteers, and the broader community, bolstering support and amplifying the nonprofit’s impact.

Raise Awareness About Sustainability

Clean energy initiatives offer nonprofits valuable educational opportunities to engage with their communities and raise awareness about sustainability. Through programs, workshops, and outreach efforts centered around renewable energy, nonprofits can empower individuals to take action towards a greener future, fostering a sense of environmental stewardship and collective responsibility.

Solar canopy on top of nonprofit in Park Slope, Brooklyn with the view of the Manhattan skyline in background.
Solar canopy on top of CHiPS in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Long-Term Stability

Investing in clean energy provides nonprofits with greater stability and resilience in the face of fluctuating energy prices and regulatory changes. By generating their own renewable energy on-site, nonprofits can hedge against future Con Edison rate increases, ensuring more predictable operating expenses over the long term. This stability fosters organizational sustainability and strengthens the nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission in the years to come.

Solar Incentives for Nonprofits in New York

Federal Investment Tax Credit Direct Pay

Nonprofits in NYC can take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit, which offers a tax credit equal to 30% of the post-rebate cost. 

Unlike homeowners and for-profit businesses, tax-exempt entities like nonprofits are eligible for a direct pay option, meaning they can receive a cash payment for the value of the tax credit instead of using it to offset tax liability.

NYSERDA Solar Rebate

Nonprofits in NYC can also take advantage of the NYSERDA Solar Rebate, receiving $1.00 per watt for solar installations. This rebate further offsets the initial investment, making solar energy even more accessible for nonprofits.

Steps to Acquire Solar Panels for Nonprofits in NYC

Work with a Reputable Local Installer

Partnering with a reputable local installer, like Brooklyn SolarWorks, ensures quality workmanship, expertise in navigating local regulations, and ongoing support for your system.

solar installers standing in front of Brooklyn SolarWorks van in a neighborhood in NYC.
The Brooklyn SolarWorks Installation Crew!

Analyze Energy Needs and Potential Savings

Collaborate with your installer to analyze your organization’s energy needs and potential cost savings from solar panels. This helps in determining the optimal system size and design. You can get all of these answers and more by setting up a free consultation today!

Conduct Site Evaluation for Solar Panel Installation

Ensure your building is suitable for solar panels by conducting a thorough site evaluation with your installer. Factors such as roof orientation, shading, and structural integrity should be assessed.

The Brooklyn SolarWorks team doing a routine site evaluation.

Secure Funding and Determine Incentive Eligibility

Securing the necessary funding for your solar project is essential to its success. Explore various financing options, including grants, loans, and fundraising campaigns, to cover the upfront costs of solar installation. 

Additionally, work closely with your accountant to determine your nonprofit’s eligibility for solar incentives, such as the Federal Investment Tax Credit and NYSERDA Solar Rebate. By leveraging these incentives, you can significantly reduce the financial barriers to solar adoption and accelerate your organization’s transition to clean energy.

Funding Solar Projects for Nonprofits

Funding solar projects can bring about many challenges for local nonprofits. The upfront costs for solar and assessing your financing options can be daunting. 

Luckily, NYC is a place that is rich with solar incentives. By signing up for your free consultation with Brooklyn SolarWorks, we will be able to help you navigate what government incentives you qualify for as well as different payment options available for your project.

Besides incentives and financing, nonprofits can also fund their solar projects through the means of crowdfunding, fundraising, and community partnerships. 

Getting the local community involved in fundraising for your solar project also brings many other benefits like:

1. Building Awareness

Engaging the community raises awareness about the benefits of solar energy and the importance of sustainability, garnering support for solar projects.

2. Mobilizing Support

Community engagement mobilizes financial contributions, volunteer efforts, and in-kind donations to support solar initiatives, helping nonprofits reach their fundraising goals.

3. Fostering Collaboration

Collaborating with local stakeholders fosters partnerships and collective action, enabling nonprofits to pool resources and leverage community support for solar projects.

4. Demonstrating Impact

Community involvement demonstrates grassroots support and showcases the positive impact of solar projects, enhancing the credibility and effectiveness of nonprofit initiatives.

Find Out if Solar is Right for Your Nonprofit

The benefits of solar panels for nonprofits in NYC are ever-growing, ranging from cost savings to environmental stewardship and enhanced public image. With a wealth of incentives available and a clear roadmap for implementation, nonprofits can harness the benefits of solar energy to advance their missions and create a brighter, cleaner future for all. 

Take the first step today by securing your free consultation and join the clean energy revolution!

The Gowanus Canal, a waterway that goes through the heart of Brooklyn, is famous for its rich history and copious amounts of industrial pollution. However, recent efforts have been underway to clean up the canal’s murky waters and revitalize its surrounding ecosystem. 

In honor of Earth Month, we’re highlighting environmental issues that hit close to home (so close we can smell it from our office). Read on to learn about the canal’s past, present, and future and how you can contribute to a cleaner NYC.

History of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn

Dating back to the 1860’s, the Gowanus Canal was built to extend the industrial transportation route of the Erie Canal and New York Harbor into Brooklyn (the third largest city in America at the time). Businesses began to populate around the canal. Some of the popular industries around the canal included cement works, chemical plants, ink and paint factories, incinerators, and Manufactured Gas Plants (MGP).

Historic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NYC in the 1870's. Filled with boats and surrounded by different industries.
Photo Credit: Gowanus Canal Conservancy

This rapid industrialization of the canal led to rampant pollution (untreated industrial waste, raw sewage, surface water), turning the canal into one of the most polluted waterways in the United States.

To try and combat the growing pollution in the waterway, a “Flushing Tunnel” was created in 1911 to replace the stagnant canal water with fresh, oxygen-rich water to improve water quality. This plan worked well until the 1960s when a mechanical failure caused it to shut down. The New York City Dept. of Environmental Protection restored and reactivated the Flushing Tunnel in 1999. Upgrades were last made in 2014.

What’s the Current State of the Gowanus Canal?

Over the years, industrial runoff, sewage discharge, and other pollutants have accumulated in its waters, leading to high levels of toxins and heavy metals. The canal’s murky waters are devoid of marine life, and foul odors often permeate the surrounding area. Despite efforts to mitigate pollution, the Gowanus Canal remains one of the most polluted water bodies in the United States.

Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NYC surrounded by trash and construction, present day.
Photo Credit: Newsweek

In April 2009, the US EPA proposed that the Gowanus Canal be placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). NPL is a roster of hazardous waste sites in the United States that are eligible for long-term remedial action (cleanup) under the Superfund program.

Impact of the Canal’s Environmental Contamination in NYC

Over decades of industrialization and neglect, the Gowanus Canal has become heavily contaminated with a variety of pollutants, including heavy metals, PCBs (man made chemicals), coal tar, and raw sewage. As a result, its environmental impact extends beyond the canal itself to its surrounding area in various ways.

Water Quality

The canal’s water quality is severely degraded, with high levels of toxins and pollutants. This contamination poses risks to aquatic life and public health, affecting both the canal ecosystem and nearby water bodies connected to it.

Ecosystem Degradations

The Gowanus Canal’s polluted waters have led to the decline or absence of many species of plants and animals. Habitats along the canal’s banks have been degraded, reducing biodiversity and ecological resilience.

Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NYC. Present day, using a barrier to stop pollution on the water's surface.
Photo Credit: Riverkeeper.org

Soil Contamination

Pollutants from the canal can seep into the surrounding soil, posing risks to human health and limiting land use options for nearby properties. Soil contamination may also affect urban agriculture and gardening initiatives in the area.

Health Risks

Exposure to pollutants from the Gowanus Canal can pose serious health risks to humans, including respiratory problems, skin irritation, and long-term health effects such as cancer. Residents and workers in the vicinity of the canal are particularly vulnerable to these risks.

Benefits of Cleaning Up the Gowanus Canal

Despite the challenges, efforts to clean up the Gowanus Canal offer numerous benefits for the community and the environment.

Reduce Pollution

Cleaning up the canal will significantly reduce pollution levels, improving the quality of water and air in the surrounding area.

Habitat Restoration

Restoring the health of the Gowanus Canal will create a conducive environment for diverse plant and animal species to thrive once again.

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

By mitigating pollution and restoring surrounding ecosystems, cleaning up the Gowanus Canal will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. Local Gowanus businesses and residents are also helping to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by installing solar power and reducing their use on fossil fuels.

Multiple businesses surrounding the Gowanus Canal with solar panels of roofs.

Safer Recreational Activities

A clean and healthy Gowanus Canal will provide residents with safer opportunities for recreational activities such as boating and fishing.

Increased Property Values

Revitalizing the Gowanus Canal area will lead to increased property values, benefiting homeowners and local businesses.

Increased Public Access

A cleaner canal will enhance public access to waterfront spaces, creating opportunities for community engagement and enjoyment.

Ongoing Gowanus Canal Clean-Up Initiatives and Projects

Numerous initiatives are currently underway to clean up the Gowanus Canal and restore its ecological integrity.

Superfund Site Dredging and Capping

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated the Gowanus Canal as a Superfund site, facilitating dredging and capping activities to remove contaminated sediments and prevent further pollution. Goodbye Black Mayonnaise!

Black sludge found on the bottom of the Gowanus Canal after dredging. Also called "Black Mayonnaise."
Photo Credit: Brownstoner

Turning Basin Restoration

Efforts are underway to restore the historic turning basins of the Gowanus Canal, enhancing its navigability and ecological function. Contaminated material will be removed from the 1st Street turning basin and a portion of the 5th Street turning basin will be dredged and restored.

Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control

Efforts to address the issue of combined sewer overflows in Gowanus include infrastructure upgrades, such as the construction of storage tanks and green infrastructure to capture and treat stormwater before it enters the sewer system. By addressing the problem of combined sewer overflows, stakeholders hope to mitigate pollution and restore the ecological health of the Gowanus Canal.

Community Involvement and Education

Community involvement and education initiatives play a crucial role in raising awareness about the importance of cleaning up the Gowanus Canal and engaging residents in restoration efforts. The Gowanus Canal Conservancy has a lot of educational resources pertaining to the canal including curriculums that teach the history, health, and ecology of the canal, green infrastructure design, and more.

Plans for the Gowanus Canal after Cleanup is Complete

Once the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal is complete, plans include transforming the area into a vibrant waterfront destination with parks, green spaces, and mixed-use developments that prioritize sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Rendering of headhouse for the first underground storage tank located near Nevins Street, Butler Street, and Degraw Street. Future cleanup plan for Gowanus Canal.
Rendering of headhouse for first tank. Photo Credit: nyc.gov

Rendering of headhouse for the first underground storage tank located near Nevins Street, Butler Street, and Degraw Street. It will hold 8 million gallons of combined sewage during rainstorms.

Contribute to a Cleaner NYC Today!

You can play a part in cleaning up the Gowanus Canal and contributing to a cleaner New York City by supporting local environmental organizations, participating in community clean-up events, advocating for sustainable practices, and spreading awareness about the importance of protecting our waterways. By working together, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy a cleaner, healthier Gowanus Canal and a more sustainable city for all.

Are you a local Gowanus resident looking to make an impact on your neighborhood? Solar could be the solution! Find out if solar’s right for you by scheduling a call with our team.

With more than 550 community gardens spread across the five boroughs, urban gardening in New York City has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years. One innovative approach to powering these urban green spaces is through the use of solar energy. 

Discover the benefits of urban gardening in NYC, from fresh, healthy produce to a stronger community. Learn the steps to harnessing solar power for your garden’s irrigation, lighting, and more.  Let’s grow a greener future for NYC, one urban garden at a time!

What is Urban Gardening?

Urban gardening is the cultivation of plants, fruits, vegetables, and herbs in a city or urban environment. Due to the densely populated areas, urban gardening takes on many forms due to space limitations. Some techniques used to garden in the city include: 

  • Rooftop gardening
  • Community gardening
  • Vertical gardening

Growing Trend of Urban Gardening in NYC

Community gardens, urban farms, and indoor gardening setups are becoming increasingly common sights across the city. With the increase of urban gardens, there’s also been a growing trend of incorporating technology into urban gardens, such as using hydroponics or vertical gardening systems to maximize space and efficiency as well as including solar power systems to help create a more sustainable green space.

The rise of urban gardening in NYC reflects a desire for fresher food, a more sustainable lifestyle, and a stronger sense of community within New York City.

Benefits of Urban Gardening in NYC

Urban gardening offers numerous benefits to both individuals and communities, including:

Grow Your Own Fresh, Healthy Produce

Many NYC neighborhoods, particularly those with a higher density of low-income residents, are considered “food deserts” with limited access to fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. Urban gardening allows residents to grow their own healthy produce.

Contribute to Sustainability

People are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of food production and transportation. Urban gardening provides a sustainable way to grow local food with a reduced carbon footprint.

Improve Air Quality

Urban gardens act as tiny air filters in the city, improving air quality through air pollutant absorption and oxygen production. Plants help filter pollutants from the air, contributing to cleaner and healthier urban environments.

Create Green Spaces

Urban gardens beautify neighborhoods, provide habitats for wildlife, and offer local community members a calming space to relax and gather in. Green spaces within cities also help with mitigating the urban heat island effect.

Build Community

Community gardens offer a space for residents to connect with their neighbors, share knowledge and resources, promote teamwork, and empower residents to take ownership of their neighborhoods.

Boost Property Values

Green spaces, including urban gardens, can enhance neighborhood aesthetics and desirability, which increases surrounding property values. A 2022 study shows that, in total, parks boost NYC property values by $15 billion.

Reduce Waste

Composting organic waste from urban gardens helps divert it from landfills, reducing overall waste production and promoting soil health. Besides composting, urban gardens also help reduce food waste by creating its own locally sourced foods.

Government Support

The NYC Department of Urban Agriculture and other organizations offer programs and resources to support urban gardening initiatives.

Pros of Using Solar for Urban Gardening

By incorporating solar power into your NYC urban garden, you’ll be cultivating a thriving green space while minimizing your environmental impact and potentially reducing your reliance on the traditional electricity grid.

Reduced Energy Costs and Sustainability

  • Lower Electricity Bills: Power your garden’s irrigation systems, lighting, and other equipment with clean, renewable solar energy, reducing your reliance on the grid and potentially lowering your electricity bills.
  • Eco-Friendly Footprint: Minimize your urban garden’s environmental impact by utilizing a clean and sustainable energy source like solar power. This helps reduce your carbon footprint and promotes a more responsible approach to food production.

Improved Garden Functionality

  • Reliable Power Source: Ensure consistent power for your garden’s needs. Solar panels with battery storage can provide backup power, keeping your irrigation systems and grow lights operational.
  • Extended Growing Season: Extend the growing season in your NYC garden by utilizing solar-powered lights for seedlings or shade-loving plants that require extra sunlight hours.

Additional Advantages

  • Reduced Reliance on Fossil Fuels: By using solar power, you’re contributing to a decrease in reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation, promoting a cleaner energy future for the community.

Cons of Using Solar for Urban Gardening

While solar can be a great addition to an urban garden, it might not be the best fit in all scenarios.

Upfront Costs

The initial investment in purchasing and installing solar panels can be significant. While there are rebates and incentives to help offset the cost, it can still be a financial hurdle for some urban gardeners. 

To help create a more sustainable community, Brooklyn SolarWorks has a Community Project Request Program. This program gives qualified NYC nonprofits and community gardens the chance to receive a Goal Zero Yeti 1000X battery and one solar panel to help power their community garden or other outdoor initiatives with solar.

Sunlight Exposure

Solar panels require sufficient sunlight hours to generate enough energy. Buildings with significant shade from surrounding structures or limited direct sunlight throughout the day may not be ideal candidates for solar power.

Limited Space

Not all urban gardens have suitable space for solar panels. Rooftops, balconies, and even some community gardens might have limited space or awkward layouts that restrict efficient solar panel placement. Additionally, some buildings or rooftops may have structural limitations that can’t support the weight of solar panels.

Not All Needs Met

Depending on the size and complexity of your urban garden, solar power might not meet all your energy needs. You might still require some grid-based electricity for specific equipment or during extended periods of low sunlight.

Brooklyn SolarWorks Community Project Program

We know that homeowners aren’t the only ones in need of solar. We want to support our local community partners and non-profit organizations that do so much for NYC, but do not have the budget to invest in clean energy. Nonprofits dedicated to education & youth achievement, community development, health & human services, sustainability, and cultivating public outdoor spaces are our first priority for complimentary solar installations.

Through our Community Project Request Form, interested groups can apply for BSW’s assistance in providing solar capabilities. We will engage selected groups and provide labor and materials to meet your solar goals. 

For solar projects that require more than one solar panel, get your free solar quote and see how much you can be saving with solar.

Examples of Urban Gardens in NYC

Rooftop Gardens

Rooftop gardens offer a unique way to experience the joys of gardening in NYC’s busy environment. Whether you’re seeking fresh produce, a connection to nature, or a chance to contribute to a greener city, rooftop gardens are a beautiful and sustainable solution.

A solar green roof project collaboration between Brooklyn SolarWorks and Highview Creations in Brooklyn, New York!

Rooftop Garden made of succulents underneath solar panels in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York City.
Photo courtesy of habitatmag.com

Local Crown Heights Co-op 838 Park Place creates its own rooftop garden under its solar canopies and tilt racks.

At Brooklyn SolarWorks HQ, we have our own rooftop garden beds that grow fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs all summer long.

Community Gardens

Community gardens are a cornerstone of urban agriculture in NYC, fostering vibrant green spaces and a strong sense of community.

Compost Collective, Maple St. Garden, Halsey Ralph & Howard Community Garden, and many other gardens around the city have been using solar power to help create a more sustainable environment.

Indoor Gardens

Utilizing indoor spaces, such as apartments and offices, to grow plants is a great way to bring a touch of nature into your NYC apartment. Here are some of our favorite indoor plants that we have at the office:

School Gardens

Educational gardens within schools help teach students about gardening, sustainability, and healthy eating habits. GrowNYC is an amazing nonprofit organization that helps inspire, promote and facilitate the creation of sustainable gardens in public schools throughout New York City.

P.S. 154 grows a school community garden to teach children how to grow produce and grow community in New York City.
Photo courtesy of inhabitat.com

Window Box Garden

Transforming window sills and balconies into miniature gardens for growing herbs and small vegetables is a nice touch to any brownstone.

Colorful flowers blooming in a window box garden of a local Brooklyn brownstone home.
Photo courtesy of brownstoner.com

Power Your NYC Urban Garden with Sustainable Energy Today!

Seeing the popularity of urban gardens in NYC rise these past few years has shown the importance of green spaces in the city. These local gardens continue to bring communities together while reducing the city’s overall carbon footprint. We want to continue to improve these spaces and one way to do that is to incorporate solar power. Start your journey towards a greener, healthier future today!

As New York City embraces sustainable energy solutions, many homeowners are wondering if their houses are a good fit for solar. With the growing interest in solar energy across NYC, understanding the key factors that determine your home’s compatibility with solar is crucial.

This comprehensive guide dives into the key factors that determine if your NYC roof is a good candidate for solar panels. We’ll explore factors like roof orientation, shading, size, and even your future energy needs. By understanding these aspects and your home’s energy consumption, you can make an informed decision about whether solar power is right for your future.

The Growing Interest in NYC for Solar Energy

There has been a noticeable surge in interest among NYC residents towards adopting solar energy solutions within recent years. This shift is driven by a combination of factors, including new local climate policies like the Climate Mobilization Act, growing environmental consciousness, rising electricity costs, and government incentives promoting renewable energy adoption.

A row of Brooklyn brownstone roofs with solar tilt rack systems. Lined by trees.
Solar Tilt Racks and Canopies on top of Brooklyn Brownstones.

Key Factors that Determine Residential Solar Suitability

Several factors play a significant role in determining whether a residential property is suitable for solar panel installation:

Roof Orientation

The orientation of your roof plays a crucial role in determining solar efficiency. South-facing roofs receive the most direct sunlight throughout the day, making them ideal for solar panel installations. However, east and west-facing roofs can also be viable options.

Amount of Shading

Shading from nearby trees, buildings, or structures can significantly impact solar panel performance. Minimal shading ensures maximum sunlight exposure, while excessive shading will reduce potential energy production.

SunEye 210 photo capture on Brooklyn Roof with open sky and buildings.
A photo of what the SunEye 210 captures to analyze a roof’s TSRF.

TSRF, or Total Solar Resource Fraction, is the amount of sunlight the measured area will receive over the year. We use a tool called SunEye 210 to assess each roof’s TSRF.

Roof Size and Condition

The size and condition of your roof dictate the number of solar panels that can be installed. This is a common challenge for houses in NYC. Most flat roofs here contain obstructions of some kind, like HVAC equipment, skylights or hatches, and also require a six foot wide fire path from front to back. We’ve mastered the art of working around these challenges and have solutions, like our Brooklyn Solar Canopy, that work for smaller roofs. 

However, the more space the better, so a larger roof with ample space for panels is always preferable. Additionally, the roof must be structurally sound to support the weight of the solar array.

Pitched Roof vs. Flat Roof

Both pitched and flat roofs can accommodate solar panels. However, the installation process and optimal panel placement may vary based on the roof type.

 Flat roofs require special design considerations to achieve the optimal tilt angle for sunlight exposure. Brooklyn SolarWorks services roofs of all types and even has different panel racking  options for flat roofs (solar canopy, tilt rack, or a combination of the two).

Electricity Consumption

Understanding your household’s electricity consumption is crucial in determining the size of the solar panel system needed. The more electricity you consume, the larger the solar array required to offset your energy needs. When preparing your custom proposal, we’ll review  your monthly Con Ed bills to determine the required solar energy system size. 

Unsure how much solar power your home needs? Get a free solar quote today!

Future Energy Needs

Consider your future energy needs when sizing your solar panel system. Factors such as potential changes in household size, appliance upgrades, or electric vehicle charging requirements should be taken into account. If you plan to electrify your heating and cooling, for example, you’ll need some extra power to cover that.

Regulations and Permits

Navigating the regulatory landscape for solar installations in NYC is essential. Historically, the bureaucracy of the city has been a barrier for solar adoption here. Luckily, if you go solar with a local NYC based company like Brooklyn SolarWorks, you won’t have to worry. We know the local regulations, zoning laws, and permit requirements like the back of our hand!

Understanding Your Home’s Energy Needs in NYC

There’s a direct relationship between electricity usage and solar panel system size. Higher electricity consumption necessitates a larger solar power system to meet your energy needs. 

We encourage you to review your energy bills to analyze your daily or monthly power consumption – you may start to notice trends!. Typically, power consumption changes based on the time of the day and on a seasonal basis – if you use air conditioning, your consumption likely spikes during the summer months. 

When you work with us to go solar, we’ll do the same. We’ll use your Con Ed bills to see how much power your home typically consumes. This data, along with the size and orientation of your roof, will help us determine the optimal size of your solar panel installation.

Not sure about your home’s energy needs? Sign up for a free consultation and learn about your home’s needs and savings from one of our solar experts. 

Navigating NYC’s Solar Landscape

Brooklyn SolarWorks can guide you through the process of navigating NYC’s solar landscape. Here’s a glimpse into just some of the attractive solar incentives offered in NYC:

  • Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC):  The federal ITC allows homeowners to deduct a significant portion of the installation costs from their federal taxes. Currently, the ITC stands at 30%.
  • New York City Solar Property Tax Abatement (PTA): Covers 30% of your solar panel installation costs. It reduces your property tax bill from the New York City Department of Finance incrementally for 4 consecutive years.
  • Net Metering:  Net metering allows you to earn credits for excess electricity your solar panels generate that feeds back into the grid. Con Edison currently provides full retail value for the power your system produces, which significantly reduces your electricity bills.

You could qualify for additional incentives too. By working with a local installer like Brooklyn SolarWorks, you can ensure you benefit from all applicable incentives and navigate the application process seamlessly. We’ll also handle all of the paperwork involved with building your system, making the switch to solar a smooth and rewarding experience.

Weighing Your Solar Costs and Benefits

When considering solar energy for your NYC home, it’s essential to weigh the costs and benefits carefully. While the initial investment in solar panels may seem significant, the long-term savings on electricity bills and potential incentives can make solar a financially sound decision. Conducting a cost-benefit analysis tailored to your specific circumstances will help you make an informed decision regarding solar adoption.

Embrace Solar Power for a Brighter Future in NYC

Determining whether your house is a good fit for solar in NYC involves considering various factors such as roof orientation, shading, size, and electricity consumption. By understanding your home’s energy needs and navigating the solar landscape effectively, you can make an informed decision about adopting solar energy. 

Embracing solar power not only benefits the environment but also offers long-term financial savings and energy independence from utility companies. With the growing interest in solar energy across NYC, now is the perfect time to explore the possibilities of solar for your home. 

Start your solar journey today and see what you can save with solar!

In the ever-evolving landscape of New York City, businesses are facing a unique set of challenges, and one prominent concern is the increasing energy costs. As the city strives for sustainability, complying with Local Law 97 (LL97) has become a crucial aspect for businesses to consider. In this blog post, we delve into the reasons why NYC business owners should tap into NYC’s solar power benefits and consider integrating solar into their operations.

Why do NYC Business Owners Need to Consider Solar?

Introducing Local Law 97 (LL97)

Local Law 97, part of New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, is designed to reduce carbon emissions from large buildings. This regulation affects businesses with structures exceeding 25,000 square feet. These buildings must reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030 or face substantial penalties. To avoid these consequences, businesses need sustainable solutions, and solar power emerges as a key player in this arena.

Escalating Energy Costs and the Urgency for Sustainable Solutions

The relentless surge in energy costs is putting a strain on businesses across NYC. With utility bills skyrocketing, adopting sustainable practices has become a necessity. Solar energy not only aligns with the city’s environmental goals but also presents a very cost-effective alternative.

Solar Power’s Growing Popularity in NYC

In response to escalating energy costs, businesses of all sizes across the city are increasingly turning to solar power. The technology has evolved, making solar installations more efficient and government tax incentives make solar an affordable option. The popularity of solar energy in NYC is not just a trend; it’s a strategic move towards a sustainable future.

Solar canopy powering a commercial building in Fort Green, Brooklyn, United States.
Brooklyn SolarWorks’ Solar Canopy on top of Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, BK.

Complying with LL97

Understanding LL97 Requirements

NYC Local Law 97 set carbon emissions limits for buildings greater than 25,000 square feet. In accordance with city goals, these buildings must reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050. 

The first phase begins in 2024 and continues until 2029, while the second, more stringent phase will take place in 2030-2034. 

Solar power is a strong solution to achieve compliance, as it generates clean energy without harmful greenhouse gas emissions. 

A short description on New York City's Local Law 97.

Avoiding Penalties through Solar Installation

Buildings must submit yearly emissions reports starting in May 2025, failure to comply with LL97 can result in substantial penalties. However, installing solar panels can mitigate this risk. 

Avoid upcoming building penalties! Book your free consultation now and see how much money your business could save.

Resources and Support for LL97 Compliance

Navigating the LL97 compliance process can be daunting. To ease this journey, here are a few resources:

Financial Benefits of Commercial Solar

Reduced Energy Bills

One of the primary financial benefits of adopting commercial solar is the significant reduction in energy bills. By going solar, businesses can cut their dependence on conventional electricity sources, leading to substantial cost savings.

Tax Incentives and Rebates

Now is the best time to go solar. New York City is currently at an all time high for government incentives and transitioning to solar power now locks in all of NYC’s rich tax credits and rebates.

Hedge Against Rising Utility Rates

As electricity costs continue to rise, solar energy provides a stable and predictable alternative that effectively cuts operating expenses for decades to come. Businesses can shield themselves from the volatility of energy prices by investing in a sustainable and cost-effective renewable energy source.

Return on Investment (ROI)

With substantial savings on operating expenses and increase in net operating income (NOI), solar energy systems pay for themselves many times over during their lifetime.  Understanding the long-term economic gains reinforces the attractiveness and reliability of solar power.

Environmental Benefits of Commercial Solar

Reduced Carbon Footprint

Switching to solar energy is a definitive step towards reducing a business’s carbon footprint and helps eliminate the use of fossil fuels. This renewable shift contributes to New York City’s overall environmental goals and helps combat climate change.

Improved Air Quality

The environmental impact extends beyond carbon reduction, positively influencing air quality. Solar power eliminates harmful emissions associated with conventional energy sources, contributing to cleaner and healthier air in NYC.

Sustainability and Community Impact

Businesses play a vital role in shaping the local community. When a local business embraces solar power and aligns its sustainability goals with the people, they foster a positive image within the community and inspire others to follow suit. 

Be a leader of sustainability in your community. Start your journey towards solar.

Solar panels on top of multiple buildings in the Gowanus, BK community. These buildings gain solar powered benefits.
Three commercial buildings (Including BSW Headquarters) that have switched to solar in Gowanus, BK.

Operational Benefits of Commercial Solar

Increased Energy Independence

When a business switches to solar, they’re creating a consistent and reliable energy supply that doesn’t rely on the rise and fall of external energy companies. Being able to predict overhead operating costs on your company space has never been easier.

Low Maintenance and Long Lifespan

Contrary to common misconceptions, solar installations require minimal maintenance. You don’t need to clean your panels. Your solar array is angled so that rainwater can run off naturally, taking with it any build up and debris. 

When it comes to the lifespan of your solar system, Brooklyn SolarWorks offers a 30-year Total System Warranty (the best warranty deal in NYC). 

Brooklyn SolarWorks solar system 30 year guarantee

Enhanced Brand Image

Operational decisions, especially those geared towards sustainability, significantly impact brand image. Adopting solar power aligns businesses with environmentally conscious values, enhancing their reputation in the eyes of customers and stakeholders.

Leverage the Benefits of Solar for Your Business Today

The advantages of integrating solar power into NYC businesses are undeniable. From compliance with LL97 and financial gains to environmental and operational benefits, the case for solar is unbeatable.

Take the leap towards a sustainable future and leverage the benefits of solar for your New York City business: Schedule your free consultation today! 

New York City has a food waste problem. But luckily, one of the best solutions is already within reach: composting! Composting is an easy, sustainable way to dispose of organic material, and with a growing network of composting services available, it’s more accessible than ever for New Yorkers.

In honor of curbside composting coming to Brooklyn this month, we’re doing a two-part series on food waste reduction in NYC. Follow along to learn more about how you can do your part! Read Part 1: How to Reduce Food Waste in NYC here.

What is composting?

Composting is the process of recycling organic waste into an enriched fertilizer for soil. Compost offers a host of benefits, including:

  • Diverts organic waste from landfills and incinerators, reducing GHG emissions
  • Prevents soil degradation and improves soil health
  • Promotes healthy plant growth and biodiversity
  • Aids in stormwater management
  • Enhances carbon sequestration

Disposing of food waste and other organic material in the garbage means it’ll eventually end up in a landfill, where it’ll decompose and produce methane. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that’s responsible for retaining heat in the atmosphere and warming the planet. 

Composting is a sustainable way of diverting food waste from landfills that supports future plant growth and the circular economy.

Importance of Composting in NYC

Food waste is a major problem in New York City. It’s responsible for 20% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions (placing it third behind buildings and transportation), and it’s a major factor in the city’s growing rat population.

Our city produces a lot of waste, but the majority of it is divertable materials like organics, recyclables, e-waste and harmful household products. As of 2017, around 34% was organic material suitable for composting, meaning there’s a major opportunity for landfill diversion.

Composition of NYC's residential waste
A major portion of NYC’s residential waste is made up of organic materials, meaning there’s a big opportunity for landfill diversion. Credit

Composting is a simple, yet very important way to help our city reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health, and support green spaces.

Is composting mandatory in NYC?

Composting food and yard waste in Queens and Brooklyn is mandatory. Queens was the first borough to receive the NYC Department of Sanitation’s curbside composting service in the fall of 2022. Brooklyn has followed suit this fall, becoming the second borough to get curbside as of October 2023.

In June 2023, the city council passed the Zero Waste Act, making composting mandatory for all NYC residents beginning in October 2024 – when Manhattan will become the last of the boroughs to get curbside composting. 

If you live in Manhattan, Staten Island, or the Bronx, here’s when you can expect curbside composting:

  • Staten Island: March 2024
  • The Bronx: March 2024
  • Manhattan: October 2024

Mandatory composting requires New Yorkers to separate yard waste, food scraps, and food-soiled paper from their garbage and dispose of it in compost bins. Compost should be set out on the curb just like trash and recycling, and DSNY will pick it up on your recycling day. Fines for non-compliance will not begin until around six months after the program goes into effect, but you can expect enforcement to be similar to recycling.

What is the NYC Compost Project?

The NYC Compost Project is a citywide composting education and outreach program founded in 1993 by the Sanitation Department. It works with several nonprofit organizations and botanical gardens to provide composting resources and workshops to residents, businesses and institutions. It offers the Master Composter Certificate Course with the goal of building a network of advanced composters who can help support DSNY’s community composting initiatives. 

Sanitation department's graphic showing what can and cannot be composted
DSNY’s curbside composting and smart bin services accept the items above. Drop-off sites, however, may restrict certain items like meat and dairy.

What can be composted in NYC?

Depending on where and how you compost in NYC, there may be different requirements for acceptable items. It’s always best to confirm with the host of the composting program, but here are some general guidelines.

What You CAN Compost

Whether you compost via curbside composting, community drop-off sites, or Smart Composting bins, you can always compost the following items:

  • Food scraps, including fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags, nuts, bread, rice, and pasta 
  • Plant waste, including leaf and yard waste and houseplants

Food scrap drop-off sites can generally only accept the above items. But for curbside composting and Smart Composting bins, you can also compost the following:

  • All food scraps, including the above PLUS meat, bones, dairy, and prepared foods
  • Uncoated food-soiled paper, like pizza boxes or used paper plates

What You CANNOT Compost

Most community drop-off sites cannot accept meat, fish, bones, dairy, prepared foods, or food-soiled paper.

No matter your composting location, there are some items that can never be composted. These include:

  • Garbage, including diapers, personal hygiene products, animal waste, wrappers, non-paper packaging, and foam products
  • Recyclable materials, like bottles and cans

How to Compost in New York City

Getting started with composting in NYC is fairly simple, and it’s becoming even easier as DSNY expands its composting network. Follow the steps below to get started. 

Step 1: Learn About NYC’s Composting Programs

The NYC Department of Sanitation provides composting services a few different ways, depending on your location:

  • Curbside Composting: compost is collected by sanitation workers every week along with your recycling. No sign-up is required once it’s in your area – it’s currently available in all of Queens and Brooklyn, and select areas of Manhattan and the Bronx.
  • Drop-Off Composting: many community gardens and farmer’s markets throughout the city host composting sites where you can drop-off your compost on certain days and times.
  • Smart Composting Bins: these are public composting bins located in select neighborhoods throughout the city where you can drop-off your compost any time of day. To use these bins, you’ll need to download an app which will allow you to view bins on a map, see which ones are available, and unlock the bins.

Step 2: Select a Composting Bin

In order to start composting, you’ll need somewhere to collect and store your compostable materials in between pick-ups or drop-offs. It’s important to consider both how much space you have and how much you’ll be composting regularly. 

There are many bin options out there – from electronic composters to worm bins – if you’d like to begin your own compost pile, but these aren’t necessary for those of us who don’t have the ability to garden at home. 

The average person who wants to participate in the city’s composting programs doesn’t need anything fancy – any kind of airtight container or even Ziploc bag will suffice for collecting food waste in your home between drop-offs.

For curbside composting, DSNY provides free brown bins at the start of service. But you can also use any labeled bin, 55 gallons or less, with a secure lid. You can line this bin with any type of bag.

Step 3: Collect Compostable Materials

To begin composting, you’ll need to start separating your food and yard waste from your other trash. Rather than disposing of organic matter in the garbage can, you should instead collect them in your composting bin. 

Your compost bin can sit out on your kitchen counter, or you can store it in your fridge or freezer to avoid bugs or prevent any smells from developing.

Step 4: Know What Not to Compost

Depending on where you’re dropping off your compost, there may be restrictions on what you can and cannot add to your compost. Community drop-off sites generally don’t accept meat, bones, dairy, or prepared foods, but you can double check with the host. 

If you have curbside composting or drop-off at a Smart Composting bin, you can generally compost any food waste, uncoated food-soiled paper, and plant waste.

Just remember: don’t put any trash or recyclable materials in your compost! This includes hygiene products, animal waste, and bottles and cans.

Step 5: Set Out or Drop Off Your Compost

Time to dispose of your compostable waste! 

If you’re participating in curbside composting, you should set out your brown bin every week at the same time as your recycling pick-up. 

If you’re dropping off at a Smart Composting bin, you can access the bins 24/7 using the app, provided they’re not at capacity – check the app to make sure. 

If you’re dropping off at a community site, double check its hours to make sure it’s open.

Where are compost drop-off locations in NYC?

You can check DSNY’s website to find a community drop-off site or Smart Composting bin near you. For drop-off sites, you can view the site’s hours and details regarding what items are accepted.

DSNY composting map in Brooklyn
Here’s a look at DSNY’s compost drop-off map. Orange represents Smart Composting Bins, and green represents Food Scrap Drop-Off Sites.

Future of NYC Composting

It’s safe to say that the future of NYC composting is bright, thanks to the efforts of DSNY and composting advocates all over the city. Within the next year, curbside composting will be available in all five boroughs, in addition to community drop-off sites and smart composting bins becoming more accessible. 

Awareness surrounding the importance of composting and supporting green spaces is continuing to grow amongst New Yorkers. We look forward to a future with less food waste in our city!

Start Composting in the City Today!

Composting is one of the best things you can do as an individual to help lower the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health, and support green spaces. We encourage you to follow the resources above to find a composting service near you and get started today.

If you’re a homeowner interested in learning about other ways you can become more sustainable, consider going solar! Schedule a free consultation with us to find out if your home is right for solar energy.

Food waste has taken center stage in New York City’s sustainability efforts, and for good reason. Food makes up a major portion of NYC’s waste, contributing significantly to landfill emissions. But there’s better, more sustainable ways for New Yorkers to consume and dispose of food.

In honor of curbside composting coming to all of Brooklyn this month, we’re doing a two-part series on food waste reduction in NYC. Follow along to learn more about how you can do your part! Read Part 2: How to Get Started Composting in NYC here.

Is food waste a problem in NYC?

In a city as densely populated as ours, there are lots of things that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. But you may be surprised to learn that food waste is a major contributor, making up 20% of the city’s emissions. That makes it the third largest contributor, behind buildings and transportation.

When food and other organic waste is sent to landfills, it emits methane as it breaks down. Not only that, but black trash bags full of food on our sidewalks provide nourishment for the city’s rampant rat population. Food waste is a big problem, but it’s one that can easily be turned into a sustainable solution. 

Composition of NYC's residential waste
A major portion of NYC’s residential waste is made up of organic materials, meaning there’s a big opportunity for landfill diversion. Credit

Environmental Consequences of Food Waste

Food waste is a problem that has a number of consequences for the climate, environment, and public health.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Globally, the food supply chain generates a significant amount of GHG emissions. The production, processing, storing, and transportation of food makes up about a third of the world’s emissions. Of these emissions, about half are attributed to waste.

When food and other organic material is sent to landfills, it decomposes over time. The byproduct of the decomposition process is methane, which is a greenhouse gas that’s even more potent than carbon dioxide. It traps a lot of heat in the atmosphere and contributes to the warming of the planet.

Resource Depletion

Producing food requires lots of natural resources, namely water and energy. When food is wasted, we waste the resources that went into producing it. 

Research shows that wasted food accounts for a quarter of the agriculture industry’s water supply. At a time when many areas of the world, including parts of the U.S., have been facing severe droughts and water shortages, water conservation should be a priority.

NYC Department of Sanitation's "Send Rats Packing" campaign poster
In April 2023, DSNY changed garbage set out times in an attempt to alleviate the city’s growing rat population.

Public Health

Since the pandemic, rat populations in cities have been booming. The main reason is garbage: where there’s food, there will be rats. As any New Yorker knows, walking down the sidewalk on trash night means you might stumble upon one (or a few). Leaving trash bags full of food waste outside multiple times a week gives rats plenty of opportunity to feast. 

The NYC Department of Sanitation has implemented several policies aimed at decreasing the rat population, including mandated trash containerization, limited hours for putting trash out, and curbside composting. Reducing and diverting food waste is a solution to a major public health issue.

7 Ways NYC Homeowners Can Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a big problem for New York City, but it’s a problem that can largely be mitigated when individuals make simple lifestyle changes.

1. Plan Meals and Shop Intentionally

One of the best ways to reduce food waste within your household is to only buy what you are actually going to eat. Planning your meals and portion sizes and making a list ahead of your grocery run takes just a few extra minutes, and it’ll save you from picking up items that you may not eat. This not only prevents you from creating waste, but it saves you time and money too.

2. Store Food Properly

Using airtight containers to store fresh food in your refrigerator and freezer can help it last longer. You can organize your refrigerator and cupboards so that older food is in the front and newer food is in the back. Add date labels to refrigerated and frozen items to help keep track of how old each item is. This is a food storage practice called First in, First Out (FIFO) – the oldest food (first in) should be the next to be used (first out).

3. Understand Expiry Dates

There is a difference between “Best Before” and “Use By” dates on food. Foods with “best before” dates may still be safe to eat after that date, whereas “use by” dates indicate that the item is no longer safe to eat. Double check before you discard it!

4. Embrace Leftovers

If you cook or order too much food for dinner, refrigerate or freeze it to eat at a later date. Same for ingredients: if you only need half an onion for a recipe, save the other half and repurpose it the next time you cook – just make sure to store it properly!

5. Reduce Portion Sizes

It’s important to only cook or order as much food as you plan to eat. When your portion sizes are too large, you’ll likely have leftovers – and if you’re not keen on eating leftovers, you’ll likely create waste.

6. Donate Surplus Food

If you have a surplus of non-perishables sitting in your cupboards, you can find a food pantry or soup kitchen near you and donate them. If you’re in Park Slope or Gowanus, our friends at CHiPS are always accepting donations. 

7. Compost Your Food Scraps

Let’s face it: even if you practice all of the tips above, you’re still going to create some waste. But rather than throwing your food in the garbage, you can make a meaningful impact by composting it instead. 

Generally, you can compost all food, anything that grows in the dirt, food-soiled paper products, and yard scraps through the city’s curbside composting program. However, some community drop-off sites may not want things like meat, bones, or dairy – double check this before you drop off.

Composting is a food waste solution that provides all sorts of benefits:

  • Diverts organic waste from landfills and incinerators, therefore reducing GHG emissions
  • Prevents soil degradation and improves soil health
  • Promotes healthy plant growth and biodiversity
  • Aids in stormwater management
  • Enhances carbon sequestration

If you’re a resident of Brooklyn or Queens, curbside composting is now available to you. If you live in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Staten Island, you may have food scrap drop-off sites, smart compost bins, or community gardens near you. Learn more from the NYC Compost Project.

NYC's smart compost bins
NYC Smart Compost Bins Credit

Do NYC residents have to compost food scraps?

In June 2023, the city council passed the Zero Waste Act, making composting mandatory for all NYC residents beginning in October 2024 – when Manhattan will become the last of the boroughs to get curbside composting. 

This law requires all New Yorkers to place all of their food and yard waste into compost bins, which will be picked up by DSNY along with their recycling. Fines for non-compliance will not begin until around six months after the program goes into effect, but you can expect enforcement to be similar to recycling.

Make a Positive Impact with Food Waste in NYC

Food waste is a major contributor to climate change, and it’s a problem for the health of our city too. However, it’s a problem that’s relatively easy for individuals to tackle. By making simple changes to the way we consume and dispose of food, we can make a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions in our city.

If you’re a homeowner who’s interested in other ways to reduce your carbon footprint, clean energy could be another great option for you. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

With electricity rates on the rise, New York City residents are looking into greener alternatives to power their homes. A popular energy solution that New Yorkers have been switching to is solar! Read on to see how solar energy has impacted local Bed-Stuy resident, Jarret Yoshida, over the past year.

About Jarret Yoshida Designs

Meet Jarret Yoshida, an award-winning interior designer whose passion for crafting luxurious, contemporary living spaces is surpassed only by his commitment to purposeful and sustainable design. 

Whether it’s a New York City apartment, a quaint townhouse, a charming brownstone, or a freestanding home, Yoshida’s approach is rooted in a holistic perspective. As Yoshida puts it, “Interior design is not just about making homes look beautiful, it is a whole process that begins from the very beginning in order to create a very integrated, seamless living experience.” 

Sustainability is a part of Yoshida’s design philosophy and resonates through his design choices. His dedication to the environment is quite noticeable, as he seeks out vintage or custom-made furniture from sustainably harvested wood. The careful and thought out selection of materials extends to fabrics as well, with a focus on post-consumer usage. With a strong commitment to the longevity of his creations, Yoshida steers clear of fleeting trends in favor of timeless designs.

Why did Jarret decide to go solar?

Yoshida’s fascination with solar power traces back to his childhood, a time marked by global concerns over the energy crisis and the search for alternative solutions. As a witness to the upheaval caused by the oil crisis and the looming threat of depleting non-renewable resources, Yoshida was driven by an innate sense of responsibility. He recalls his first step into renewable energy when he convinced his parents to install a solar hot water heater, an experience that laid the foundation for his interest in residential solar energy.

However, Yoshida’s aspirations went beyond just solar energy for hot water. He had always wanted solar photovoltaic (PV) technology as well. Years later, with a home of his own, the perfect opportunity occurred. Fueled by his commitment to sustainability and his longing to be a part of the solution, he took the leap and installed solar PV panels. 

For Yoshida, this transition to solar power wasn’t just a practical move; it was a way of aligning his personal values with tangible action, transforming his Bed-Stuy brownstone into a beacon of renewable energy and environmental consciousness.

About the Installation

Yoshida’s 8.4 kW system consists of 21 400 W panels mounted with a Brooklyn Solar Canopy — the perfect size for his three apartment brownstone! The system was tailored to Yoshida’s annual energy needs: with an annual usage of 9,998 kWh, our design team projected that his solar system would offset 93% of his home’s usage.

Embarking on the path to solar energy, Yoshida turned to Brooklyn SolarWorks, a decision that would mark a transformative phase in his commitment to sustainable living. 

From the very beginning, Yoshida’s experience with the installation process was characterized by a seamless blend of professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. In his own words, “When they came over, they were extremely thoughtful and were able to explain really complicated terms.” 

The positive experience extended beyond the initial installation process. Yoshida was particularly appreciative of the comprehensive support he received, ranging from paperwork to timely follow-ups. 

Want to start your solar journey with Brooklyn SolarWorks? Schedule your free consultation!

What have the results been?

This summer marked the solar system’s first major test, and the results have been positive! Beyond aesthetics, the panels have acted as a protective shield, shielding the roof from the elements and prolonging its lifespan as well as preventing excessive heat buildup on the roof. 

He has also seen a substantial reduction in electricity costs, with three apartments collectively registering a near-zero bill in the face of last month’s scorching heat wave!

Spreading the Solar Love

We appreciate Jarret not only because of his own initiative to install solar, but because he truly understands that solar spreads through the ripple effect. Jarret’s commitment to sustainability has extended beyond his own home to encouraging  others to embrace renewable energy too.

He’s referred many of his friends, neighbors, and clients to us, and a handful of them have taken the leap into solar as well.

Reduce Your Brownstone’s Energy Costs with Solar

The combination of environmental consciousness and financial savings showcased by Jarret’s experience with his solar canopy system serves as a huge sustainable inspiration in the heart of New York City.

Are you ready to switch to solar? Our experienced team will guide you in the right direction and design the best system for your home and future energy needs. Schedule a free consultation today!

If you’re the owner of a commercial property or co-op building in New York City, you may be subject to NYC Local Law 97. Passed in 2019, this law sets stringent standards for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of large buildings throughout the city.

With the initial compliance period for LL 97 beginning in 2024, now’s the time to determine whether your building is impacted by this law and how you can achieve compliance. Read on for everything you need to know about NYC’s Local Law 97.

What is Local Law 97?

Considered the cornerstone of the NYC Climate Mobilization Act, NYC Local Law 97 set carbon emissions limits for buildings greater than 25,000 square feet. In accordance with city goals, these buildings must reduce their emissions by 40% by 2030, and by 80% by 2050.

LL 97 set two initial phases of emissions limits for these buildings. The first phase begins in 2024 and continues until 2029, while the second, more stringent phase will take place in 2030-2034. The limits were set based on several different building use classifications and sizes. Buildings must submit yearly emissions reports starting in May 2025, and face penalties for exceeding emissions limits.

Aerial image of homes in Park Slope with solar on rooftops
Park Slope is a neighborhood that has truly embraced clean energy alternatives.

Why was NYC Local Law 97 created?

The NYC Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), otherwise known as NYC’s Green New Deal, was passed by the New York City Council in 2019. It put NYC on the path to fighting climate change by reducing building carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. 

The largest climate legislation of any city in the world, the CMA consists of several laws aimed at reducing GHG emissions across the city, with special attention paid to improving the energy efficiency of both residential and commercial buildings. 

One of these laws was NYC Local Laws 92 and 94 – also known as the Green Roof Law – which mandated that all new roof construction must add either a green roof, a solar PV system, or a combination of both. Another of these laws was LL 97, which set specific emissions reduction limits for NYC’s large buildings.

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The main goal of NYC Local Law 97 is to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of NYC’s large buildings. NYC buildings make up the majority of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, buildings account for over 70% of total emissions – surpassing even transportation emissions. The source of these emissions is energy consumption from electricity use, heating, and cooling, which can add up particularly in larger buildings.

Promote Energy Efficiency

In order to reduce their emissions in the coming decade, building owners will have to invest in energy efficiency measures. This could look like upgrading to electric heating and cooling systems, improving the building’s insulation, or powering it with solar energy. Creating more energy efficient buildings has the added benefit of decreased energy costs for building owners and reducing stress on the city’s power grid.

Improve Air Quality

Reducing emissions from buildings will result in better air quality for all New Yorkers. One of the biggest contributors to NYC’s poor air quality is the burning of fossil fuels for heating, electricity, and transportation. Moving towards a power system that is more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels will create a healthier city.

Enhance Climate Resilience

One of the biggest challenges facing our city is preparing for the effects of climate change, like severe storms and heatwaves. Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings will help strengthen the power grid and make our city more resilient in the face of future severe weather events.

nyc local law 97 building requirements summary

What are the requirements for buildings in LL97?

Under Local Law 97, most buildings in NYC over 25,000 square feet are required to meet new greenhouse gas emissions caps by 2024, and stricter caps by 2030. The emissions limits vary depending on the building type, but generally lead towards the goal of reducing emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

Starting in May 2025, buildings are required to submit an annual Greenhouse Gas Emission report to the Department of Buildings demonstrating compliance. If the building is non-compliant, the report must show by how much the building exceeded its limit.

How are emissions limits determined?

Initially, emissions limits were set based on building classifications in NYC Building Code occupancy groups, but have since been revised to create more equitable emissions limits. 

The new building classifications were established based on property types in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which reflect real patterns of energy consumption in NYC buildings.

Because of this change, buildings whose emissions limits were made more stringent have the option to follow the original limit if they choose. However, this is only for the calendar years 2024 and 2025 – in 2026, they’ll be required to follow the Energy Star limits.

What are the timelines for compliance?

This law sets emissions limits for two separate compliance periods.

First Compliance Period (2024 – 2029) 

The first compliance period begins in 2024 and ends in 2029. Building owners must begin submitting their emissions reports by May 1, 2025, which will reflect the calendar year 2024.

Second Compliance Period (2030 – 2034)

The second compliance period will take place from 2030 to 2034. At this time, stricter emissions limits will go into effect.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

The penalty for not complying with LL 97 is a fine, calculated by taking the difference between a building’s annual emissions limit and its actual emissions (in metric tons), then multiplying the difference by $268. The Department of Buildings may also issue violations to buildings that are non-compliant.

Annual fines for buildings that are non-compliant will begin to be issued in 2025.

Which department will be enforcing LL 97?

The primary city authority enforcing LL 97 will be the Department of Buildings. Building owners will need to submit their emissions reports to the DOB, and the DOB will also issue penalties and violations for non-compliance.

How do I know if LL97 applies to my building?

NYC Local Law 97 covers the following buildings:

  • Buildings greater than 25,000 square feet
  • Two or more buildings on the same tax lot that, combined, exceed 50,000 gross square feet
  • Two or more buildings owned by a condo association that are governed by the same board of managers and that, combined, exceed 50,000 gross square feet

This covers around 27,000 of NYC’s buildings, the majority of these being residential. Rent regulated residential buildings and affordable housing may be able to delay compliance until 2026 or follow a Prescriptive Pathway as an alternative.

We recommend using NYC Accelerator’s Building Energy Snapshot tool to get specific information about your building’s energy use and its compliance status.

Covered Multifamily Buildings

When you think of large buildings in NYC, you may only think about the skyscrapers and luxury high rises in Manhattan. 

However, there are around 18,000 multifamily buildings in NYC that are covered by LL 97, which accounts for 60% of the covered square footage. And of these buildings, most are low-rise (7 stories or fewer) and either pre-war (built before 1940) or post-war (1940-1980). Overall, pre-war, low-rise buildings are the ones who have the most LL 97 work to do.

Certain neighborhoods in NYC have greater proportions of these types of buildings than others. Neighborhoods with the most census tracts made up of more than 50% of these buildings include:

  • Central Brooklyn: Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Bed Stuy, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn Heights
  • North Brooklyn: Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Ridgewood
  • South Brooklyn: Sunset Park, Bath Beach
  • Queens: Astoria
  • Manhattan: Soho, Harlem, Lower East Side
  • Bronx: Port Morris, Van Nest, Soundview

If you own an apartment in an older, low-rise multifamily building in one of these neighborhoods, there’s a good chance it’s covered by NYC Local Law 97 and will benefit from solar energy.

What are the implications of LL97 for NYC building owners?

If you’re the owner of a covered building, there are some important implications and considerations to think about as the first compliance period approaches. 

Determine Your Building’s Emissions Limit

The first step should be to determine your building’s emissions limit. If you’re the owner of a co-op, there is a specific limit set for Multifamily Housing. If you own a commercial-use building, there are a variety of classifications you may fall under. 

To determine your emissions limit, refer to the DOB’s ESPM Property Types.

Consider Compliance and Penalties

It’s important to consider that the city will be penalizing buildings that do not comply with LL 97, and the penalties could be costly. 

You can estimate your building’s carbon penalty using Building Energy Exchange’s free calculator and following these steps:

  • Click “Find Your Building” to input your address
  • Click “Next” on the upper right side 
  • Insert values for solar PV to see the added benefit of solar power.
Air source heat pumps on a roof with solar canopy
Electrifying your HVAC with heat pumps could be a good option for your building.

Invest in Energy Efficient Upgrades & Sustainable Technology

To comply with Local Law 97, you’ll likely need to make some energy efficient improvements to your building. This could include: 

Investing in efficient, sustainable technologies will not only help you comply with LL 97, but can save you tons of money on energy costs in the long run. To get free, personalized guidance on how to upgrade your building, contact NYC Accelerator.

To learn about how solar can help you comply with LL 97, schedule a free consultation with us.

Financial Considerations & Affordability

Once you determine which energy upgrades you’ll need to make, you’ll need to consider your finances. Depending on the size of your building and the scope of the upgrades, it could be a pretty hefty investment.

However, there may be financing options available through the city that have little to no upfront costs and can make your upgrades much more affordable. NYC Accelerator’s Financing Specialists can help you find the right financing option for you. There are also tax incentives available for solar and for electric upgrades, made possible by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.

Impact on Building Valuation

Investing in energy efficiency measures and sustainable construction has the added benefit of boosting your property’s value. Under Local Law 95, buildings get an energy efficiency grade based on their Energy Star scores and are required to display them. Though there are no legal consequences for having a low score under LL 95, low energy efficiency grades imply higher utility bills for tenants and buyers. 

In today’s market, sustainability is a valuable selling point. In fact, home solar has been proven to increase property resale value in NYC by up to 5%. Your LL 97 retrofits will not only help you comply with the law, but provide a lot of value for your building too.

Make a Positive Environmental Impact

All in all, you’ll be making a pretty significant impact on your building’s carbon footprint by complying with NYC LL 97. Reducing your emissions not only helps NYC do its part in the fight against climate change, but it also contributes to a healthier city overall.

Future-Proof Your Building

Making energy efficient, sustainable upgrades will help your building become more resilient in the face of climate change-related weather events, including heat waves and severe storms. It’ll also lower your energy costs and make them more predictable, in a city where energy rates are on the rise year after year.

A co-op in Crown Heights that went solar with us in 2018.

Solar Energy Can Help NYC Buildings Comply with LL 97

Installing solar panels on your multifamily building or commercial property is an excellent way to work towards complying with Local Law 97. Powering your building with clean energy reduces your emissions substantially, and it’s a great financial investment too. 

Solar can not only help you avoid Con Edison’s ongoing rate hikes, but also help you avoid potential carbon penalties. According to the law, adding solar will reduce LL97 penalties by ~7.7 cents per kWh from 2024-2029, and ~3.9 cents per kWh from 2030 on. Installing solar now will help you save lots of money in the long term, both in energy costs and potential fines.

Go Solar Today to Avoid Future NYC Local Law 97 Penalties

The first compliance period for NYC Local Law 97 is coming up fast. One of the best ways you can prepare right now is to talk to us about installing solar on your property. Due to the permitting process in NYC, it can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to install your project once you sign on. 

Now’s the time to get started on the road to LL 97 compliance. Schedule a free consultation now!

With its bustling streets, dense population, and notoriously high traffic density, air quality in New York City has always been a topic for concern. Air quality here has been improving in recent years, but it’s not as “breathable” as it should be. There are a few main factors that contribute to NYC’s air quality, but there are also many solutions – one of these being the adoption of clean solar energy.

Read on to learn about the current state of air quality in NYC, the significant air pollution issues affecting the city, and how solar energy can play a pivotal role in achieving a cleaner future.

How is the air quality in NYC today?

In general, due to the City’s hard work towards lowering local emissions, NYC has been seeing consecutive decent air quality since 2017 with an average AQI of below 50. The AQI varies from borough to borough, with Brooklyn having the lowest AQI.

Even though air quality in NYC is progressing, it still remains a leading environmental health threat to all New Yorkers. Emissions from transportation, power plants, commercial and residential heating, industrial activities, and geographic factors contribute to the city’s air pollution challenges.

If you were in the city in early June, we don’t need to tell you that bad air quality can have significant health impacts. On June 7, 2023, New York City had the worst air quality in the world reaching an AQI of 405 out of 500 due to wildfires in Canada. The sky became orange, and the air became hazardous to breathe – for everyone, but especially children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing respiratory issues. Below was the view from our office in Gowanus:

This year’s wildfire season in Canada is on track to be the most destructive in history, made more severe by climate change-induced droughts and extreme temperatures. For us New Yorkers, it’s safe to say it could become a recurring issue.

Air Quality Issues Impacting New York City

Several factors contribute to poor air quality in NYC. Let’s explore some of the key culprits:

Transportation Emissions

As a densely populated city with millions of residents and tourists, transportation emissions pose a significant threat to air quality. Data shows that 30% of NYC’s GHG emissions come from transportation.

Vehicle exhaust, particularly from cars and trucks, releases harmful pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), leading to respiratory problems and other human health issues. Idle cars specifically are a significant contributor towards poor air quality.

Power Plants

Power plants that rely on fossil fuels for electricity generation contribute to air pollution. These plants release pollutants such as sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2). These emissions not only impact local air quality but also contribute to climate change.

NYC’s many fossil fueled peaker plants – used to provide extra surges of electricity during times of peak demand – emit twice as much carbon dioxide and 20 times as many nitrogen oxides as regular power plants. According to reports from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, neighborhoods like Mott Haven and Melrose in the Bronx, which are home to multiple peaker plants, see triple the asthma-related hospital visits for children compared to the rest of the city.

Commercial and Residential Heating

The heating systems in commercial and residential buildings in NYC are still widely powered by fossil fuels. The primary use of fuel oil and natural gas combustion releases pollutants like PM, NOx, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air creating ground-level ozone (a component of smog). 

Commercial and residential heating accounts for 14% of fine particulate matter pollutants emitted into our air. This is more PM emissions than all the cars and trucks in NYC combined. 

One way to personally combat these emissions is by switching your home to solar and electrifying your HVAC. Get a free quote today to see what solar can do for you.

Industrial Activities

Industrial processes, including manufacturing and construction, releases dust and pollutants into the air. Construction happens night and day in NYC, making it a significant air quality issue. The dust, chemicals, and emissions from industrial activities can have detrimental effects on air quality if not appropriately managed.

There are ways to manage air quality concerns for construction. According to plans from the East Side Coastal Resiliency project, the city is actively taking steps to limit emissions and dust from the project, such as:

  • Use barging for large deliveries and restrict truck idling time
  • Minimize use of diesel engines
  • Cover and secure loads for all trucks hauling loose material including sand and dirt
  • Use water spray for roads, trucks, truck wheels, excavation areas,and stockpiles
  • Use extra care, including more frequent application of these measures, during dry and high wind periods

Importance of Improving Air Pollution in NYC

Improving air quality in NYC is crucial for the health and well-being of its residents and visitors. Clean air helps reduce the risk of respiratory diseases, cardiovascular problems, and other health complications. Addressing air pollution and quality in NYC also aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and transition into sustainable energy sources.

There are a number of benefits to improving NYC’s air quality:

Public Health & Quality of Life

The World Health Organization has recognized air pollution as a significant public health problem. Ambient air pollution is estimated to have caused 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2019. By improving air quality, we are decreasing the risk for creating, or worsening, health issues for the people of NYC.

Environmental Justice

While air quality has been improving in recent years, not all New Yorkers have experienced those improvements the same way. In NYC, low-income areas and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by low air quality. In fact, when the Canadian wildfire smoke impacted NYC, the zip codes with the highest numbers of asthma-related hospital visits were disproportionately in low-income Black and Hispanic communities.  

There are a number of local organizations doing important environmental justice work throughout the city. One such organization is WE ACT for Environmental Justice, who works to improve environmental conditions specifically in Harlem, where children are hospitalized for asthma three times as often as the rest of the city.

By recognizing these disparities and working to improve air quality conditions, we can move towards a more just future for all New Yorkers.

Climate Change Mitigation

Mitigating climate change means improving air quality and vice versa. Burning fossil fuels produces greenhouse gasses that are responsible for both poor air quality and the warming of our planet. 

NYC is already taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as mandated by the Climate Mobilization Act, by moving towards greater energy efficiency and by expanding the city’s capacity for electricity generation from renewable sources like solar.

Tourism and Economy

NYC is one of the epicenters for tourism. Heavy tourism tends to decrease the air quality of the visited area, but good air quality is considered one of the main attractions of tourist destinations. Improved air quality will increase NYC’s tourist economy as well as keep its native New Yorkers healthy.

Brooklyn SolarWorks customer under solar canopy on roof in Brooklyn
Switching to clean energy sources like solar is a clear solution to improving NYC’s air quality.

How Can Solar Energy Improve Air Quality?

The biggest contributor to poor air quality is the burning of fossil fuels, whether it be for transportation, heating, or electricity generation. Naturally, decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels is the best way to reduce air pollution.

One of the many advantages to solar energy is cleaner air in NYC. Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source that produces electricity without emitting harmful pollutants or greenhouse gasses. Plus, it can be used to power electric transportation and electric heating, replacing the need for gas and oil and substantially reducing emissions from both. 

By shifting from fossil fuel-based electricity generation to solar power on a large scale, the city can reduce air pollution and do its part to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Positively Impact the Future of Air Quality in NYC Today

Solar energy is a viable solution to improve air quality in New York City. By transitioning to clean and renewable energy, the city can address its air pollution challenges, enhance public health, and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

You can be a part of the solution. Take the first step towards solar and get your free home consultation today!

The trend of home electrification has been on the rise in recent years, as homeowners aim to adopt more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly energy solutions. Given the fact that gas-powered heating and water heating can be a major utility expense and harmful to the environment, electrification has become an attractive alternative. 

Upgrading to electric HVAC and appliances is a smart move in and of itself, but it becomes even more beneficial when combined with solar power. 

In this case study, we take a closer look at a Brooklyn rowhouse that’s been solar powered and electrified since 2017. Read to learn why the homeowners decided to electrify, how they tackled the process, and what the results have been.

What is home electrification?

Electrifying your home refers to the process of shifting away from traditional heating and cooling systems that rely on fossil fuels and transitioning to electric-powered systems that are powered by the grid or, even better, your own clean energy source like solar power.

This means replacing natural gas-powered appliances, such as water heaters, boilers, furnaces, and stovetops, with efficient electric appliances.

Benefits of Home Electrification

Electrifying your home offers a host of benefits, including:

  • Reducing your reliance on fossil fuels, and in turn, your carbon footprint
  • Improving air quality
  • Reducing your energy costs
  • Decreased maintenance costs and increased home value
  • Reducing your family’s exposure to harmful pollutants and potential gas leaks

The homeowners in our case study initially decided to pursue electrification to help protect the environment. For them, this meant starting with solar. But after about a year of having a solar canopy, they felt confident in switching from their old gas-powered heating system to a new electric heat pump mini-split system, because they had seen from their solar monitoring software that their solar canopy made enough electricity to cover their heating loads.

About The Home

This three-story rowhouse is located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It’s a two-family home attached to neighboring homes on both sides with a semi-finished basement. The home was built in 1895.

The homeowners had a solar canopy installed on their flat roof in December of 2017, and began electrifying in the summer of 2018 with installation of a heat pump mini-split system.

A bar graph comparing a Brooklyn home's power usage with various electric appliances and solar production.
For over 4 years, the home’s solar canopy has covered all of their electric upgrades and then some.

How was the home electrified?

There are a few main upgrades these homeowners made to electrify their home. 

Brooklyn solar canopy in sunset park overlooking nyc skyline
The home’s solar canopy, shot a few months after its installation. What a view!

Solar Panel Installation

Solar is an important part of the electrification process. Switching your home’s power source to solar, rather than just the grid, makes your electric upgrades that much more cost-effective, efficient, and clean.

In 2017, the homeowners decided to install solar on their home. They worked with us to install a Brooklyn Solar Canopy on their roof. Their 8 kW canopy is made up of 24 LG 335 panels. 

They were able to take advantage of the rich government incentives available in New York City for installing solar, covering about 85% of their costs. This included a little known, but very valuable, 20% Historic Homeownership Rehabilitation Credit (eligibility depends on where you live – get in touch with us to learn what incentives you qualify for!)

Within the first few months of having a canopy, they realized that they were generating a ton of power — way more than their home required. While they were racking up plenty of net metering credits on their Con Edison bills, they were inspired to think about ways that they could utilize their excess electricity to get off fossil fuels. This meant swapping out their old gas-powered heating and water heating systems to new efficient electric heat pumps. 

Over the past four years, their solar canopy has generated enough power to cover all of their electric upgrades and other appliances. See a breakdown of usage and consumption here:

A table showing a home's power usage compared to its solar production over 4 years.

Mini-Split Heat Pump System

About six months after their solar canopy installation, the homeowners decided to install a mini-split heat pump system. Each floor of the house has its own mini-split system with several air handling units, giving them the flexibility and cost-savings of controlling the temperature of each floor and each room individually.

Mini-split heat pump systems provide heating and cooling. A ductless mini-split system is made up of two parts: an outdoor compressor and an indoor air handling unit. These are connected via a refrigerant line, as opposed to ducts.

In general, heat pumps work by transferring the heat in the air to where it’s needed – during the winter, the system releases heat indoors, and during the summer, it’ll send heat from indoors to outdoors. This makes them much more efficient and cost-effective than conventional heating and cooling systems.

Heat Pump Water Heater

This Sunset Park home also benefits from a heat pump water heater. Like an HVAC heat pump, a heat pump water heater works by transferring the heat from the surrounding air to heat up the water inside the storage tank, making it much more efficient than gas-powered water heating systems.. 

Not only has the home’s water heating become more efficient, the homeowners have found that it has the added benefit of dehumidifying their basement as well. This has allowed them to use their basement as a storage and pantry space.

The home’s heat pump water heater located in the basement.

Insulation

Insulating and sealing your home is beneficial when moving towards energy efficiency, but not absolutely necessary when electrifying. In fact, the homeowners did minimal insulation work throughout this process. They sealed their roof around the hatch, and they also took advantage of a NYSERDA weatherization subsidy to insulate their attic with blown-in cellulose.

In spite of the home’s minimal air sealing, it’s still sufficiently energy efficient to be able to power all its heating and cooling loads by its own rooftop solar power system. Electrification doesn’t need to become a big expensive passive house project – even if your home is older, making these simple electric upgrades is more than enough to improve your home’s efficiency and energy costs.

Other Loads

Besides their mini-splits and water heater, their solar canopy is covering all of their other loads too. This includes their lighting, computers, TVs and 3 refrigerators throughout the house.

How has electrification affected the home’s energy costs?

Since installing their solar canopy, the homeowners’ electric bills from Con Edison have been essentially eliminated, paying nothing other than the basic service charge (about $18-20 per month). In 2022 alone, they saved an estimated $1,510 on their non-heat electricity loads. 

Because their home’s heating and water heating no longer run on gas, their gas bills have been eliminated as well. In 2022, they saved an estimated $2,748 on gas.

estimated annual energy savings for electric home in brooklyn

Start Electrifying with Solar Today!

Electrifying your home is a great way to save money, make your home safer, and reduce your carbon footprint. And it’s not as complicated as you might think – it doesn’t require a major renovation or owning a newer home. 

Plus, with plenty of government incentives and subsidies available for installing solar panels and making various electric upgrades to your home, it becomes an affordable process with impressive financial returns.

Interested in electrifying? Start with the power source. Our experienced team will guide you in the right direction and design the best system for your home and future energy needs. Schedule a free consultation today!

As the world becomes more conscious about climate change and carbon pollution, the demand for clean energy solutions has grown. Electrifying your home is one way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and create a healthier, more energy efficient space.

This guide will provide an overview of electrification in NYC, including the benefits of going electric, how to assess your home’s needs, and first steps in creating your own electric home in the city.

What does it mean to electrify your home?

Electrifying your home refers to the process of shifting away from traditional heating and cooling systems that rely on fossil fuels and transitioning to electric-powered systems that are powered by the grid or, even better, your own clean energy source like solar power.

This means replacing natural gas-powered appliances, such as water heaters, furnaces, and stovetops, with efficient electric appliances.

Home Electrification vs. Traditional Heating and Cooling Systems

Traditional heating and cooling systems, such as gas furnaces, rely on fossil fuels, which contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

Electric heating and cooling systems, on the other hand, are powered by the home’s electricity source. This could be the power grid, or it could be a home’s solar PV system.

In terms of electric alternatives, homeowners can replace their older HVAC systems with electric resistance heaters or heat pumps. Out of these systems, the heat pump is the most efficient, producing the best results for space heating or cooling.

When combined with solar energy, electrification reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Plus, it’s much more cost-effective than pulling power from the grid.

Diagram comparing efficiency of furnace, electric resistance heater, and heat pump.
Electric Heat Pumps are more efficient than both furnaces and Electric Resistance Heaters. Credit

Why is electrifying your home in NYC important?

In 2019, NYC officials set an ambitious goal to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 in a package of legislation called the Climate Mobilization Act

In NYC, buildings account for approximately two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. One of the ways the city aims to achieve its climate goals is by electrifying buildings. To encourage electrification, the government offers incentives, rebates, and financing options for homeowners to upgrade and retrofit their homes.

Switching from traditional heating and cooling systems to electric systems:

  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improves air quality
  • Increases energy efficiency and home resiliency.

What are the benefits of electrifying your home?

Creating an electric home in NYC can provide several benefits, including:

Environmental Benefits

As of early 2023, fossil fuels still generate about 60% of energy in the United States. By upgrading to electric HVAC and appliances, you’re also:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improving air quality
  • Decreasing reliance on fossil fuels

Economic Benefits

Not only is switching to a more electric lifestyle great for the environment, it’s great for your wallet too! Upfront costs can be intimidating, but these systems pay themselves off (especially when powered by solar). When you go electric you can expect:

  • Increased home value due to upgraded systems
  • Decreased maintenance costs
  • Reduced energy bills

Health & Safety Benefits

In NYC, lots of homes and buildings still rely heavily on gas. This isn’t just an environmental concern. Recent studies have shown that gas stoves, for example, pollute indoor air by releasing high levels of nitrogen dioxide, causing negative respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes. 

Switching to electric appliances will:

  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Reduce exposure to harmful pollutants
  • Reduce risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from gas appliances
  • Reduce risk of gas leaks and explosions

How to Assess Your Home’s Electricity Needs 

Before you start electrifying your home, it is essential to understand how your home consumes energy and how you can improve its overall efficiency.

Here are some first steps you can take to assess these needs.

Conduct an Energy Audit

Planning a home energy audit is a crucial first step in electrifying your home, because it will give you a better base understanding of specifically where your home needs energy efficient improvements. 

Thanks to the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New Yorkers have access to several energy assessment programs that make creating a more energy efficient home easy and affordable.

Calculate Your Electricity Needs

Calculate your electricity needs by assessing your energy bills and understanding your energy usage patterns. 

If you’re planning any electric upgrades, you’ll likely begin using a lot more electricity than before. This is why many people install solar along with electrification, as it’s much more cost-effective than using power from the grid.

Review Your Home’s Insulation, Air Sealing, and Ventilation

Check your home’s insulation, air sealing, and ventilation to identify any areas where energy loss could be reduced. 

Insulation is an important part of creating an energy efficient home because it provides resistance to heat flow, and in turn, saves homeowners money on heating and cooling bills. It also improves personal comfort within the home.

How to Electrify Your Home in NYC

Going green has never been easier, especially when it comes to powering your home. Electrifying your home in NYC not only helps reduce your carbon emissions, but it can also save you a lot of money in the long run. 

Here are some energy efficient upgrades to consider when electrifying your home.

1. Install an Electric Water Heater

Switching from a gas water heater to an electric water heater, such as a heat pump water heater, is a great way to electrify your home and create a more energy efficient water heating solution. 

A heat pump water heater works by transferring heat from the air surrounding it to heat the water inside the storage tank. 

By removing heat from the surrounding air, heat pump water heaters not only create hot water more efficiently than a conventional electric water heater, they also dehumidify the surrounding area.

Heat pump water heater Sunset Park Brooklyn.

2. Installing Solar Energy

While making electric upgrades is great, powering them with clean energy is even better. With rising electric bills, solar power helps reduce monthly energy expenses all while reducing your carbon footprint. The average home in NYC can be powered completely by solar energy, even after making electric upgrades, meaning your utility costs will be virtually eliminated.

In NYC, there are rich tax incentives for homeowners to install solar panels, making it an attractive option for those looking to reduce their costs and improve their home’s energy efficiency.

If you’re looking to electrify, start with solar. We can help you prepare for your home’s increased demand and get you the best bang for your buck. Schedule a consultation today!

3. Adding an Electric Heat Pump

Electric heat pumps are a great way to electrify your home’s heating and cooling system. Air source heat pumps work by transferring heat from the air outside your home to the inside, meaning they use less energy to produce warm or cold air. 

Electric heat pumps are much more energy efficient and cost-effective than conventional furnaces or AC units. They’re much cleaner too, making your home a safer place. 

Your heat pump system can either heat and cool your home centrally through ducts, or you could set up a ductless mini-split system to give you control over the temperature of individual floors or rooms.

Interested in upgrading your HVAC system in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island? We’d recommend working with our partner, Winter Wolf in Park Slope.

Two pictures of an LG Ductless Mini-Split System.

4. Installing Efficient Lighting and Appliances

Switching to energy efficient lighting and appliances can help reduce your energy consumption and save you money on your energy bills. 

Look for appliances and lighting with the Energy Star label. This label indicates that they meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

5. Insulating & Sealing Your Home

Insulation is an important factor in energy efficiency. Insulating your home can help reduce energy consumption by keeping warm air inside during the winter and cool air inside during the summer. Proper insulation can also help reduce noise pollution and improve the overall comfort of your home.

Air leaks in your home can cause energy waste and increase your energy bills. Sealing these air leaks can help reduce energy consumption and improve the overall efficiency of your home.

6. Using Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology can help you control and monitor your energy consumption. You can set timers and schedules for your appliances and lighting, and monitor your energy usage in real-time.

7. Adding an Electric Vehicle Charging Station

If you own an electric vehicle, adding a charging station to your home is a convenient option that will help reduce your carbon emissions even further. If you’re thinking about powering your EV at home, using your home’s solar panels to charge your EV is the cleanest and most environmentally friendly way of doing so.

Photo of Electric Vehicle (EV) with tagline #solarpoweredcar.

Considerations When Choosing Renewable Energy Sources

Powering your all-electric home with renewable energy can virtually eliminate your utility bills, and it’s great for the environment too. If you’re looking to switch to clean energy for your home, here are some factors to consider.

  • Energy demand
    • Consider and assess how much energy your household uses and choose a renewable energy source that can meet your demand
  • Costs
    • Consider the upfront costs of installing renewable electricity sources, as well as the long-term savings on energy bills
  • Environmental impact
    • Powering your home with clean energy means amplifying the impact you’ve already made by electrifying
  • Government incentives
    • NYC solar incentives make New York City one of the best places to go solar, covering your upfront costs by up to 70%

If you’re considering electrifying with solar, we can help guide you in the right direction in terms of your energy needs and solar system size. Get in touch!

Generating Your Own Electricity in NYC

Generating your own electricity with solar panels can offer numerous advantages, particularly in densely populated areas like New York City. It provides homeowners with greater control over their energy bills, reduces reliance on the grid, and contributes to a more sustainable future

By harnessing the power of the sun, homeowners can become energy independent and make a positive impact – on both their energy bills and the environment.

Three pictures of solar panels and solar canopies in New York City.

Start Electrifying Your Home with Solar!

Electrifying your home in NYC is a great way to reduce your home’s energy costs and protect your family from health and safety risks. But powering your electric upgrades with a home solar system is even better, eliminating your Con Ed bills, offering independence from the grid, and significantly reducing your carbon footprint. 

By embracing solar energy, homeowners can take an important step toward electrifying their homes and contributing to a greener, more sustainable future.

Ready to electrify? Start with solar. Schedule a free consultation today!

Climate change is a pressing issue across the globe, and New York City is no exception. With its vast population and high vulnerability to natural disasters, NYC has been taking various steps to adapt to Earth’s changing climate.

One way NYC is preparing for the future is by developing climate resiliency plans. Read on to explore some of the climate resiliency plans that you may not know about (but should!).

What is a climate resiliency plan?

A climate resiliency plan is a comprehensive strategy developed by governments and organizations to mitigate climate-related risks. These plans outline measures to address the risks and vulnerabilities of climate change by switching to renewable energy sources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving infrastructure and community preparedness, and enhancing the natural systems that support urban areas.

What is the importance of climate resiliency?

Climate resiliency plans are crucial. They work by helping communities prepare for and withstand the impacts of climate change. By taking action now, cities can:

  • Protect public health and safety
  • Minimize economic losses
  • Preserve natural resources
  • Enhance social equity and justice

The Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency (MOCR) in NYC

The Mayor’s Office of Climate Resiliency (MOCR) was established in 2019 to lead the city’s efforts to prepare for the impacts of climate change in NYC. The office is responsible for developing and implementing climate resiliency strategies, coordinating with other city agencies, and engaging with communities to build resilience.

Vision Statement from the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency:

“The Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (MOR) strives to adapt New York City to the unprecedented challenge of climate change, creating a more resilient, equitable and vibrant city for the New Yorkers of today and generations to come.”

Benefits of a Climate Resiliency Plan

Manage Climate Risks

Climate resilience plans help manage the risks of extreme weather events, such as flooding and heat waves. By improving infrastructure, building sea walls and barriers, and relocating critical infrastructure away from high-risk areas now, we can mitigate these climate risks in NYC’s future.

solar panel tilt racks in nyc
Adopting clean energy and improving access is integral to NYC climate resilience.

Improve Electricity Access

Climate resilience plans can also improve access to electricity during natural disasters by promoting the development of distributed energy systems, such as microgrids and rooftop solar panels. Solar energy is an important part of NYC’s overarching climate resilience plans. 

NYC has some of the highest electric rates in the country, making solar a very valuable alternative. We also have some of the best incentives for solar power in the country. This makes the switch to solar easier and more cost effective for homeowners in the NYC area. Get in touch with us to see how much you can save on your solar installation!

Clean Energy Transitions

Climate resilience initiatives can help accelerate the transition to clean energy sources like wind and solar power, by promoting policies (i.e. the United States government’s 2022 Climate Bill) and incentives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York provides many subsidies to help promote the adoption of solar. Visit our NY solar incentives page to learn more. 

Reduce Damage and Costs

Naturally, by reducing the risks and impacts of natural disasters, climate resilience plans also help minimize the costs of damages to property, infrastructure, and human lives. Planning for our city’s future at this point is crucial.

NYC Resiliency Plans Happening Now

NYC Stormwater Resiliency Plan

As we’ve seen the past few years, extreme rainfall events have been causing major issues more frequently in NYC, and the trends are only showing an increase in precipitation. NYC’s Stormwater Resiliency Plan will help implement new policies for resilient stormwater management, change the city’s flash flood emergency response procedure, and more.

Wastewater Resiliency Plan

The NYC Wastewater Resiliency Plan is a comprehensive study that examined buildings and infrastructure (pumping stations and wastewater resource recovery facilities) to identify and prioritize infrastructure that is most at risk of flood damage. As a result of the study, there are now recommended design standards and cost-effective protective measures currently being implemented to mitigate flood risks. 

Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency

Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) is the City’s plan to adapt Lower Manhattan to climate impacts, for this generation and the next. This plan will protect Manhattan from flooding via sea level rise and coastal storms. The plan will ensure the area’s continuity in serving the many businesses, residents, workers, visitors, and commuters in the area who rely heavily on its transit network and want to remain in their dynamic neighborhoods.

Cloudburst Management

A “cloudburst” is defined as a sudden and violent rainstorm. This can cause major flooding that leads to property damage and pollute New York’s rivers, streams, and harbors. Having cloudburst management put in place gives us the opportunity to combat and minimize damage from these sudden floods. Cloudburst management implements a combination of methods that absorb, store, and transfer stormwater to minimize flooding from cloudburst events. 

Brooklyn Greenway

The Brooklyn Greenway stretches 26 miles along Brooklyn’s coastline and provides various different forms of climate resilience. The Greenway can help the state and city reach their goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (outlined in the NYC Climate Mobilization Act) by providing a convenient path for people to travel via walking or biking. 

Since the Brooklyn Greenway passes through many areas in Brooklyn that are susceptible to flooding, it will also help mitigate these climate impacts. Just one of the many things that will create a more sustainable Brooklyn!

Play a Positive Role in Climate Change

Climate resiliency plans are vital for NYC’s preparedness and adaptation to the effects of climate change. They not only reduce risks and damages but also contribute to the city’s transition to a more sustainable and equitable future. As New Yorkers, increasing sustainability within NYC is one way we can support these plans.

Going solar is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and create a more sustainable home. Plus, solar is easier and more affordable to install in NYC than you may think. See if your home qualifies today and help make NYC’s future more sustainable!

As we start the new year, we look forward to finding ways to improve and enrich our lives. In recent years, New Yorkers have increasingly been adopting sustainable lifestyle alternatives, such as purchasing an electric vehicle. One resolution that NYC homeowners are making is energy efficient home improvements.

Facing the reality of climate change and ever-rising energy costs, improving your home’s energy efficiency is one of the best ways to save money on bills, add value to your home, and reduce your personal carbon footprint!

What are energy efficient home improvements?

Energy efficient home improvements can be any type of home renovation or upgrade that helps improve indoor air quality, regulate indoor temperatures, lower energy usage, and overall increase comfort in your home. 

A few examples of energy efficient improvements include: upgrading or adding insulation, professionally sealing your home, and installing solar panels. Installing solar panels and converting to a clean power source not only lowers monthly ConEd bills but also increases buyer interest in your market.

Want to make your NYC home more energy efficient? Schedule a free consultation today and learn how you can switch to solar for $0 down!

Why are energy efficient home improvements important?

Energy efficient homes in general have been gaining popularity with homebuyers within the last few years. This means that when people are looking into purchasing a home, one thing that they look for and prefer is a home that is more sustainable. An energy efficient home not only raises your home’s value, it also saves money on monthly bills and creates a more comfortable indoor environment.  

How can I benefit from energy efficient home improvements?

Energy efficient home improvements have a lot of advantages for you and your home. Here are a few ways you can benefit from creating a more sustainable home: 

  • Save money on monthly energy bills
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Increase the value of your home
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Get tax credits from the IRS to help install energy efficient home improvements
electric vehicle nyc solar power
The federal government is now incentivizing energy efficient home improvements, including both solar power and electric vehicle purchases.

What tax credits are available for energy efficient home improvements?

2023 is the year that the United States is rolling out the federal climate legislation included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Tax credits and rebates are now available for businesses and individuals who are aiming to reduce their carbon footprints with clean energy and all-electric upgrades. Some of these incentives include:

  • 30% federal tax credit for installing residential solar
  • 30% federal tax credit, up to $2,000, for installing a heat pump
  • Up to $7,500 rebate for purchasing an electric vehicle, depending on make and model

The IRA is making the switch to renewable energy more affordable and will hopefully ensure a more stable economy and environment!

6 Ways to Make Energy Efficient Home Improvements in NYC

Professionally Seal Your Home

Air leaks in homes tend to form around windows, doors, and light fixtures. These air leaks create heat loss and energy waste in homes and take part in utility bill increases. The typical home loses more than 25% of its heat through windows. 

To help seal your home, investing in energy-efficient windows (and doors) with an Energy Star® label will boost your home’s energy efficiency. Adding storm windows can also be a lower-cost alternative as well.

Upgrade Your Appliances

After sealing your home, upgrading old heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units (HVAC system) to energy-efficient appliances is a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. When shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star® Label. This means the appliances have met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s energy-saving standards.

An Energy Star label for an air conditioner. Image from: learnmetrics.com

Upgrading to more energy-efficient light bulbs can also help your home by using up to 90% less energy than a standard light bulb (and they can last up to 15 times longer too). 

Additional Home Insulation

Insulation creates an optimal thermal boundary between your home and the outdoors. Upgrading your attic insulation or wall insulation will help keep your home’s temperature regulated all year round and save you money on monthly energy bills.  

Switch to an Electric Heat Pump Water Heater

Water heating is about 15% to 25% of annual energy usage in homes. Making the switch to an electric heat pump water heater can save you an average of $350 on energy bills annually, whereas (according to Energy Star) tankless water heaters only give homeowners about $20 in annual savings. After making the switch, you can now use your hot water with more peace of mind.

Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are programmable and have the ability to learn your home’s temperature preferences. This is very helpful in saving energy when no one is home. Also, having smart devices installed in your home also raises its value. 

solar panel tilt racks in nyc
Home solar panels are an excellent value for the typical New York City homeowner.

Install Solar Panels

Switching from natural gas, and other nonrenewable fossil fuels, to solar power helps homeowners reduce their carbon footprints and become more independent from their local utility companies. Interestingly, solar panels also have a cooling effect on your home by preventing sunlight from directly hitting your roof. 

Electric home appliances and solar panels go hand in hand – powering your electric hot water heaters, heat pumps, and electric vehicles with solar energy gives you an even greater bang for your buck. Investing in solar energy is a great way to reduce energy bills, create more value for your home, and increase sustainability in your home. 

Want to know if your brownstone can switch to solar? Schedule a free consultation today.

Start Making Energy Efficient Upgrades to Your NYC Home Today

With the continuous rise in ConEd bills and NYC homeowners becoming more conscious of their environmental impact, energy efficient home improvements are more important now than ever before! 

Ready to start your energy efficient home renovation and raise the value of your home? Schedule a free consultation today to find out how much you can save with solar.

The sustainability movement is alive and well here in Brooklyn, and for good reason – being sustainable in Brooklyn is important for the health of our neighbors, city, and planet. 

As a Brooklynite, practicing sustainability is more accessible than you may think. We’ve curated the perfect list of green, eco-friendly activities, brands, restaurants, local organizations, and more to check out while the fall is starting to roll in.

What does it mean to be sustainable?

To be sustainable is to practice lifestyle changes that reduce your personal carbon footprint. Sustainable practices are all about using natural resources in responsible ways, to create harmony between us and our environment. Sustainability supports the health of ourselves and our planet, and are instrumental in the fight against climate change. 

You can practice sustainability in many ways, whether it’s switching to a plant-based diet, recycling or using solar power as an alternative energy source. Being sustainable in Brooklyn is much more accessible and affordable than you may think – delicious too!

1. Sustainable Activities

Brooklyn Grange Farm

Brooklyn Grange farm sunset park brooklyn sustainability

Sunset Park is a hub for industry, including one of the largest rooftop farms in the world, Brooklyn Grange Farm. This rooftop farm and intensive green roofing business strives to support communities that have limited access to fresh, locally grown produce.

They’ve made it their mission to spread sustainability by providing green roofing services to clients that range from private homes, to corporate buildings, to low income housing. You can find other Brooklyn Grange farms in Brooklyn Navy Yard, Long Island City, Staten Island, and even on top of the Javits Center. 

Check out their website for registration for tours, educational workshops and many other events!

850 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Instagram:@brooklyngrange

Facebook:@BrooklynGrange

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a landmark attraction for Brooklynites who have an interest in gardening and greenspaces. With a sprawling 52 acres of beautiful gardens, New Yorkers from all ages can enjoy and benefit from their educational programs, gardening displays, and resources on conservation.

The BBG has many perks available if you register for their membership program, including free admission, exclusive event access, and seasonal previews. Plus – stop by during the holidays to see their one-of-a-kind winter lightshow! 

Entrances: 

150 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

455 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225

Instagram:@brooklynbotanic

Facebook:@Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Twitter:@BrooklynBotanic

Brooklyn Bridge Park

You always get a perfect view of Brooklyn or Manhattan when driving on the Brooklyn Bridge. But imagine the views from your picnic table in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Located at the piers along the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park is beautiful and exciting, especially when you’re surrounded by so many activities and events by the waterfront! Park events and activities range from yoga, to volleyball, to kayaking! Feeling hungry? You can get a quick bite at Luke’s Lobster while enjoying the city view.


334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Twitter: @bbpnyc

Instagram:@brooklynbridgepark

Facebook:@brooklynbridgepark

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

grand army plaza greenmarket brooklyn

If you’re a seasoned Brooklynite, you’re probably aware of the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket that’s held Saturdays year-round. As the second-largest GrowNYC Greenmarket in New York City, this farmer’s market is always buzzing with plenty of opportunities to support local farmers and artisans. In addition to produce, meats, breads, and other food items, this greenmarket also has a compost drop-off, clothing collection site, and other programming all year long.

Northwest Corner of Prospect Park, Prospect Park West & Flatbush Ave

Instagram:@grownyc

Facebook:@GrowNYC

Twitter:@GrowNYC

2. Sustainable Shops

Norman and Jules

Norman and Jules in Park Slope

This Park Slope staple is filled with eco-friendly toys and is run by a great Brooklyn-based couple. Finding sustainably-minded toy shops can be difficult given how much plastic is used in the industry, which makes this sustainable gem even more exciting.

Norman and Jules sell a variety of toys, from dolls to puzzles to pen pal kits, and caters to all ages, including babies. The store also sells furniture, mobiles, and needlework sets.

158 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215 

Instagram: @normanandjules

Facebook: @normanandjules

Beacon’s Closet 

Beacon's Closet in Brooklyn

This second hand shop is notoriously picky when it comes to curating their collection, which means that every piece there has earned its place. With locations in Greenpoint, Park Slope, and Bushwick, Beacon’s Closet has become a locally sourced sustainable fashion staple.

Head over to one of their locations for a fun afternoon of shopping and great people watching. At Beacon’s Closet, you can buy, sell, and trade both vintage and modern clothing, so you have endless options!

Park Slope: 92 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Greenpoint: 74 Guernsey St Brooklyn, NY, 11222

Bushwick: 23 Bogart St Brooklyn, NY 11237

Instagram: @beaconscloset

Facebook: @Beaconscloset

Homecoming Plant Shop

Every room needs a plant, and this shop has the perfect one for you! With beautifully curated arrangements and a collection of flowers, succulents, and more, you’re sure to find what you need to brighten your home here. The shop also has beautiful fragrance oils, delicate salt bowls, terracotta mugs, and candles.

Every detail and product in the shop is so aesthetically pleasing, you’ll never want to leave! Homecoming now also hosts terrarium workshop classes, so they’re fully prepared to meet all of your plant needs.

92 Berry St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @homecoming

Facebook: @homecomingbk

The Big Reuse

The Big Reuse is one of the biggest non-profit, second hand shops in Gowanus, Brooklyn.Their shop has everything from clothes, kitchen appliances, doors, books, and couches, as well as antiques like clocks and vinyl records.

To support their mission to be socially responsible and sustainable, they’ve also created a compost project to educate New Yorkers about the importance of composting in local communities.

1 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Instagram:@bigreuse

Facebook:@bigreuse

Twitter:@BigReuse

TikTok:@bigreuse

LinkedIn:@Big Reuse

Precycle

Precycle is a zero-waste grocery store in Williamsburg committed to eliminating packaging and food waste, and empowering customers with the knowledge of where their food originates. The store provides bulk foods, home goods, and local produce with zero packaging, and works directly with farmers and distributors.

Bring your reusable bags and containers to collect your items, or purchase them in-store.

50 Cypress Ave, Brooklyn, NY,  11237

Instagram: @precyclenyc

Facebook: @precyclenyc

3. Sustainable Food and Drink Spots

Habana Outpost

Aerial view of Habana Outpost with a Brooklyn Solar Canopy installed

We adore Habana Outpost for their phenomenal Mexican and Cuban food. Their outdoor eating area is always super high energy and fun, and their menu features all kinds of delicious items.

The Outpost is New York’s first eco-eatery, and happily welcomes everyone who walks through their doors. They boast a sustainably-minded mission statement available on their website which speaks to their urban environmentalism in tandem with their delicious food. They have also installed a Brooklyn SolarWorks canopy, so extra props to them!

757 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Instagram: @HabanaBrooklyn

Facebook: @HabanaOutpost

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn brewery

This craft brewery focuses on producing beer in the most sustainable way possible and can be visited at their Williamsburg headquarters. The Brewery boasts several sustainably-minded initiatives, including using all LED lights and keeping up a rigorous recycling program. They have a fun blog, as well as quite a bit of merch: T-shirts, tank tops, hats, baby onesies, and glassware. 

79 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @brooklynbrewery

Facebook: @brooklynbrewery

Twitter: @brooklynbrewery

Principles G.I. Coffee House

Principles G.I. Coffee House is a cafe whose coffee is as strong as their principles. This vegan coffee shop in Gowanus is queer-owned, and is dedicated to sustainability and social impact. This cafe is a safe space for marginalized folks in the community, and they have a pay-what-you-wish system for their basic menu. Plus, they source high quality coffee and delicious local baked goods.

Principles has vowed to eliminate coffee cup waste by 2023 by tracking their single-use cup usage and encouraging customers to bring their own containers. Bonus – this shop is powered by a solar canopy! 

139 9th Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn 11215 

Instagram:@principlesbk

Emack & Bolios Fort Greene

Emack & Bolios is a renowned ice cream chain that has locations all over the world. They’re known for their spunky flavors and their history of being a hub for rock n’ rollers. They have plenty of plant-based flavors, like Cappuccino Fudge Swirl, Raspberry Chocolate Krispy Rice and Goa Mango!

Their Fort Greene location is a particular standout though, due to their commitment to sustainability. Not only do they use recycled furniture and compostable cups and straws, but their shop is powered by solar energy! 

741 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY

Instagram:@emackfortgreene

Facebook:@Emack & Bolio’s Fort Greene

L’imprimerie

L’imprimerie is an authentic French bakery in Bushwick that provides artisan pastries, breads, cheeses, wines, and coffee. We appreciate their commitment to sustainability, shown through their vegan offerings and use of rooftop solar.

1524 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237

Instagram:@limprimerie

4. Other Sustainable Businesses

Movers Not Shakers

The moving company Movers Not Shakers holds the title of “New York’s #1 Green Moving Company.” The company was founded about 16 years ago and has since aided in over 20,000 moves in NYC.

Their trucks use bio-diesel fuel, and they’ve invested in reusable bins instead of cardboard boxes in order to shrink their carbon footprint. Furthermore, all of their workers earn a real living wage, so they’re been able to build & maintain a strong, close knit team of happy movers!

177 Dwight St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Instagram: @MoversNotShakers

Facebook: @MoversNotShakers

Whiteroom

Whiteroom salon in Brooklyn

This non-toxic hair salon sells beautiful products including exfoliators, moisturizers, and volumizing conditioners. Their commitment to being eco-friendly makes the salon all the more appealing, and we love their packaging.

Speaking of being appealing, their aesthetically pleasing store is filled with eye candy, and their curated selection of products, including cult classics like the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, Grown Alchemist facial cleansers and moisturizers, and Dr. Loretta Micro Peel Peptide Pads.

113 S 6th St Brooklyn, NY 11249

Instagram: @whiteroombrooklyn

Facebook: @whiteroombrooklyn

PH7 Nail Couture

PH7 Nail Couture is a female-owned, cruelty-free nail and waxing shop. All of their nail lacquers are 10-Free & non-toxic which means they are free from TPHP, dibutyl phthalate, toluene and other ingredients that could be found in standard nail products. 

They have multiple locations in Brooklyn where you and a friend can book various eco-friendly beauty services such as eyelash extensions, hydrafacials and more!

Fort Greene: 106 S Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Carroll Gardens: 374 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Williamsburg: 227 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Instagram:@ph7beauty

Youtube:[ pH7 ] Beauty

1 Brooklyn Bridge Hotel

This sustainable luxury hotel offers beautiful views, comfortable rooms, and an eco-friendly experience. All 1 Hotels properties in the U.S. are certified carbon neutral and LEED certified – the Brooklyn Bridge location has offset over 19,000 tons of CO2 to date. This pet-friendly hotel offers farm-to-table food and beverages, sustainably-sourced bedding, and smart heating and cooling technology. 

Over half of the hotel is built from local reclaimed materials, and it’s on track to meet its zero waste goal within two years. It even has a rainwater reclamation system that irrigates Brooklyn Bridge Park! Whether you’re visiting from out of town or just looking for a staycation, 1 Brooklyn Bridge is the place to be.

60 Furman St, Brooklyn NY, 11201

Instagram: @1hotels 

Facebook: @1hotels

5. Upgrading to Clean Technology

As a homeowner in Brooklyn, there are a number of ways to make your home more sustainable.

Residential Solar

Solar energy is one of the best ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your home. Eliminating fossil fuels from your home creates a safer environment for your family and the Earth. Not only is solar power good for the planet, but it’s good for your wallet too! 

There are countless advantages of solar energy. For us New Yorkers, going solar reduces your electric bills from Con Edison through a program called net metering. The excess energy your solar system produces gets sent back into the grid, and Con Ed compensates you for it with credits applied to your future bills. 

Not to mention, NYC has some of the best solar incentives in the country. The credits and rebates available at the federal, state, and local level can cover up to 70% of your solar installation costs.
When you go solar with Brooklyn SolarWorks, we’ll make sure you’ll get the most out of your home solar system. Get in touch with us to learn more!

solar panel tilt rack brooklyn nyc

Clean Heating and Cooling

What if we told you that you can stay warm in the winter while staying environmentally conscious? You don’t need to rely on fossil fuel combustion to stay warm this winter or stay cool in the summer. An air source heat pump is an electric heating and cooling system that uses air outside air to heat and cool your home. When paired with solar power, you can heat and cool your home completely clean! 

Plus, thanks to recent federal climate legislation, you may qualify for tax credits when you install heat pumps, electric water heaters and other clean energy tech in your home.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming a mainstay in NYC transportation. Electric vehicles only create half the emissions of gas-powered vehicles, and you can create a “gas station” in your home by installing an EV charger. 

EVs are incredibly cost-effective, saving owners an average of $1,000 yearly on refueling costs and requiring less maintenance than gas-powered cars. The federal government will also be providing a $4,000 tax credit for middle and lower income folks to purchase used electric cars and $7,500 for new vehicles.

Start Reducing Your Carbon Footprint as a Brooklyn Resident Today!

There are plenty of ways to take action and practice sustainability as a Brooklyn resident. If you’re a homeowner, going solar is the single best way to make a measurable impact. Schedule a free consultation to learn about how solar energy can reduce your carbon footprint and your electric bills.

Company launched in 2015 also expands solar rooftop footprint beyond Brooklyn into Manhattan and Queens with 80+ installs.

It is extremely fulfilling to know that we’ve installed 1000 solar systems here in NYC – each one has been a gratifying experience of “flipping the switch” to clean solar energy,” said T.R. Ludwig, CEO and Founder, Brooklyn SolarWorks.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PRWEB) SEPTEMBER 01, 2021

Brooklyn SolarWorks, a leading residential solar system design and installation provider, today announced the completion of its 1,000th installation with many hundreds of those installations custom designed to meet stringent landmark property rooftop codes in New York City (NYC). Originally developed as a NYC-specific product to make solar viable on the most challenging townhome roofs, the company’s patented, award-winning solar energy systems are now available everywhere in the U.S. through its subsidiary Brooklyn Solar Canopy.

Launched in 2015 with a hyper local focus on Brooklyn, Brooklyn SolarWorks has since expanded its “solar rooftop footprint” into Manhattan and Queens with 80+ installations. The company has also been a consistent jobs generator and made a significant impact on the “new economy” in NYC by employing more than 50 local team members.

“It is extremely fulfilling to know that we’ve installed 1000 solar systems here in NYC – each one has been a gratifying experience of “flipping the switch” to clean solar energy, said T.R. Ludwig, CEO and Founder, Brooklyn SolarWorks. “Our customers are the cornerstone of our business and we are so thankful for their support and engagement with their projects. Our amazing team of solar warriors brave the NYC landscape daily and have changed this city one rooftop at a time. We look forward to this new chapter of Brooklyn SolarWorks by spreading solar power throughout NYC and making it as accessible as possible for all New Yorkers. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the clean energy transition now and in the future.”

In addition to the 1,000th installation and strategic expansion into the other boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn SolarWorks also announced the following significant milestones and key initiatives:

  • Providing ongoing support for local non-profit organizations like CHiPS, a soup kitchen and shelter for homeless mothers located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Brooklyn SolarWorks installed a rooftop solar energy system at the organization’s location as part of New York State’s Inclusive Community Solar Adder program
  • CEO/Founder T.R. Ludwig provided solar industry thought leadership in a New York Times column on ways individuals and households can reduce their carbon footprint(s).
  • Ludwig also co-authored a bylined article “Urban Solar Can Interconnection Can Be Modernized, Simplified and Standardized” that was featured in Solar Power World.

Brooklyn SolarWorks’ expansion into the other four boroughs of NYC included installations and educational efforts on the benefits of solar power in the world famous Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.

“Harlem, one of NYC’s most culturally rich and historic neighborhoods, is full of flat roof residential buildings and homeowners that are interested in switching to clean energy,” said Ludwig. “It is well known that communities of color, like those found in Northern Manhattan, are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels. Replacing conventional energy sources, one building at a time, can impact the entire city. That’s why our canvass team has been regularly speaking with individuals in Harlem to spread information regarding the process of going solar in NYC and the rebates that can be claimed during tax season.”

Brooklyn SolarWorks has also been an active participant in New York State’s “CarbonZero” initiative, which aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions across the state by the year 2050. To date, Brooklyn SolarWorks has produced more than 12 million kilowatthours (kWh) of clean energy, which is equal to:

  • The carbon sequestered by 3,438 acres of US forest in one year
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from 7,502,994 miles driven by a passenger vehicle
  • Co2 emissions from 3,101,848 pounds of coal burned
  • Co2 emissions from 341,375,807 smartphones charged
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy
  • brooklyn solar, climate, clean energy

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, please visit https://www.brooklynsolarworks.com.

About Brooklyn SolarWorks

Founded in 2015 Brooklyn SolarWorks is the borough’s leading residential solar system design and installation provider with 1,000+ systems completed. Our continued success owes to our skilled and energetic team; a locally tailored approach to design and construction; an unparalleled mastery of city codes and regulations; and our hyper-local focus on the unique needs and expectations of the New York homeowner and sophisticated real estate markets. For more information, please visit https://www.brooklynsolarworks.com.

Read the full press release here.


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