Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment
Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) have established the Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment (BIEE). This initiative has created three separate partnership funds: The Bronx Partnership for Electric Transportation, the Bronx Partnership for Environmental Benefit, and the Bronx Partnership for Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency and New Technology. The goal of the initiative is to demonstrate pathways to a greener Bronx.
The Bronx Environmental Revolving Loan Fund is designed to provide zero interest loans to Bronx businesses and building owners that implement energy efficient measures and/or new technology, which improves the air quality of our borough.
For-profit companies, non-profit organizations and housing corporations operating in the Bronx.
- Implementation of energy-efficient measures, including
- Electric/alternative fuel machinery and equipment;
- Boiler retrofit;
- New technology to reduce air pollution and/or cause energy savings, e.g.:
- Green roofs and other greening measures;
- Solar technology:
- Wind technology
- Customized energy surveys
Size of Loan:
Minimum $10,000;Maximum $500,000
Term of Loan:
Up to 10 years, contingent upon amount of loan.
2% of loan amount.
Business Owner’s Equity Participation:
10% for existing businesses; 25% for start-ups.
Clean credit history.
Will vary depending upon project.
Principals, Corporations, etc.
Application fee: $250 (non-refundable)
Examples of how the Environmental Revolving Loan Fund could be used:
Company A is purchasing electric forklifts, as they have no emissions, are quieter and have lower maintenance costs. Propane forklifts cost approximately $18,000, while electric forklifts cost $26,000. The Environmental Revolving Loan Fund will cover the $8,000 cost difference. BOEDC will assist Company A in securing a financial package for the balance of the equipment costs.
Company B needs to replace its roof. A green roof (a roof planted with specific vegetation) lasts twice as long as a conventional roof, reduces the cost of cooling the floor underneath it by 40% and reduces noise and air pollution. A conventional roof costs $8-$10/sq. ft.; a green roof costs $12-$20/sq. ft. The Environmental Revolving Loan Fund will cover the difference.
Company C wants to install solar panels on their roof, as they will reduce their energy costs by 30%. The total cost of the installation is $268,758. The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) will cover $143,060 of that cost. Environmental Revolving Loan Fund will cover the balance of $125, 598.
Bronx Empowerment Zone Environmental Revolving Loan Fund (BEZ ERLF):
This zero interest loan fund is designed to promote the use of energy efficient and environmental technologies in the Bronx Empowerment Zone (BEZ).
For-profit entities, which includes service, retail and manufacturing businesses operating in the Bronx Empowerment Zone; non-profit organizations located in the Bronx EZ; and housing corporations developing or operating housing in the Bronx EZ.
Implementation of energy efficient measures, including:
- electric/alternative fuel machinery and equipment;
- boiler retrofit;
- new technology to reduce air pollution and/or cause energy savings, e.g.:
> green roofs and other greening measures;
> solar technology;
> wind technology;
- customized energy survey.
Size of Loan: Minimum: $10,000; Maximum: $100,000
Term of Loan: Up to 10 years, contingent upon amount of loan.
Interest Rate: 0%
Origination Fee: 2% of loan amount
Business Owner’s Equity Participation: 10% for existing businesses; 25% for start-ups.
Underlying Criteria: Clean credit history.
Collateral: Will vary depending upon project—for equipment purchases, the equipment is collateral.
Guarantees: Principals must provide personal guarantees.
Fees: Application Fee: $250 (non-refundable).
Job Requirement: Loan recipients must create 1 job per $65,000 borrowed for EZ residents.
Contact: Kate Shackford at (718) 590-3498 or email@example.com.
Empowerment Zone Environmental Fund: Request for Proposals
The Bronx Initiative for Energy & the Environment (BIEE), a program of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), announces the establishment of the Empowerment Zone (EZ) Environmental Fund.
Eligibility: The EZ Environmental Fund is available to businesses located in the Empowerment Zone that receive an Empowerment Zone loan.
Grant Amounts: The Environmental Fund will dispense up to $100,000 per grant to cover the incremental costs associated with the installation of a green roof or solar panels. Each grant will require a match from other sources of funding, which can include business investment, other grants, corporate sponsorship or NYSERDA funding.
Types of Grants: This fund will pay the incremental costs for either green roof or solar panel technology. Thus in the case of a green roof, if a conventional roof costs $50,000, whereas a green roof would cost $110,000, this fund will cover the $60,000 difference. In the case of the solar panels, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) New York Energy $mart grant program will cover 40-70% of these costs. The NYSERDA grant will serve as a match for funding the solar panels. Thus the Environmental Fund would require a “match” from each applicant seeking to install solar panels or a green roof.
Green Roof Objectives: The current land use patterns in the Bronx EZ consist of mostly industrial properties with very few green spaces. This environment in conjunction with the health disparities makes it an ideal area to target green roofs. A green roof also offers important economic benefits not found in conventional roofing:
- Reduced energy costs: When the outside air temperature reaches 95 degrees F., rooftop surface temperatures can be as high as 175 degrees F. These temperatures impact not only the temperature within the building, but also the amount of energy necessary to heat and cool the building to the desired temperature. Due to their superior insulating properties, green roofs have been proven to reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 25 and 50% respectively, for the floor directly below the roof. They also significantly slow a building’s heat gain and loss;
- Extended roof life: Green roofs last at least twice as long as conventional roofs, saving replacement costs and materials. This is because the membranes are of good quality and the plants and growth medium protect the membrane from weathering. Green roofs also have significantly lower maintenance costs than a conventional roof.
Green roofs also make our cities better places to live, by: improving air quality; reducing Urban Heat Island effect (a study by Environment Canada indicates that installing green roofs on only 6% of total available roof space could reduce urban summer temperatures by 25%; models for New York City calculate a similar decrease); noise abatement by 40 decibels in building underneath; and aesthetic improvement by providing visual relief to City residents—studies show that patients recovering from illness or surgery heal faster when their view is of plants versus brick walls or asphalt roofs, and workers who overlook green spaces have 10-12% higher productivity.
Solar Panel Objectives: As development increases in Bronx EZ, the existing electrical grid is becoming more strained. To the extent that demand can be reduced through alternative means of energy production, businesses can increase their economic viability through reduced energy costs. Solar power is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to produce electricity, producing no emissions and having minimal impact on the sites where it is installed.
There are several financial benefits linked to installed solar panel (photovoltaic) systems. The primary benefit is the possibility of reduced electric bills. NYSERDA offers a cash incentive of $4.00 per watt (direct current or the rated output of the PV panel) for a grid-connected PV system. While this benefit does not currently balance out the initial costs of a photovoltaic installation, the NYSERDA incentives and the Environmental Fund make this technology accessible to Bronx businesses and non-profits. Not only do solar panels represent a strong economic benefit, they also are beneficial to the environment by taking electricity off the grid through non-polluting production of alternative electricity.
Requirements of the New York Energy $mart PV System Incentive Program of NYSERDA are:
1)While PV systems can be larger than 50kW, the incentives are capped at 50kW. As a point of reference, a 2kW PV system could provide about 20%-30% of the energy needs of an average home;
2)PV systems must be connected to the business’ utility’s electricity distribution system or “grid connected.” PV systems for facilities that are not on a utility distribution system are not eligible for funding under this program;
3)PV systems must be installed at a site that pays into the Systems Benefits Charge (SBC), which is stated on the utility bill. Some commercial and industrial customers do not pay into the SBC, so the business must check with their utility. Electric customers of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) are not eligible for funding under this program;
The applicant under this program must use an installer from the NYSERDA eligible installer list. The installer will be responsible for all paperwork required under this program; the customer will sign the incentive form and a customer purchase agreement outlining total installed costs, provide detailed costs of all major components, identify the expected cash incentive(s), and provide an installation schedule. Customers shall sign off on the packing slip indicating all system components have been delivered to the installation site. Incentives are paid in two installments and are paid directly to the eligible installer as follows: 75% of the incentive is paid after the equipment is delivered to the installation site; the remaining 25% is paid when the PV system is grid-connected and approved by the utility. NYSERDA reserves the right to review any installation prior to review any installation prior to final incentive payment being made.
Project Requirements: Basic specifications required of each Fund applicant are:
One job must be created for EZ residents for each $50,000 granted. In addition:
- Roof load determination verifies that the existing roof will accommodate the respective weight of the proposed green roof;
- BOEDC’s green roof consultants have signed off on the project specifications.
- System identified is approved by NYSERDA’s program, utilizing a company from their eligible provider list;
- Installer of panels has letter from utility provider indicating their coordination and willingness to connect the power to the building and grid.
Grants will be dispensed only to the vendors. Final payment for Solar Panels will be contingent upon letter/notification of utility provider that connection is approved.
Program questions can be directed to Kate Shackford at (718) 590-3498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bronx Clean Air Transportation (CAT)
The Bronx Clean Air Transportation (CAT) Program (jointly funded by the New York Power Authority (NYPA), New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Clean Air Communities (CAC) and New York Empowerment Zone), will be operating five hybrid electric 18-passenger vans, three of which will serve workers and residents in the Fourth Quarter section of the Hunts Point Peninsula—the Hunts Point CAT.
Hunts Point Clean Air Transportation (HP CAT):
A free shuttle service is coming to the Hunts Point neighborhood in October 2007 through operating grants from the NY Empowerment Zone and the Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment (BIEE). This clean air shuttle service will provide long awaited public transportation options to workers and residents in the 4th quarter of the Hunts Point peninsula—the part of the peninsula not served by the Bx6 bus.
The additional benefit of this service is that the three shuttle vans will be 18-passenger hybrid electric vehicles, the first of its kind in this class of vehicle. A hybrid vehicle combines the use of a conventional engine and a highly efficient electric motor to provide an extremely clean transportation option. Traditionally vehicles of this size are powered by diesel engines, which have already had a negative effect on the air quality in the area. The hybrid vehicle drive train is designed to optimize fuel usage and maximize reduction in emissions. The vehicle saves fuel and reduces maintenance by: dramatically reduced engine idle periods; lower parasitic engine loads; running the engine in more efficient modes of operation by managing engine load and utilization of regenerative braking.
With Hunts Point containing some of the highest rates of child asthma in the country, these shuttles will demonstrate a reliable technology that does not add to the already high emissions which contribute to the poor air quality in the neighborhood. The poor air quality and therefore rates of asthma may decrease if more alternative vehicles such as the Hunts Point CAT are used in the neighborhood. These vehicles designed by Azure Dynamics are made possible thanks to funding from New York Power Authority (NYPA), New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Clean Air Communities (CAC).
The route will be approximately three miles in length, will pick up at the 2, 5 and 6 trains and will guarantee walks of shorter than five minutes for most of the businesses. The route will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, and with three vehicles in use, we anticipate 10-minute headways and a system that is reliable and consistent.