On April 25th, 2014 Rogier F. van Vlissingen, President of DaBx Demand Side Solutions, Inc, will be presenting a seminar on Green Financial Literacy for prospective home buyers and existing home owners. While the special focus is on New York City, the presentation is equally valid anywhere in the country or the world, with variations based on locally available programs. The central point is helping home owners understand how to identify what is best for their property, and how to make a long term plan.
The presentation will provide a review of the coming changes in light of the proposed New York State Draft 2014 Energy Plan. The company recently posted its extensive response to the state regarding this plan. The presentation will also review some available tools, such as the EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick and the Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
The fundamental change in the proposed NY State energy plan is the inclusion of clear goals for reduction of Green House Gas emissions. Once property owners understand this dynamic, it should be clear that there are major opportunities to improve the value of their real estate. The potential is to move energy from liabilities to assets, and improve the long term value of buildings, the challenge is to find the most economically beneficial solutions. Since vendors generally will push the benefits of their equipment, and government programs in most cases emphasize what’s good for the utilities, property owners are left to their own devices to make these important decisions.
Mr. van Vlissingen recently also published a blog post on why energy efficiency is a dead-end both for the environment and for building owners. Mr. van Vlissingen is of the view that energy efficiency is mostly a customer retention program for the fossil fuel industry, and often not to the best interest of property owners. In terms of the energy plans for the state, it should be clear that if the goal is 50% Greenhouse Gas reductions by 2030, the state cannot afford to keep putting the emphasis on energy efficiency, but must shift to renewable energy retrofits. The suitability of a property for such retrofits should be a major factor in buying or selling decisions.
There are significant differences in the financing available in New York State, most notably, New York City so far has not adopted a PACE program, which was really designed to accommodate clean energy retrofits, as the name implies: Property Assessed Clean Energy. There is however a wide array of programs available, and it behooves property owners to make sure that first of all they are not tempted by incentives to make the wrong choices, for these tend to be twenty or thirty year decisions, for equipment lasts that long.
Typical mistakes happen when owners accept the first “no money down,” offer, which naturally is never “free” for it has definite consequences for the economics of operating their property. A typical example is that today’s solar panels are in the range of 15% efficient in converting the light of the sun to energy, while panels of 21 or 24% efficiency are nearing market readiness. So a home owner who signs one of these PPA agreements—with typical run times of twenty years—today, may find themselves where ten years from now the neighboring homes have panels that are far more efficient, so that it would depress the value of their property. Another typical example may be solar thermal technology, which is more difficult to integrate, but offers as high as 98% efficiency today.
The seminar is an introduction, and will hopefully be followed by a series of seminars, and in parallel there will be a series of webinars as well. A lot of the material is also available on the blog site, which has been referenced above. Pricing for this introductory seminar is $10 online and $15 at the door.
Visit http://www.vliscony.com for more information.
Name: Rogier Fentener van Vlissingen
Organization: DaBx Demand Side Solutions
Address: 2141 Starling Avenue, Apt 404