Archive for the ‘Smart Grid’ Category
New Utility, New Solar Programs for LIPA Customers
LIPA Changes for 2014: What to Expect
LIPA is expected to undergo significant structural changes in the near future that might have an impact on the renewable energy and energy efficiency incentive programs available to electricity customers on Long Island. Specifically, in 2014, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), New Jersey’s largest and oldest investor-owned utility, will take over operation and management of Long Island’s electric transmission and distribution system from National Grid.
In addition, Governor Cuomo has proposed a far more limited role for LIPA, and an expanded role for PSEG, including control over budgets and overall management. The goals of the changes are to have a more accountable and transparent utility structure, while maintaining the benefits of the lower debt payments associated with the non-profit LIPA holding company structure.
Impact on Solar Incentives
LIPA presently offers the most attractive solar incentives in New York State that help make solar an attractive investment for residential, commercial, and non-profit clients. So given the proposed changes to LIPA, what impact will it have on solar incentives?
While it is certainly possible that the specific incentive levels and rules might change, and historically incentives get reduced incrementally each year, we do not think there will be a dramatically reduced solar program. First and foremost, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated a significant commitment to developing solar in New York. In non-LIPA territory, The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) currently offers a solar rebate of $1.40/watt for commercial-scale solar systems, up to 50 kilowatts (kW) or $70,000, and 7kW for residential systems or $9,800. This is significantly lower than the solar rebates that are currently available in LIPA territory, which are capped at:
-$17,900 for purchased residential systems;
-$17,200 for leased residential systems;
-$172,000 for commercial-scale systems;
-$225,000 for non-profit, government, municipal, or educational customers;
However, NYSERDA’s rebates are still significant enough to drive solar growth (EmPower Solar is very active in Con-Ed territory with NYSERDA rebates).
For large scale solar projects, NYSERDA offers incentives for large scale net-metered systems, which compare favorably with LIPA’s Feed-In-Tariff Program. We anticipate that, under PSEG, LIPA customers will only be eligible for NYSERDA’s program, and not the robust incentives that are currently available today.
It is also important to note that PSEG has been commended for its commitment to solar energy in its New Jersey service territory, particularly through the release of their Solar 4 All program.
One specific concern is that the Governor also announced a rate freeze for three years. This might imply a reduction of budget available for renewable energy projects.
Take Advantage of LIPA’s Rebates Today
It is anticipated that the solar rebate available from LIPA for commercial and residential customers will stay at or near current levels throughout the rest of 2013. If you are currently considering acquiring solar power for your commercial facility or home, now is a great time to go solar and secure LIPA’s strong rebate funding.
To learn how you can go solar, call us today to set up a free consultation, (516) 837-3459.
Stressed? It’s time to unwind with help from the sun
You’re late to work. There’s traffic on the parkway. One child is home sick. The other is waiting for a college acceptance letter. Your spouse is working late, again. The shirt you need for tomorrow is still sitting in the laundry basket.
There are so many reason Americans are stressed, and lately I’ve been reading about it a lot.
While mental health experts and bloggers continually tout prioritization, reorganization, and simply letting the small things go, I think the key is tackling problems head on to avoid them in the future.
What should be no surprise is that money, or its absence, is a huge stressor. And yes, most bills are like taxes. There will always be some you have to pay (at least for the next 20 years).
The good news: some bills can be cut dramatically including, wait for it, your electric bill.
Most homeowners just accept that an electric bill will arrive each month and they’ll have to pay this ever-increasing cost. I’m delighted to tell you, they’re wrong.
Now, thanks to utility, state, and federal rebates, as well as a solar lease, homeowners can significantly reduce or eliminate their electric bill with solar power.
“What? Use the sun to power my home,” you may ask.
Absolutely! And this can be accomplished with little to no money out of pocket so you can start saving immediately.
Are you intrigued? Have a bunch of questions? That’s great! Simply call or email us to connect with our solar experts and find out how solar can save you money, and reduce stress: email@example.com, or (516) 837-3459.
The Super Bowl Blackout Illuminated an Unreliable Grid
In a bet that was rated 80,000 to one, the lights went out on the Ravens and 49ers at the Superdome last night. While it should have been Destiny’s Child, Ray Lewis crying, and Go Daddy commercial comments circulating on the Twittersphere, power (or lack thereof) was the most popular subject, which, according to Mashable, generated 231,500 tweets per minute.
Aside from highlighting the fact that millions of Americans will sit in front of a T.V. featuring nothing for more than 30 minutes, the blackout also magnified our uncontrollable reliance on electricity and the need for backup power.
In the 21st century, the utility cannot always keep up with electricity demand, and the demand will continue to rise. But, there is an answer to the pressing dilemma–solar power.
Solar power is now generating power for homes, municipalities, and more recently, sports stadiums. In fact, the 49ers will soon be going solar with SunPower panels (offered by yours truly).
“. . .Eco-friendly fans and city leaders in New Orleans are competing to maximize sustainability practices to the fullest,” states the U.S. Department of Energy. They have added more than 26,000 LED lights in and outside the stadium, but they have failed to adopt solar and battery backup options — a move that was blatantly apparent last night.
Incidentally, the Super Bowl was a success for a new reasons this year–highlighting the need for grid reliability, a goal that can be achieved with solar power.
The Solar Lease is Here!
In a historic move, LIPA just gave companies approval to offer the solar lease to customers, and EmPower Solar—the No. 1 solar installation company in LIPA territory—is ready.
The lease allows customers to immediately reduce or eliminate their electric bill and pay a simple solar payment that is up to 50 percent lower than their current fee. And, with a 20 year warranty offered by SunPower, the solar panel manufacturer, customers are guaranteed to save big.
The solar lease is a unique product. A third party financing company owns the system, uses the rebates and tax incentives to purchase the system and subsequently offers a low-cost monthly payment to homeowners. EmPower’s lease partner is SunPower Corporation, the same company that manufactures the panels.
While the solar lease is new to Long Island, it has become an extremely popular choice for residents in California—the first state to approve the solar loan. According to a recent Forbes article, “How Solar is Democratizing Solar for the 99%”, nearly two-thirds of solar customers opted to lease their system in 2011.
Similarly, EmPower Solar has also seen a significant amount of customers go solar with the lease in New York City, where this financing option was made available earlier this year.
With the lease in LIPA territory, you can look forward to reducing or eliminating your $200+ electric bill and immediately roll into monthly savings of $100 or more with the program’s low monthly payments. With an average residential system, you will save over $1,000 a year.
Additional benefits include:
-25% tax credit of $5,000, paid out over multiple years
-20-year SunPower production guarantee
-The most powerful panels on the planet
With the elimination (or extensive reduction) of their electric bill, this will results in huge savings for homeowners.
For immediate inquiries, please call our sales department at 516-837-3459×1. If you haven’t worked with one of our representatives already, you may contact our Sales Associate, Ali DeCarlo, directly by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to EmPowering you.
Rebuilding right after Sandy
“If you don’t grow, you die,” said Donald Monti, of Renaissance Downtowns, at the Vision Long Island Smart Growth Summit on Nov. 16. Rebuilding right was the focus of the event that drew politicians and business owners from throughout the island, but this year, Sandy also took center stage.
While Steven Kreiger, a commercial developer at Engel Burman, implored that houses on the Long Beach canals need to be lifted to prevent future flooding, David Schieren, CEO of EmPower Solar, urged residential and commercial solar installations as essential to grid reliability.
The grid, lamented Neal Lewis, of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, was “shaken” by Sandy’s impact. This, he said, may lead to the dismantling of the Long Island Power Authority. “You can’t ask what LIPA will do in the future,” he said, “because LIPA may not exist.”
According to Lewis, who is also a LIPA board member, while the communication breakdown by LIPA was a colossal failure, he praised the organization for its attempt to restore power to hundreds of thousands of people. It’s unfortunate, he suggested, that the “Herculean effort by LIPA will not be remembered.”
While Long Islanders are quick to pounce on comments that praise LIPA after sitting in their darkened homes for weeks, Lewis said that New York City politicians did have some positive words for the organization’s restoration in the Rockaways, but there is only a one-sided story in the media that pictures everything as a failure, he added.
Due to the unprecedented nature of Sandy, LIPA was unprepared, but, said Lewis, there are ways to improve grid reliability in addition to utilizing renewable resources. Wood utility poles can be replaced with metal ones, which did not fall during the storm, and some electrical lines, like those powering hospitals, police stations and the Long Island Railroad, can be transition from above to underground.
It is clear, more than ever before, that Long Island needs to rebuild right, said Schieren, and solar will play a major role. Backup power, he said, will also be at the forefront and EmPower Solar is ready to provide these services.