The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently launched a net zero energy pilot program to support real estate stakeholders. The program aims to help with the development of energy performance standards and other institutional mechanisms used in the design, construction and operation of net zero buildings. Qualified participants are real estate owners with large portfolios, including developers, colleges and universities, public sector agencies, retailers, and other private, public and nonprofit entities. The program is applicable only to portfolio-wide initiatives in the development of new buildings.
A building is deemed to have net zero energy costs when they consume less than or equal to the amount of energy that they generate on site through renewable energy technologies. These include the use of solar panels and wind turbines, as well as recycled energy from heating and cooling. The program is designed to motivate large real estate owners, and other stakeholders, into adopting renewable technologies towards net zero buildings. The NYSERDA initiative is part of the agency’s strategy to assist designers and builders in net zero energy use, construction, renovation and operations. Buildings are expected to have 50 to 100 years of operational life. Adapting updated energy saving measures for already built buildings would be expensive.
This is in line with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s initiative to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by almost half by 2030. It is expected that the results of the program will be used by the state government in the drafting new building codes incorporating higher performance goals. This will help the state realize the 40% goal and even higher goals in succeeding years. Submissions for the program are accepted continuously up to December 31, 2019. It has a total funding of $1 million, which will come from the state’s $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund.
The NYSERDA assistance is offered on a first come first serve basis. Applicants can avail of up to 100% of their proposed costs, with a cap of $250,000 each. Those funded will serve as models demonstrating the technical feasibility and cost effectiveness of these new techniques, procedures and processes.