Orange County Partnership - News

Green Energy Initiatives That Pay $$$$

It is rare indeed that a business can actually get paid to institute policies that promote the public welfare. However, there are two environmental initiatives that Orange County businesses can advance that will do just that.


New York State is supporting community solar programs as well as the installation of electric vehicle stations at commercial properties.


Let’s start with the Community Solar Program.


Today, many American households and businesses do not have access to solar because they rent, live in multi-tenant buildings, have roofs that are unable to host a solar system, or the capital expenditure is too great.


Community solar projects allows residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and others to receive credit on their electricity bills for the power produced from their portion of a solar array, offsetting their electricity costs.  Melissa Cobuzzi, CEO and president of M&R Energy Resources, an energy consulting company headquartered in Cornwall, has worked extensively on such projects that allow green-minded homeowners and businesses to save money while protecting the environment.


Community solar allows for equal access to the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy generation regardless of the physical attributes or ownership of an individual’s home or business. In other words, if you can’t install solar directly on your property, community solar can be a good option for accessing the savings and other benefits solar provides.


All of the current community solar programs located within the Orange & Rockland Utility and Central Hudson Gas & Electric territories offer a monthly savings of 10% off of the utility bill, a typical five-year contract term, with no cancellation fees with 90 days’ notice and an enrollment incentive. M&R Energy Resources Corp. works with a myriad of solar developers to reduce commercial and residential energy costs. “This is a win-win for the environment and for economic development.” says Cobuzzi. 



Tap into the $3.5M Available in the Charge Ready NY Program

Another worthwhile NYS program (Charge Ready NY) will actually pay to attract customers to your business, provide a benefit to your employees and offer an added amenity for your tenants.  By hosting Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations on your property, green-minded electric vehicle owners will choose your place of business over your competition for the convenience and to support a business who supports the environment.  


There are more than 1.5 million EV cars in the U.S., including 52,000 in New York State, and over 3,100 in Orange, Rockland  and Dutchess Counties. As the Hudson Valley continues to grow as a major player nationwide as a tourist destination and drawing an estimated 10,000 additional EV drivers from the New York metro area, the need for Charging Stations will continue to be in demand.  It’s a no-brainer for companies to provide a free-service that separates them from the competition. 


NYSERDA reinstated the funding available for Level 2 EV Charging Stations on May 21, 2020. The agency has more than $3.5 million  available from the $12 million originally slated for this environmentally-friendly project.  The funding is available and the application process is quick and simple. 


The funding available is $4,000 per single charging station or $8,000 per dual-charging station. NYSERDA’s application process takes 15 – 30 days to approve. Applicants will have six months from approval to install the equipment. Most EV Charging vendors can assist with the application.


NYSERDA notes that the rebates provide significant savings of 30% to 80%, depending on station and installation costs. Charging stations typically have one or two plugs, or charging ports, per station. Level 2 stations provide up to 25 miles of electric range to cars for each hour they are charging.


There are EV Vendors available that provide a great product at a low price point, so there is money left over to cover a portion, if not all, of the installation costs (electric line from panel to unit).


M&R Energy Resources Corp. works with a myriad of solar developers and EV Charging vendors and can assist with your questions. 


Check your region for Electric Vehicle stations near you:


NYSERDA link for more information on available funding: