In Support of Solar Energy
November 15th, 2011, 2:57 pm
MAS testified in front of the City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection yesterday regarding impediments to the installation of solar energy systems in New York City. MAS wants to encourage the use of renewable energy by helping to develop solutions for the appropriate installation of solar panels on the city’s older and historic buildings. New York City aims to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 1% a year over the next ten years, or 30% by 2030. One way the city is looking to accomplish this goal is by considering forms of renewable energy, such as solar energy. Installers in the New York metropolitan area have stressed that higher installation costs due to permitting, inspection and other factors are prohibiting the wider use of solar technology in the city. Yesterday’s City Council hearing aimed to solicit information from industry professionals and concerned community groups on the ways the city can help make the process for installation less complicated, thereby increasing the use of solar energy throughout the city and growing the green job market. Through our Preservation and Climate Change Campaign launched in 2010, MAS has been working to help fight climate change through the better management and operation the city’s existing buildings. MAS and the Landmarks Preservation Commission have recently begun soliciting proposals from consultants to prepare “Greening New York City’s Landmarks: A Guide for Property Owners.” The manual will serve as an educational tool for property owners, describing how to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability of the city’s landmark buildings while meeting Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) requirements. One chapter will be dedicated to renewable energy and will include guidance on the appropriate instillation of solar panels. The historic preservation movement has proven itself to be flexible and accommodating to new technologies and regulatory issues, like ADA requirements. We are confident that if the solar panel industry works with the preservation community to identify any potential barriers, we can develop solutions that will both protect historic resources and promote the broader use of renewable energy sources. Click here to read our testimony on this important topic.