Green Savings and Incentives Going for the Greenbacks

 In an era of tight budgets and growing green consciousness, more co-op and condo  communities than ever before are moving toward energy conservation and  sustainable resources. For those residential buildings lucky enough to stand  tall in New York, an extraordinary number of resources exist for them to make  drastic changes to the way they consume energy, including education, training,  networking and even financial assistance available through a broad network of  green organizations and programs.  

 According to The Wall Street Journal’sMetropolis blog, a recent survey examining the sustainability practices and  policies of American and Canadian cities ranked New York third behind Vancouver  and San Francisco, which took top honors. The study cited New York’s “environmentally sound transportation system and land-use regime” as tops among all 27 cities surveyed.  

 With New York quickly gaining attention as a leader in green living, there may  be no better time for the city’s thousands of co-op and condo buildings to join the movement and begin  conserving energy–and saving money–now.  

 Finding the Right Partner

 Perhaps the most comprehensive resource available to boards and individuals  interested in learning more about how they can save money and conserve  resources in their homes is the New York State Energy Research and Development  Authority (NYSERDA). The organization has a number of programs available for  multifamily buildings, which they define as having five units or more.  According to the website, the goal is to use NYSERDA’s “portfolio of programs and incentives…to amp up the performance of your building, by providing access to programs that  fund, implement and measure energy efficiency to improve building performance  and your bottom line.”  

 According to NYSERDA Project Manager Ryan Moore, “We have a number of portfolio programs for multifamily buildings. One of the  most effective is the New York Energy $mart Multifamily Performance Program  (MPP).” The program makes use of a network of technology partners, including engineers  and energy consultants, to evaluate and benchmark the energy performance of a  building. Depending on how they fare versus other similar buildings, they are  assigned a performance target to achieve. By putting together an Energy  Reduction Plan and putting that plan into action, the building becomes eligible  for NYSERDA incentives, which vary by building and project size. NYSERDA also  can provide access to lenders who will help finance these renovation plans at  an exceptionally low cost.  

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