The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
The American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) was founded by Clarke A. Watson, a prominent black community activist and mentor, in the summer of 1977. Watson saw a need for change in U.S. national energy policy and a need for black people and other minorities to have a voice in energy policymaking. In response to the energy crisis of the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter established a special task force to study the energy problem and develop recommendations. There were no persons of color representing the interests of black people and other minorities on the task force.
This morning I gathered my team to kick off the week and discuss our collective goals, as we always do on Mondays. Today, our regularly scheduled virtual meeting was instead a discussion about the only thing on all of our minds right now: racial injustice.
Gotham 360 is pleased to announce that our client, Stevens Institute of Technology (Stevens), has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. With more than 900 participants in 40 countries, AASHE’s STARS program is the most widely recognized framework in the world for publicly reporting comprehensive information related to a college or university’s sustainability performance. Participants report achievements in five overall areas: 1) academics 2) engagement, 3) operations, 4) planning and administration, and 5) innovation and leadership.
Tips To Take Advantage of This Energy Opportunity
The coronavirus has caused a paradigm shift in our society. Certain things as we know them will never be the same. Just think about how many offices, shared spaces, desks, and conference rooms lay barren and unused for the past 1.5 months across the world. Even when a cure/vaccine exists for COVID19, how will companies continue to operate? Will companies continue to operate remotely? How apprehensive will the workforce be to returning to their normal day-to-day? These are all questions that need to be answered and those answers will have an impact on the future uses of corporate office space post-pandemic.
Electricity rates have increased nationally over the past six year, with Hawaii remaining the most expensive state in union to power your home or business. Surprisingly, after Hawaii, Massachusetts residential and commercial customers have experienced the second fastest rate increase over that time.
Gotham 360 attended an event hosted by the Building Energy Exchange focused on Local Laws 92 and 94, that require solar and/or green roofs for all new constructions and major roof renovations. The laws were passed as a part of the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA). Thanks to these laws, NYC may now have the most sustainable roofing policy in the world.
The New York City Council has enacted a new amendment to the Local Law 87 Rule. This amendment increases the retro-commissioning testing requirements, and is enforced on buildings filed with the city starting on January 1, 2020.
Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code currently includes a 30% ITC for solar PV systems, fuel cells, small wind and some other technologies. The ITC allows those who install clean energy assets to subtract 30% of the project(s) value from federal income taxes owed. This 30% ITC significantly raises the economic value of renewable and clean energy projects -- both those pursued through capital purchase and those financed through leases, power purchase agreements, shared savings agreements, etc.
The ConEdison natural gas moratorium went into effect on March 15, 2019, affecting many towns in southern and eastern Westchester. This means if you are a resident or business-owner in the affected areas of Westchester, you will not be able to establish a new gas connection until the moratorium is lifted.
The ConEdison natural gas moratorium, which began in Westchester has now been expanded to include Brooklyn and Queens. It is restricting residents and business owners from establishing new gas connections due to constraints on the grid. In response to the moratorium, end users are searching for (and being incentivized to use) alternative technologies that reduce their dependence on natural gas. One such technology is the heat pump.
On January 17, 2019 ConEdison announced a natural gas moratorium for the more populated, southern portion of Westchester County. The moratorium went into effect on March 15, 2019. This means that ConEd will no longer accept applications for new natural gas connections, in most of their Westchester service territory - until they can more closely align customer demand with available supply. Existing customers are not affected, but service to new customers is now limited.
The Gotham 360 team took a trip to Arlington, VA to attend the JBG Smith 2019 Greenfair and Education Program. Sean Mullen, Sarah Gilly, and Ashley Kossakowski represented Gotham 360 at this tradeshow-style event with over 40 vendors that service JBG Smith. JBG SMITH is an S&P 400 company that owns, operates, invests in and develops assets concentrated in leading urban infill submarkets in and around Washington, DC. Their mixed-use operating portfolio comprises approximately 19 million square feet of high-quality office, multifamily and retail assets.
The words you choose are important, especially when attempting to communicate very complex issues to a broad swath of people. Take for example Mayor Bill de Blasio’s statement during his press conference to announce the passage of the Climate Mobilization Act, which intends to cap greenhouse gas emissions for all buildings in NYC:
If your business participates in the New York Power Authority (NYPA)’s Recharge NY Program, you may qualify for the ReCharge NY Workplace EV Charging Program. Through a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), NYPA provides ReCharge participants with free EV charging stations to install at their business locations as well as outreach and education about EVs.
As we discussed in last week’s blog post, Intro 1253 will have operational and financial impacts on buildings throughout the five boroughs, in all sectors. As originally conceived, Intro 1253 targets buildings larger than 25,000 square feet and requires them to meet certain emissions caps beginning in 2022. The bill is set to be passed on Earth Day.