Brooklyn Community Board 6 Launches Community “Solarize” Program to Support Economic Growth and Sustainable Energy

May 13, 2015 | Media Release, News Media

Solarize Program Offers Limited-Time Discounts to Local Residents and Businesses, Offers Series of Educational Workshop on Solar Power

| Brooklyn Community Board 6 announced yesterday the launch of Solarize Brooklyn CB6, a limited-time group purchasing program led by Sustainable CUNY and the NY Solar Partnership with NYCEDC and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the NY-Sun Initiative and is designed to make investing in solar power easier and more affordable for participating residents and businesses. Historically, a Solarize campaign lowers the cost of going solar by 10 to 20 percent. Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is available for both residents and businesses in the neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Street District, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook.

By increasing New Yorkers’ access to solar power through lower prices and a simplified process, Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is contributing to Mayor de Blasio’s bold goals and specific targets for a strong, sustainable, resilient, and equitable city laid out in the OneNYC plan. The comprehensive plan for a sustainable and resilient city aims to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, over 2005 levels. Solarize Brooklyn CB6 will also support the goal of increasing citywide solar capacity by 250MW by 2025, as outlined in One City: Built to Last, Mayor de Blasio’s plan to reduce building-based greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in ten years.

Solarize Brooklyn CB6 makes implementing solar easier and more affordable by supporting locally organized community outreach aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar and obtain competitive pricing, thereby lowering the cost. After a thorough pre-qualification process, Solarize Brooklyn CB6 has selected Quixotic Systems and EcoMen Solar as the designated solar installers for the program. Residents and businesses who sign up for solar installations by September 30, 2015, will be able to take advantage of group rates below market prices. The more customers who sign up, the lower the price will be for everyone. Residents and businesses in Brooklyn CB6 neighborhoods can sign up for a free, no-obligation solar site assessment at www.solarizebrooklyncb6.com.

Residents and business owners can learn about the program and the economic benefits of solar at free educational workshops held throughout the 20-week campaign. More than 50 local residents and business owners attended Solarize Brooklyn CB6’s kick-off workshop yesterday hosted by Brooklyn Community Board 6. The program will hold at least 7 additional workshops, during which participants can have their questions answered by the designated installers, obtain a free site assessment, and contract to receive discounted installations through the program. Solarize Brooklyn CB6

Solarize CB6 is another important step toward reaching our ambitious goal of dramatically expanding solar, as detailed in OneNYC and One City: Built to Last,” said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “More affordable solar not only makes economic sense but also equitable, sustainable, and resilient sense — and will play a key role in the Mayor’s sweeping green buildings plan and our commitment to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050. We look forward to working with the NYC Solar Partnership to support this program.”

“Through our Renewable and Sustainable Energy Taskforce (ReSET), my administration has focused on advancing opportunities for local residents and businesses to go green,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is an excellent initiative to energize this effort, encouraging mass participation in solar power installation that will lower costs, build community bonds, and improve the health of our environment. I appreciate the hard work of Sustainable CUNY to bring this program to the neighborhoods of Community District 6, and I encourage everyone to get involved.”

“Solutions to the challenge of climate change will happen the only way progress has ever been achieved in New York City: from the ground up, with every community doing its part,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. “Solarize Brooklyn CB6 ‎helps families and small businesses switch to solar energy, lowering costs and leveraging our City as a literal source of power, proving that responding to climate change is good environmental policy and good economics‎ for New Yorkers.”

“We can no longer afford to wait to combat climate change, and the launch of the City’s Solarize BrooklynCB6 campaign is an important step towards improved environmental sustainability right here in our neighborhood,” said Council Member Brad Lander, District 39. “Solarize BrooklynCB6 will help move us toward alternative and sustainable sources of electricity by making rooftop solar more accessible and more affordable. Through this program, Brooklynites can have cost-effective solar power in our neighborhood, and we can all do our part to fight climate change, starting with going solar in our very own homes.”

“Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is an exciting opportunity for our local residents and businesses to learn about and access the benefits of renewable solar energy,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, District 33. “The Solarize project is also an exciting collaborative effort that brings together the City University of New York’s NYSolar Smart Program and Brooklyn Community Board 6 to take advantage of the United States Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge II. I am hopeful that this partnership will not only bring clean, renewable solar energy to more homes and businesses in Brooklyn, but also serve as a model of engagement for neighborhood organizations across the borough.”

“It is misguided to believe that everyday people—especially working class families in New York—are not thinking about the environmental sustainability of their communities and of the world. The Solarize Brooklyn Initiative from Community Board 6 is enfranchising our local neighbors and friends to think strategically about their energy-related decisions. It becomes more important every day to talk about our energy options and about how the health of our environment is felt here at home. I commend all of the organizers for their work on this timely issue,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca, District 38.

“People are already curious and want to know more about solar,” said Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Brooklyn Community Board 6. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for property owners across our district to make the switch. We hope everyone in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope and Red Hook will take advantage of this program. The more people who sign up, the more impact we’ll have on the solar market. Everybody wins.”

 “Solar power capacity in New York City continues to increase at an exponential rate thanks in part to the NYC Solar Partnership, a collaboration initiated nearly a decade ago to remove barriers to main stream solar adoption led by the City University of New York, the NYC Mayor’s Office and the New York City Economic Development Corporation,” said Laurie Reilly, Director of Communications for Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York. “Solarize Brooklyn Community Board 6 is a model program that builds on the work of CUNY’s NY Solar Ombudsmen program and tools like the NYC Solar Map, ultimately providing clean renewable energy at a lower cost and local economic development.”

 “We look forward to bringing reliable and affordable solar electric systems to the community through Solarize CB6 2015,” said Richard Klein, President of Quixotic Systems. “Following on the success of the first Solarize Brooklyn, for which Quixotic Systems was also one of the providers, we expect an enthusiastic response to the program.”

“EcoMen Solar is excited to be a part of Solarize Brooklyn CB6 and we look forward to helping the community to increase their awareness of the numerous benefits of solar energy systems and hope to see dozens of roofs go green and reduce their electric utility expenses,” said EcoMen Solar spokesperson Joe Aurilia, Jr. “Our team has a 35+ year track record in both residential and commercial improvements along with decades of experience in project management, design and exceptional customer service.”

Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is a partnership of Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York, Brooklyn Community Board 6, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, and NYC Economic Development Corporation. It is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge Initiative as part of Sustainable CUNY’s NYSolar Smart program.

Solarize Brooklyn CB6 is now open for enrollment at: www.solarizebrooklyncb6.com. Potential participants – and all New Yorkers – are able to preview their roof’s solar potential on Sustainable CUNY’s NYC Solar Map at: www.nycsolarmap.com.

More information about Solarize Brooklyn CB6 can be found by visiting www.solarizebrooklyncb6.org or by contacting solarizecb6@cuny.edu.