Monday, May 8, 2017

Solarize Amherst Workshops: A New Town Program to make it Easier and More Affordable to Purchase Rooftop Solar Panels

New program makes it cheaper for Amherst residents to 
'go solar'

By Joseph Popiolkowski | Buffalo News Online
May 4, 2017

Installing solar panels on roofs in Amherst is about to get easier and more affordable with the launch of a new town program.

Participants in the "Solarize Amherst" campaign can expect to save 10 percent through discounted group rates the town negotiated with three installers: Solar by CIR, Solar Liberty and Frey Electric.

"The town is acting as a liaison between the installers and residents and commercial property owners to work together to set up their own contracts if they want to install solar," said Mike Delamere, the town's energy manager.

A kickoff event is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at Town Hall, 5583 Main St., Williamsville, where residents may schedule a free solar evaluation, which includes a roof evaluation, preliminary site design, energy usage profile and financial analysis.

Workshops also will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. May 17 at the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 20 in the Clearfield Community Center, 730 Hopkins Road.

To encourage participation, the town is also waiving its $200 electrical permit fee for property owners who sign a contract with one of the three installers by June 5.  The program runs between May 9 and July 31.

A 4 to 5 kilowatt system is sufficient for most small residences and costs between $10,000 and $12,000, but that cost is cut by half after various rebates, Delamere said. Most homeowners can expect to recoup their upfront cost in four to five years, he said.

"Then after that it's all free electricity," he said. "The return on investment is about 4 to 5 years."

The roof-mounted photovoltaic panels degrade to about 80 percent efficiency after 20 years, Delamere said. An inverter in the basement to convert direct current to alternating current lasts between 10 to 15 years.

Installing a system can result in considerable savings for homeowners over the long term, he said.

"Any excess power that you produce actually reverses the electric meter," he said. "If you're producing more power than you're using, like on a sunny day in the summertime, you'll be reversing your electric meter so you get a credit for later on in the evening or different times in the year."

The solarize campaign is one of at least four initiatives the town's Clean Energy Communities Committee is completing for Amherst to become a Clean Energy Community, a program of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and become eligible for a $250,000 grant.

The Town Board on Monday will consider purchasing an electric vehicle for the town fleet. The town has also trained building inspectors to be qualified to review solar plans and do inspections of solar installations and is adopting a unified solar permit, which are standards from NYSERDA that municipalities should follow.

"The weather patterns are really changing so everybody's getting more interested in doing what they can to save the planet," Delamere said.
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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Buffalo Activists Traveled to Washington D.C. to March for Climate, Jobs and Justice

By David Kowalski

100 People Traveled from Buffalo to D.C. in Buses Chartered by the Sierra Club 


Photos below show a few of the groups of people after departing the bus at the RFK Stadium in D.C.. [Click images to enlarge

 Buffalo Youth for Climate Justice

 Students from the University at Buffalo

Burmese Family from Buffalo

Buffalo Women for the Planet and a System Change
~   ~   ~

We traveled via the Metro Rail to the Capitol area where groups were assembling in preparation for the march.

Below is the front line of the Sierra Club group. 
Chapters from States around the U.S. were represented.

Leading the Sierra contingent is Aaron Mair, 
National President of the Sierra Club 

Earlier that morning, Aaron Mair was interviewed near the Capitol about the march. He said: 
“We're rising up to save our planet, but more importantly to offer solutions. This is not just a rise up for the sake of rising up. But it's a rise up to save our democracy. Because at the end of day, there's no planet B and there's no second leader. Our country was the world leader when it came to climate change, and the world leader with climate solutions.”
A video of that interview can be viewed here.


David and his son, Jason Kowalski, U.S. Policy Director 
at 350.org in D.C., met up at the march
Just days before the historic Peoples Climate mobilization, Senators Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders introduced the ‘100 by ‘50 Act’, a piece of legislation that calls for 100% clean energy by 2050. While recognizing the legislation likely won’t move under the Trump administration, the Senators and their supporters view this as a ‘roadmap for America.’
 

Days after the march, Jason Kowalski commented at 350.org: “If this type of visionary legislation can be introduced at the federal level under the Trump administration, there’s no excuse left for officials at the city and state level. At the Peoples Climate March, we put forward this vision nationally. Now we’ll hold every elected official accountable — no one is off the hook.”

By working at the local and regional level, communities will organize for powerful and lasting change, forcing elected officials to choose a side: that of Trump and his fossil fuel billionaire cabinet, or that of the people fighting for a stable climate and an economy that works for everyone.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Over 200,000 Participated in the People's Climate March in Washington D.C.

 Images of the Massive Climate March in Washington D.C. on April 29, 2017

Tens of Thousands Marched in 370 Cities across the U.S.

By David Kowalski

Over 200,000 people marched in Washington calling on the president to curb global warming that's contributing to polar ice melting, sea-level rise, and extreme weather, including extended droughts and unprecedented floods.

In line with established climate science and the Paris Climate Accords, an informed public as well as smart business leaders around the world seek a managed and justice-based power shift from dirty fossil fuels, which are polluting and heating the planet, to clean renewable energy sources, like wind, water and the sun.

An emerging clean energy economy that maximizes energy efficiency and minimizes waste and pollution will create well-paying jobs in every state for displaced fossil fuel workers and for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds.


Two photos below show portions of the Climate March in the 
streets of Washington near the Capitol and the White House.

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

Below are photos of a closer views of 
isolated parts of the crowd in the street.  
 [Click any image to enlarge]







The photo below was taken at the Chicago Climate March.

To see photos taken at Climate Marches in other cities across the U.S., 
visit HuffingtonPost

The photos shown here are from albums posted at
Peoples Climate Movement