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New York Solar Tax Credits, Rebates, and Incentives

NY Solar Incentives and Rebates

Currently New York state is, financially speaking, one of the best places to “go solar.” The New York State Renewable Portfolio Standard has mandated that 82 megawatts (or 93,806 MW-hours) of solar electric power system be installed by the end of 2015. In order to meet this goal they have enacted the Electric Incentive Program.... read more

Anti-incinerator

A while back Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick reinstated the Incinerator Moratorium. The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has had in place a moratorium on new municipal solid waste combustion facilities since 1990 (greenfutures.org). Incinerators that produce energy are also known as waste to energy facilities (WTE). These facilities burn solid waste (garbage, trash, etc.) and produce energy from the incineration of trash. Many hope this moratorium will increase and expand recycling efforts.

In a perfect world we wouldn’t need incinerators or landfills. The Governor is pushing towards a zero waste society. No society like this currently exists.

Trash still exists even without new incinerators being built. The trash is instead many times being trucked out of state to landfills. This is far from environmentally friendly. Large trucks hauling trash far distances create a large amount of emissions from the diesel trucks exhaust.

Incinerators automatically get a bad rap from people. They're not as evil as most people think. Modern incinerators create energy and power themselves. Most modern incinerators create enough energy to put back into the grid. In Pittsfield, MA a waste to energy facility powers itself and helps power a paper making facility down the street from it.... read more

The Rubber Meets the Road

Will someone please tell me whether I should buy snow tires? Living in Boston, I've survived decades of commuting, carpooling, and even ski trips without buying snow tires. I just didn't need them. Then came last winter -- sidewalks like icy canyons, weeks below freezing, and I frequently found myself stuck at home when my mere summer tires couldn't get me out of the driveway. My dad said he hadn’t seen a winter like it since he was in college -- when they had cars called “Packard”. So what’s going on?... read more

Federal Solar Tax Rebates

All of us remember the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the Stimulus Bill). Leaving the politics aside, the bill did some very important things for solar, including extending the tax incentives put forth in 2005 for solar installation.... read more

California Solar Initiative Solar Thermal Rebate Program

california solar thermal heat

I recently wrote an article about the California Solar Initiative rebate incentive program, focusing on the “general market program” for PV solar installation. One of the other programs under the CSI umbrella is the Solar Thermal Hot Water program.... read more

Support Public Broadcasting

save pbs, npr, pri

The other day, I turned on the television and caught a few minutes of the children's show Arthur on PBS.  The character of Buster was using a banana as a fake microphone and he proudly said that the microphone was "100% compostable!"  I thought to myself:  How cute and progressive for a little kids show!... read more

Obama's State of the Union & the Environment

obama's 2011 state of the union

Last night, President Barack Obama discussed a couple of topics during his State of the Union speech that would be of particular interest to environmentalists.

Obama set a goal of having 80% of American households get their power from clean energy sources by 2035.   These energy sources would include nuclear, wind, solar, and clean coal.

Also by 2035, Obama said that it was his goal to have 80% of Americans have access to high speed rails by that year. 

Lofty goals, but I hope they happen.  ... read more

A Book Club Session with Colin Beavan (No Impact Man)

Reminder: Personal Choice Can Have an Impact!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to lead a book club session with author Colin Beavan (No Impact Man).  The book follows his journey to reduce the impact he and his family have on the environment.  He starts with the simple things like using reusable grocery bags and biking to work everyday, but then gets really serious about the no impact plan and takes his apartment 'off the grid,' using solar power to power the few things they needed (like his computer for writing).  ... read more

BPA Laws in the United States

We all know that BPA is bad.  Yesterday, Massachusetts was the latest state to jump on the BPA-banning bandwagon.  The ban, unfortunately, is still limited and it only bans BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.   Let's take a look at what other U.S. cities and states say about BPA:

  • Suffolk County, New York banned baby bottles and sippy cups made with BPA in 2009.  Schenectady County and Albany County have similar bans.

  • Minnesota enacted a BPA ban for children's products that took effect this year.

  • Chicago also banned BPA in children's products this year.

  • Connecticut has a much stricter ban.  They not only banned bisphenol A from all reusable food and beverage containers, but also in infant formula and baby food containers.  This happened in 2009.

  • Washington state passed bans on BPA use in baby bottles and sippy cups for babies and toddlers, as well sports bottles.

  • Wisconsin's Senate approved banning BPA use in baby bottles and cups for children 3 and younger.

  • Maryland banned BPA in children's products, including baby bottles and sippy cups earlier this year.

One of the most environmentally progressive states has done nothing to help get BPA products off the shelves.  California's Environmental Protection Agency's Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee unanimously voted against putting BPA on the state's list of chemicals that are believed to cause reproductive problems.  However, this is the same panel who didn't add second-hand smoke to this list until 2006!   ... read more

Political Waste

During the most recent election I was reminded of the colossal waste that occurs from politicians running for office. Everything from flyers to lawn signs end up as trash. Think of how many times you were handed a flyer or found one stuck to your car during not only the most recent election, but past elections as well.

Both sides are at fault for this, even independents and third party candidates contribute to this problem. Even the “Pro Environment” Democrats are to blame just as much as the Republicans.... read more

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