Once prevalent as a residential alternative in the suburbs, solar energy
is having a bit of a moment in New York City. The New York Times
recently chronicled how solar
is making headway in the city proper, amid the vast high-rises
that dot the skyline. As co-ops and condos are constantly looking for
improvements that will both increase the value of their properties
and save unit owners and shareholders a few bucks, solar is
increasingly looking like a viable option for those concerned with
both the environment and their bottom lines.
The Cooperator spoke with Zvi Aranoff of Siger LLC, the manager of a two-building condo association called Butler Heights in Brooklyn, about shepherding a solar conversion at his property, the value associated with doing so, and what's next in his quest for energy efficiency.
How long ago did you adopt solar technology at Butler Heights, and what was the impetus for the decision?
I met Ronnie Mandler of Best Energy Power, who installed our panels, when he was working on another building adjacent to one that I managed. And the main thing that convinced me, and later convinced the association at Butler Heights to do it, was the finances. The monetary aspect of it. At the time of installation, in summer of 2015, the benefits on a federal, state and local level were all very generous. There was a lot of incentive and no real downside. It was basically a no-brainer. I think that the payback was something like two-and-a-half years, which is an extraordinarily quick turn-around.
What had your experience with solar energy been prior to adapting it at Butler Heights?