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Renewable Energy in NY: Answering Questions and Raising Awareness

Industry Observer with Central Station Marketing

Wind FarmRaising awareness about renewable energy and energy efficiency were one of the highlights of last week’s 25thAnnual Home and Garden Show in Dryden. The event, which took place between March 9 and 10, 2013 at the TC3 Community College, attracted area homeowners interested in all aspects of home improvement.

With soaring energy prices, the recent governmental push toward reduction of U.S. dependency on foreign oil, and growing concerns regarding the effects of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, companies showcasing energy efficient and renewable energy products and services were bound to get some attention.

One such company was Halco, a Phelps-based business that started out as a heating and plumbing contractor in 1984, expanded into home energy performance in 2007, and opened a renewable energy division in 2009.

During the event, Halco representatives answered questions about renewable energy, from both visitors and the local press. Some homeowners were trying to familiarize themselves with the very concept of renewable energy. Some were curious about what these systems might look like installed in their homes and backyards, while others wanted to know if investing in renewable energy upgrades was the right thing for them.

Whether they were geared toward living a greener life or simply interested in saving money to power their homes, everyone seemed willing to learn, and Halco was focused on raising awareness and providing ideas for powering homes in the community with wind and solar energy.

Solar or Wind?

There are a lot of questions concerning the choices in terms of renewable energy systems. Amanda Postma, a Halco representative told the Cortland Standard that many individuals question the viability of solar power in New York.

“Solar power is extremely energy efficient, and there is more than enough sun to provide a power resource. Solar energy also offers less in the way of an upfront investment and solar panels can be leased instead of owned. Solar power can work anywhere, whether rural or urban,” she explains.

Wind power can sometimes discourage homeowners from investing in renewable energy sources, because it is more expensive than solar. Installing a wind turbine also requires quite a bit of space, and therefore might not be a practical solution for every homeowner.

It is important to know that there are many types of renewable energy systems, including solar electric, solar thermal, wind electric, and geothermal heating systems, that can be used in both residential and commercial applications. Today’s technology also allows for custom-designing renewable energy systems and it is possible to combine one or more of these resources. There is a renewable energy solution for virtually any home and budget, and incentive programs are available at the federal, state and local level to help homeowners make their homes more energy efficient. A professional renewable energy contractor, like Halco, can explain the benefits of each type of renewable energy and help choose the solution that is the most cost-effective and the best option for any home.

For a list of incentive programs available in the state on New York, visit NYSERDA or the DSIRE (Debate of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) website.