When Dykes Lumber Co. bought an industrial building in Long Island City, Queens in 2011, the company's managers quickly decided to place solar panels on the roof and save money on electricity.
Nearly two years later, they're convinced they made the right decision for their business and the environment.
Dykes, a century-old company that specializes in moldings and interior doors, is saving $3,000 a month on electricity with the panels atop its retail store and warehouse. With those savings, an incentive the company got from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), tax breaks and depreciation, Dykes will get a return on its investment in about three years.
"Saving money with solar energy makes our business stronger and more competitive," said Scott Franson, manager of the Long Island City store. "We're also proud to help keep New York City clean by reducing our dependence on electricity generated by burning fossil fuels."
Con Edison customers are discovering the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy. Customers in New York City and Westchester County have completed 1,040 solar projects, accounting for nearly 20 megawatts of generation.
The company supports policies that encourage solar power without increasing ratepayer costs. A website, http://www.coned.com/dg/solarenergy/, explains the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy, the installation process and net metering.
"Dykes Lumber is one of a growing number of Con Edison customers that are discovering the economic and environmental benefits of solar energy," said Robert Schimmenti, Con Edison's vice president, Engineering and Planning. "We are confident that the amount of solar generation in New York City and Westchester County will continue to grow, meaning cleaner air for all of us."
Dykes, which hired Manhattan-based EnterSolar to install its photovoltaic array, took advantage of New York State's remote net metering law. Net metering allows utility customers to sell any excess power they generate from alternative sources back to Con Edison through credits on their bills.
Remote net metering takes the idea a step further. A customer can install panels at one location and use the credits to offset utility bills at other locations.
Dykes installed 196 kilowatts of solar generation on the roof in Long Island City. That building does not use all the electricity the panels generate, so Dykes uses the proceeds from the excess electricity to offset bills at retail locations in Midtown Manhattan and Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $42 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than 3 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, NY.
About Dykes Lumber
Dykes Lumber Company is a privately-held lumber company serving New York, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. Dykes was founded in 1909 in Manhattan and now operates 10 locations. More information about Dykes is at www.dykeslumber.com.