The state is extending the incentives available for solar projects by realloacting more than $6 million in unused funding toward its NYSun programs. The incentives, or rebates, are meant to lower the costs of residential, smallcommercial and largecommercial, solarpower projects in the state and to support wider adoption of green sources of energy, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA. Western New York is part of the upstate residential and nonresidential regions of the NYSun Solar Megawatt Block program. The total value of the incentives offered through the program is based on the amount of energy allocated to each region of the state, and the value of the incentives decreases as projects completed within a region hit certain targets, as measured in megawatts. Once a megawatt block’s capacity is fully subscribed, NYSERDA said, the unused funds are reallocated to the current block in that region. NYSun reallocated uncommitted funds in cases where projects in a region were canceled or where the scope or funding of a project changed. With the extension, the upstate residential block will see an increase of four megawatts, to 35 megawatts, with $2 million added to the current block. The upstate nonresidential block will see an increase of five megawatts, to 33 megawatts, with $1.8 million added. In Erie and Niagara counties, according to the authority, 772 residential solar projects totaling 5.8 megawatts and 195 small commercial projects totaling six megawatts have been completed, along with eight large commercial projects totaling three megawatts. See the article here!
HOME: Aging in place
Adapting for the golden years
By Kelly Hayes McAlone
When Carol Siracuse and Tom Palamuso met in 1999, both were recently widowed and shared passion for travel, sailing, and design—but not the same town. Siracuse lived in Fredonia and Palmuso on Granger Place in Buffalo. When they decided to marry in 2001, choosing where to live was a momentous decision, in part because they wanted a home that would accommodate aging into retirement. A loft would work, but they couldn’t find one near the amenities they considered essential. They also really liked the Elmwood Village and Tom was still attached to his Granger Place home, which he’d been restoring since he and his first wife bought it in 1980.
Solar is on the rise in Buffalo, long a city of innovation in electricity. Passive and active solar housing is a feasible and practical option in Buffalo. This is affirmed by SolarCity’s move to build a 1.2million-square-foot factory in Buffalo, one of the largest in the Western hemisphere. The growth of solar in New York State has increased more than 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall.
Pope Francis Addresses U.N., Calling for Peace and Environmental Justice
UNITED NATIONS — With a passionate call from Pope Francis to choose environmental justice over a “boundless thirst for power and material prosperity,” world leaders on Friday adopted an ambitious agenda to reset their own priorities, from ending hunger to protecting forests to ensuring quality education for all.
“We want to change our world, and we can,” Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told a packed General Assembly hall.
The global goals, which emerged after three years of negotiations, are 17 in all. Known as the Sustainable Development Goals, they are not legally binding, and therefore not enforceable. But they carry a moral force of coercion, because they are adopted by consensus by the 193 member states of the United Nations. They apply to all countries, not just poor ones, as was the objective of the last round of ambitions, called the Millennium Development Goals, which expired this year.
On Friday, April 17th, we teamed up with The Foundry to do a DIY air sealing party to teach air sealing techniques to home owners while helping The Foundry seal up their building. It was truly a very informative and effective event! We were thrilled to be able to donate time and material to such a great cause.Thanks to everyone who came out! #energyefficiencymatters #nomoredrafts
Roof leaks caused by ice dams not a roofing issue! Ice Dams and Leaks? It’s not a roofing issue!
Check out our YNN / TWC news spot here: http://www.twcnews.com/nys/buffalo/news/2015/03/9/water-leaks-likely-heat-loss.html
In Buffalo, the large ice dams on homes this winter are causing roof leaks. This does not mean that your roof needs to be fixed or replaced. Ice dams at the roof’s edge cause melting snow to back-up under your shingles. In most cases, when the ice dams are gone the leaks will not return.
If you have ice dam leaks don’t replace your roof.
Adding ventilation is not the answer either this only pulls more heat out of the house and not only adds to the problem it drives up energy cost due to the fact that it is releasing the heat through the roof and the furnace kicks on more to replace what has left the house. To prevent this you need to air-seal and insulate your attic. The roof deck must be cold to stop snow melt. A warm roof melts the snow, the water runs down and re-freezes at the overhang causing an ice dam to form, and subsequent leaks. A lack of insulation and propper air sealing is the direct cause to a warm roof deck and melting snow. Most people call a roofing contractor when they are experiencing an ice dam leak. The roofing contractor will remove the ice and shovel snow off the roof. This will temporarily stop the leak but it will not stop the ice dams and leaks from happening again after it snows again. The roofing contractor may then suggest that your roof needs replaced. Most of the time this is not true! if the roof doesn’t leak when it rains you don’t need it replaced. We have been in several homes and talked to several home owners and several have signed new roof contracts but the roofing companies have not suggested a way to stop it from happening again!! And to top it off the roof is fine! Bottom line is call a good insulation contractor that will air seal and insulate the attic FIRST!
LED Lighting is all the rage these days!
Doing a LED lighting conversion for your building’s light fixtures can save you 50% – 80% on your energy usage, it lasts five times longer than the old bulbs and the paybacks are insanely quick! With incentives, the paybacks are even better. There are a variety of different lighting options in the LED world – bulbs of all shapes and sizes. Finally our industry has figured out how to make a sexy product that makes financial sense to our customers.
So what’s up with this photo below?
We wanted to walk the walk and talk the talk. What you are seeing in the photo is our office being converted to 18 Watt LED Self Ballasted Tube Lighting. What is great about this is this LED lighting is a warm, sunny tone and just by clipping some wires and taking out the ballasts – a 30% reduction is achieved instantly. Coupled with the reduced wattage, we are saving a total of 60% on our electric usage for our overhead lighting!
Smart LED Lighting Solutions can reduce usage by 50 – 80% ! Once we create a lighting solution plan, you will save money on energy, maintenance and there are incentives out there to pay for it!
While this may seem like a simple retrofit, lighting deserves to be designed because getting it wrong can mean spending extra money on the wrong equipment and tenant discomfort.
Give us a call today at 716.677. 4899 to discuss your lighting project! Let us help you design a lighting project that makes sense for your building and your residents.
With this crazy cold weather, we have had a lot of inquires about the new extreme climate air source heat pump technologies out there. They’re pretty darn cool – some of the newer Air source heat pumps models are able to heat and cool with extreme efficiency – even in negative degree weather!
So how well do they work? Are they worth the investment?
Lucky for us – you can read an interview from one of our very own, David Swinehart. Not only is he an expert building scientist here at Buffalo Energy, he also installed his hyper heat system last year in his own home! Here is what he has to say about it all.
(Note: we are not being paid in any way to write about this or the Mitsubishi product!)
Q. What type of heating system do you have in your home?
A. I have (2) two Mitsubishi, 18,000 BTU 20.2 SEER Ductless Hyper Heat Pump Systems in my house. This consists of (2) two outside condenser units, (2) two inside head blower units, and a (2) two remote thermostats.” One head heats and cools upstairs, and one services down stairs.
Q. What prompted you to change your heating system?
A. I do not have access to natural gas where I live. Also, my house has an old fuel oil furnace which was costing about $2,000 to $3,000 a year to run. Both Propane and fuel oil are quite expensive and will more then likely continue to be. For the past two years I’ve been using a 85% efficient 36,000 btu pellet burner which has it’s limitations. With a new baby on the way, my wife wanted a more complete, whole house, heating and cooling solution. Plain and simple, Energy Star Heat heat pumps were the way to go.
Q. How big is your home and what town is it located in?
A. 1500 sqft, Corfu NY
Q. Overall thoughts? Like? Dislike? Does it work?
A. Does it work? Yes, this systems works! Even when it got to -9 outside, we had ample heat.
Likes – we are blown away with how consistent and even the heat is from these systems. We have never been more comfortable in our home, and for such a low monthly cost. About $100 to $150 a month during the winter months. The head units are quite and can be set to move and direct air in a number of different ways. Also, we know have our home broken into 2 zones, that can be heated and cooled independently of each other.
Dislikes – These systems do cause the air to be dry. Until I can afford to install a whole house ventilator with humidification, we will have to run small, single room humidifiers.
The condensers are mounted directly to my house with a bracketing system. There is a slight vibration that is heard when the condensers are running. This could be eliminated with “off the house” condenser placement.
Q. What were the biggest challenges with putting in the heating system?
A. Install is very simple, two technicians had both systems installed and operating in one day.You need a bit of an open floor plan if your going to install 2 or less larger units. The smaller 9kbtu and 12kbtu heads are meant to service single rooms. I have two 18kbtu heads where one head services upstairs, down a central hallway, and the other services the first floor. In a home that does not have hyper insulated walls and windows, doors must be left open to allow rooms to receive heat.
Cost might be a challenge for some. This system costs about $7,000 to $9,000 installed. This is similar to typical, high end, high efficiency heating and cooling system.
Q. Would you recommend this heating system for other home owners?
A. Yes, without a doubt!
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Rochester, New York 14610
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Cochecton, New York 12726