New York City’s housing co-ops and apartments now have a new option to install solar power on their rooftops with no up-front costs for their owners and inhabitants thanks to a new solar loan offered through a partnership between Zero Carbon Corporation and the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC). The new option largely uses tax credits and savings to repay the loan.
"We couldn't be more thrilled about this development," said Nick Lombardi, President of Zero Carbon. "Co-ops really have great solar potential, but they're these unique entities that many traditional banks just don't serve. Financing is almost always where our clients get hung up. We knew there was a solution to this problem for anyone willing to look at it with us, and we found that partner in NYCEEC."
The first to use the new offering was Elmo Homes, a co-op in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The project is slated to come online in January 2017.
"We were convinced that our project would help to stabilize the finances in our building and move towards reducing our energy costs," said Eric Appleton, Elmo Homes president. "Taking a loan to fund the project, however, was worrisome for our members, especially in a building that has never borrowed money in its 90-year history. NYCEEC's and Zero Carbon's willingness to work with our decision-making structure and find a way to manage the aggregated tax credits allowed us to be comfortable taking this step."
Zero Carbon and NYCEEC offered the owners of Elmo Homes a $186,000 NYCEEC loan that will be paid off largely by using tax credits received by the owners paid back to the co-op in the form of assessments, The rest of it will be repaid by the estimated annual savings of $10,000 on electric bills and a credit from NYSERDA's NY Sun program. As such the co-op didn’t have to pay anything up front to install equipment, and it will pay for the full cost of the system by using the incentives and savings the project produces over time.
"This is a financing model that capitalizes on the unique ownership structures of co-ops to make rooftop solar viable for small and medium-sized co-op buildings," said Posie Constable, NYCEEC's director of business development. "It gives co-op owners access to clean energy that has largely been installed on single family homes or on large commercial buildings."Tweet