August 3, 2020
By Ansh Sandhu
Conventional power plants produce energy by burning fossil fuel to run turbines that produce electricity, which is then distributed via an extensive transmission system into our homes and businesses. Such systems are expensive to lay out, so utilities worldwide prefer to set these up in urban areas where the population density is higher.
For cities already struggling to reduce emissions from buildings and transportation, conventional power systems have exacerbated the problem. In more remote areas, the fossil fuel model has led to a power disparity, particularly in disadvantaged communities (DACs).
January 27, 2020
By Jonathan Oriondo
On October 29th, GreenHomeNYC convened a panel discussion on sustainability careers in government, a field that promises change and growth in the new green economy. In New York in particular, breakthrough climate legislation is not just leading the way to a carbon neutral city; as our speakers demonstrated, it is also leading to innovative and meaningful careers.
May 29, 2018
by Miaoru Guan
The Sustainable Policy 201 Forum featured four speakers working towards sustainable, affordable housing through diverse but connected roles. Michelle Andry works at New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), where she focuses on energy efficiency, clean energy, and energy affordability initiatives impacting low-income housing. Francesca Camillo, Project Manager at NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), assists building owners in procuring funding for rehabilitation. Elizabeth Kelly, Manager of Sustainability Programs at The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), leverages private capital to support sustainable multi-family housing and community revitalization projects. Andrea Mancino is Director of New Construction at Bright Power, and manages team members working on ground-up new construction and commissioning projects.
The panelists discussed how effective policy can encourage wider adoption of sustainable practices in housing by facilitating financing from government sources. For example, to qualify for government funding, new construction and rehabilitation buildings must receive building certification, such as Enterprise Green Communities or LEED certification. Mancino mentioned that achieving certification as an Enterprise Green Community requires buildings to outperform standard building code by 15%. Kelly discussed how these standards help the CPC and private lenders ensure projects have fulfilled a sustainability checklist, reducing the time projects spend in due diligence. Andry added that certified buildings are eligible for NYSERDA grants as well as HPD funding.
April 17, 2018
by Tamanna Mohapatra
If you’re an eco-minded entrepreneur looking for the next great “green” idea, you may take some inspiration from a trio of local small businesses that hold sustainable values at their core. Starting a business, green or otherwise, has rewards and challenges. Fortunately, there are resources
available through New York State, and inspiration from these local business owners that can help in the pursuit of a green dream.
Saint Seneca: Supporting Independent Artisans
With a name inspired by the intersection of the two streets on which it’s located in Ridgewood, Queens, Saint Seneca
is a lovely curio store that sells local artisan goods. Ridgewood local Yuka Anziano founded the business in the summer of 2015, with money inherited from her father. It was a gamble to open an artsy, though reasonably priced, home and lifestyle store amidst the dollar stores and local deli, but it’s a risk that has paid off.
Anziano called on a talented pool of friends in the area to design the logo, hand paint the sign, and build the displays, opening the store in just four months. She believes that supporting small makers and designers is better for the community and believes that operating in New York provides a huge advantage. “There is endless talent here,” she said. “Even within my own neighborhood of Ridgewood, I have makers just a few blocks away. I have lived here for over a decade and it has become quite the creative hot-bed.”
March 28, 2017
by Samantha Yost
Courtesy: Samantha Yost
Attitudes toward cannabis are changing rapidly. There are currently 26 states
and the District of Columbia that allow cannabis cultivation for medical reasons. Seven more have legalized marijuana for recreational use and even Canada recently announced that it will legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide by July 2018. These figures could soon be outdated; it seems that cannabis restrictions are loosening at a faster and faster rate.
In the New York legislature, two bills
to legalize and regulate marijuana were introduced earlier this year by Democratic Senator Liz Krueger, and are currently in committee. Their fate is uncertain under the Cuomo administration, which has previously been against legalization, although some advocates believe that his position could be evolving due to changing public opinion.
Whether this is a positive or negative development is a subject of hot debate, but these conversations tend to focus on the social, health, and personal freedom issues that are raised by legalization or criminalization. However, one large factor that is often overlooked in these discussions is how legalization changes the energy landscape of a state. Most people don’t realize that cannabis is an incredibly energy-intensive industry. Although information is spotty due to the clandestine nature of many grow facilities, the leading study
by Evan Mills has come up with some shocking findings:
January 24, 2016
by Thomas Storck
Last year was a big one for the climate. Not only was 2015 the warmest year on record, we also witnessed the first universal agreement on climate change, negotiated at COP21, the global climate change talks held in Paris last December. The agreement includes a global warming limit of “well below 2°C”, with “efforts” to limit it to 1.5°C. Chinese President Xi Jinping said of the conference, “It is not a finish line, but a new starting point.” While his tone was optimistic, the language is tough to swallow and leaves many of us wondering why it took 21 years to arrive at the beginning. Meanwhile, our “safe threshold” for global warming has proven to be lower than predicted and our goals and policies remain so disconnected that it’s hard to discern what options remain at our disposal. So it begs the question: how much time do we have left to make the changes necessary to avoid catastrophe and what should be prioritized?
October 3, 2013
For 2013, a bigger, more diverse conference
Discover how your buildings can be energy efficient, resilient and profitable at BuildingEnergy NYC (BE NYC
) on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. With 24 fully-accredited sessions
(AIA, BPI & USGBC) and five pre-conference workshops on October 15th, you’ll be able to cover timely topics like next steps in renewables, addressing air leakage in large buildings, new NYC Codes for resilience, cogeneration and more.
We’ve got an outstanding group of speakers for BE NYC
. Here’s a sample:
, Blue Sea Development
, NYC Department of Environmental Protection
, Enterprise Community Partners
, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
, Advanced Solar Products
, Steven Winter Associates
Get equipped with practical information and inspired for a sustainable future.
is co-presented by GreenHomeNYC
the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
, and enjoys sponsorship from such notable organizations as The Community Preservation Corporation, The Natural Resources Defense Council, NYSERDA, ConEdison, NixonPeabody and The Bluestone Organization.
Hurricane Sandy: Point Taken
– read Conference Chair Andy Padian’s BuildingEnergy Magazine
story on urban resilience.
November 15, 2010
Early this month, outgoing Governor Paterson released the New York State Climate Action Plan
. This plan moves forward on the 2009 Executive Order requiring the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050 and established a Climate Action Council to determine how to meet the goal. The Council will continue to further refine these strategy proposals in 2011. The public can comment on the plan until February 7, 2011.
As pointed out in the New York Times article
about the report, there has been controversy in the last few months of the administration’s tenure amidst incredible budget shortfalls related to funding cuts and the dismissal of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s commissioner, and use of state funds intended to finance emission reduction programs for other purposes. The Gotham Gazette has done a good job
of summarizing the situation at the DEC.
This is all relevant as these proposals could very well become law one day – as the City is using the Green Codes Task Force report to draft policy, the State’s self-imposed requirement to reduce emissions will most definitely result in code changes for buildings. Of particular import to GreenHomeNYC’s readership is Chapter 6: Residential, Commercial/ Institutional Mitigation
. The most relevant recommendations are described after the jump.
February 14, 2010
Governor Paterson has announced the New York Great Appliance Swap Out
– a program that provides $16.8 million for New Yorkers to turn in their less efficient appliances for rebates on energy efficient appliances NOW
through Sunday, February 21. The program uses federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
October 29, 2009
On Tuesday last week, Governor Paterson signed the Green Jobs/ Green New York
Bill into law. We touched on the bill in an earlier post
The bill will invest millions in weatherization and towards the improved energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings, and to train New Yorkers to work in this field. A new state run site – www.greencareersny.com
– aims to link in individuals, businesses and workforce professionals to the State’s local training programs and green job opportunities. You can read the Governor’s press release
about the signing for more information.
We’ll continue to watch this program develop.