Last April, the New York City council passed new emissions standards, known as Local Law 97 within the Climate Mobilization Act. The ambitious new legislation creates a new Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance pledged to reducing citywide emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The target then rises to an 80 percent reduction by 2050, which will make the city carbon neutral for the first time.
The law applies to all buildings over 25,000 square feet – or roughly 50,000 existing properties.
Currently, buildings account for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in NYC.
“The number one contributor [of greenhouse emissions] are existing buildings, not vehicle traffic,” Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. said at a recent press conference announcing new solar infrastructure in the Bronx.
While meeting the new emissions standards may seem onerous for landlords, green energy companies are making it simple and financially appealing for landlords to make the transition.
Leading the charge is OnForce Solar. The Manhattan-based firm, launched in 2008 by founder Charles Feit, saw an opportunity to help landlords reduce their energy burden and nowadays even generate revenue by capitalizing on underutilized rooftop space. The company quickly emerged as the city’s premier developer, designer, and manager of solar energy systems in NYC, New Jersey, and Westchester.
Using the most cost effective and cutting-edge products currently available, OnForce custom designs each of its solar energy systems for its customers, producing the most efficient & profitable arrangement possible.
Considering that electrical rates in NYC are the highest in the continental US, that translated to significant energy savings for real estate owners. OnForce calculates that switching to solar will produce roughly $1.5 billion in savings for commercial and industrial buildings in NYC by 2030.
“Typically, anyone subscribing to this array is going to save 10 percent on their ConEdison bill,” Feit said at the ribbon cutting of W.B. Mason’s new 3000 solar panel rooftop at their Bronx facility. “[That’s] hundreds and hundreds of households, who are all saving 10 percent on their energy.” That new solar rooftop, located at 1160 Commerce Ave., is now producing green energy for 137 local subscribers, including households, apartments, a few churches, and one school.
For commercial and industrial property owners, those subscribers add up to bring in an annual energy revenue of about $1 per square foot.
And because OnForce approaches solar energy with deep understanding of commercial and industrial real estate management, they are able to guide landlords and portfolio managers through the process of hosting solar energy systems from start to finish. Not only do they assess properties and install systems with the aid of their in-house engineering and project management teams, but OnForce is able to assist with project financing as well.
OnForce Solar is part of 174 Power Global and receives global support from a trusted bankable, Fortune 500 company.
“New York is quickly becoming one of the best states in the world for solar energy,” Feit said.