The world needs to make a transition to renewable energy as part of a global sustainability project, but until solar, wind and other renewables become the norm, there’s one solution that is available now: energy efficiency. More energy efficient buildings means less energy and fewer emissions, besides huge savings. However, financing projects is not always easy, since payback is not immediate, putting lenders off.
But New York City is looking at this issue in a different light, thanks to two initiatives. New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) and the recently launched New York State green bank are offering solutions for clean energy financing in New York City and State, respectively. They leverage expertise and financial resources to convert inefficient buildings into clean, high-performing investments. Best of all, they can offer custom-built financing options that are too attractive for building owners to turn down.
“Clean energy building upgrades have an important role to play in the new Mayor’s promise to increase affordable housing in NYC, and innovative financing program’s like those offered through the city and state’s green banks are exactly what New York needs to ensure a greener, cleaner, and more affordable living experience,” wrote Susan Leeds, NYCEEC’s CEO, in a recent blog post.
Take the example of LEEDS highlighted Franklin Plaza, a Mitchell-Lama housing co-op in East Harlem that has taken advantage of the city’s new energy finance offerings. Franklin Plaza recently closed on the first tranche of its $3.8 million loan through the NYC Housing Development Corporation’s (HDC) Program for Energy Retrofit Loans, a program enabled by HDC’s partnership with NYCEEC. THis investment will result in measurable environmental benefits: a 15 percent reduction in energy use, which equals a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions.
NYCEEC recently announced $50 million in financing available through a range of products and partnerships. These include equipment loans, mortgage lending, credit enhancements and energy services agreements, covering a range of services and upgrades to improve the performance of a building.