New York Model Solar Energy System Pilot Law: What You Need to Know

Most states have adopted some sort of law to encourage the adoption of solar power systems. New York was one of the first states to do this, with a law that took effect in January 2012. This law specifically targets solar energy system sales to consumers, rather than businesses.

The New York Model Solar Energy System Pilot Law encourages energy-saving measures in commercial and residential buildings. Specifically, it targets rooftop solar installations. The law requires that any new solar project constructed in the state be certified by an independent auditor as energy-saving.

The Benefits Of Rooftop Solar

New York City is well-known for being one of the most densely populated cities in the country. As a result, residents there need to be very good at conserving energy. This is why municipal groups like the New York City Energy Conservation Corporation (NYCECC) are involved in helping residents and businesses turn to solar power. A key reason why rooftop solar is such a beneficial form of energy is due to the increased independence from the electric grid it provides.

Rooftop solar gives consumers the ability to generate their own power and use it whenever they want. As a result, it reduces their dependence on the electric company by providing an off-grid backup power supply. The New York Model Solar Energy System Pilot Law specifically targets this aspect of rooftop solar, mandating that any new solar project in the state be certified as energy-saving.

The law also encourages building designers and contractors to take energy efficiency into account while planning new construction projects. Ensuring adequate insulation and properly controlling air flow can reduce energy use by up to 30%. Due to fluctuating power costs and the unpredictability of future energy rates, relying on the electric company for energy can be extremely expensive. Off-grid power is also less likely to be affected by power outages.

There are a variety of ways rooftop solar provides value to customers, and the list keeps growing.

Increased Productivity And Lower Utility Bills

With the help of solar power, businesses can reduce their utility bills and gain greater productivity. This is partly due to the increased efficiency resulting from being off-grid, but it can also be attributed to the quality of the generated power. Solar power is consistent and predictable, unlike the power generated by commercial energy providers, which can vary widely.

The higher the power factor, the greater the efficiency. Power factor is a measurement of the amount of energy delivered per kilowatt, as compared to the amount of energy consumed. A 1.0 power factor would mean that for every 1 kilowatt-hour of power consumed, 1 kilowatt-hour of power is delivered. Solar power generation has a very high power factor (typically in the range of 1.15 to 1.35, which is higher than power outlets typically have), so efficiency is greatly increased.

For companies located in New York, there are a variety of options for generating their own power. Depending on the size of the company, one or two PV systems (photovoltaic systems) may be sufficient. The larger the company, the more efficient it becomes when relying solely on energy generated by solar power.

Protecting The Environment

When buildings are converted to solar power, they become part of a self-sufficient ecosystem. This reduces the amount of trash that would have been generated by conventional sources, like generators, candles and disposable products.

It also decreases the strain on existing landfill space, since less material ends up there. Finally, it prevents more greenhouse gas emissions, as fossil fuels are less frequently used.

A Better Place For Recycling

If the power goes out because of a major storm, it might not be possible to collect recyclable materials, like steel and aluminum siding and furniture, for weeks or months. Having a functioning recycling system as part of the solar power setup handles this issue, allowing for seamless material collection at all times.

During these times, it would be beneficial to have a system that can independently generate power so that it can continue operating. When the power comes back on, the items that were collected during this time can be processed and used again.

Reducing The Need For Fossil Fuel

Electricity rates for businesses in New York, and most other states, continue to rise faster than expected. It is anticipated that this trend will continue for the next few years and that rate spikes will become more frequent. This is mainly because electric companies are operating at near-full capacity and have to buy electricity in bulk from external sources, like fossil fuels, which are becoming more expensive. This is why it is beneficial to have a small solar power system as backup power supply, to ensure that electricity is not cut off during peak hours. While there isn’t any direct evidence that solar power systems reduce the need for fossil fuels, it is a good practice not to depend on others for energy since it could eventually become unavailable.

Better Independence & Security

In a world full of unexpected weather patterns and occasional utility outages, having a small wind- or solar-powered generator can provide better security. An off-grid system keeps operations going even if the power goes out, which prevents downtime and the risk of losing data. This also ensures that business operations continue smoothly, allowing for greater productivity.

As companies become more reliant on technology and information coming from the cloud, security threats, like data breaches and hacks, have become a major issue.

The New York State Model Solar Energy System Pilot Law specifically encourages the adoption of rooftop solar, stating that it “shall be certified as providing energy savings and enhancing the health and safety of the ultimate consumers of the electric power.”

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