Funding a green roof

August 31, 2008

Hi, I am a New York City public high school teacher. We are investigating installing a green roof system on our school roof with the help of graduate students at CUNY. Do you know if any of the state or local utilities might help fund this effort? We are having some trouble raising the money for the project. Thank you! Jessie Jenkins Jessie, That sounds like a great idea. I hope you are still pursuing it. Unfortunately, utilities are not offering as many incentives for green roofs as for other things because they are not the most cost-effective way to achieve energy savings. However, the Bronx Borough President has a $2M revolving loan fund energy projects including green-roof projects in the Bronx. And of course I would check with Earthpledge’s GreenRoof Initiative or for more information on incentives or assistance. Earthpledge also offers grants for some green roof projects. You may be able to find some funding programs through NYSERDA but I don’t believe they have any. Some of the more pronounced benefits of green roofs come from stormwater management, because they help retain water during rain events and prevent it from entering the sewers all at once. So agencies or groups focused on wastewater treatment or watershed protection like NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection or NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water may also offer incentives. Best of Luck, PS – Since the original writing of this post, NYC passed a tax credit that makes green roofs about 25% cheaper. The tax credit will provide a one-time property tax abatement of $4.50 per square foot of green roof (which is about 25% of the cost of installation for most green roofs) up to $100,000. Inquire with the NYC Dept of Finance for details on how to apply.