Going Beyond the Green Basics with Advanced Technologies
There are a number of ways that homeowners can go beyond the basics and reduce energy bills and environmental impact. Technologies such as solar electric, also known as photovoltaics, solar thermal hot water, and geothermal heating and cooling can be good alternatives to reduce the usage of natural resources. While not for every home, these technologies offer powerful options in conjunction with comprehensive energy efficiency improvements. However, the first step is to make your home as energy efficient as possible. If you are building a new home, consider building a New York ENERGY STAR® Home. If you own an existing home, consider getting a Comprehensive Home Assessment or an Energy Audit through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to evaluate the energy efficiency of your home and make necessary energy improvements. By reducing your home's energy usage, you could reduce the size of the advanced technology needed.
New York Renewable Portfolio Standard
A Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is a policy that seeks to increase the proportion of renewable electricity used by retail customers. For more information on the RPS visit our Renewable Portfolio Standard web page.
Incentives for Advanced Technologies
Solar Electric Systems / Photovoltaic
Solar electric, or photovoltaic (PV) technology, makes use of the abundant energy in the sun, and has little impact on our environment. Photovoltaics can be used in a wide range of products, from small consumer items to large commercial solar electric systems. Commonly known as solar cells, individual PV cells are electricity-producing devices made of semiconductor materials that are often connected together to form PV modules. Modules, in turn, can be combined and connected to form PV arrays. These connected systems integrate easily with existing energy supplies.
Solar Thermal Technology (Hot Water)
Solar Thermal technology, often referred to as “Solar Heating and Cooling,” harnesses the power of the sun to provide solar thermal energy (as opposed to solar electric energy or photovoltaics) for:
Wind is recycled solar energy. When sunshine reaches the earth, it heats the surface at different rates, and this uneven heating creates wind. A small increase in wind speed creates a large increase in wind energy. Wind turbines convert this energy into electricity.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
Even in northern climates, the soil maintains a temperature of around 50 degrees at about four feet beneath the earth's surface. Heat pumps move this heat energy from the soil to the house in the winter and operate in reverse in the summer, pulling heat out of the house and to the soil. Heat pumps installed in energy-efficient homes can use dramatically less electricity than conventional electric heating and cooling systems.