What is the tax rebate for solar panels in NYC?

As a solar panel installer I have to admit that even Eco Brooklyn sometimes gets confused. The rebates expire, then get reinstated and expire again.

Here is the current tax rebate agreement. Check out the text in red. This is in effect until January 1st 2015.[2/7/2013 11:51:36 AM] S T A T E […]

Renewable Energy Plan for New York

Let’s convert New York State’s energy infrastructure into something more sustainable. It’s a simple concept, with a multitude of benefits. Converting to renewable energy will stabilize costs of energy and produce jobs while reducing health and climate damage and overall improving the quality of life.

A recent study by Mark Z. Jacobson et al. finds […]

Exterior Shades – The Anti-Heat Wave of the Future

Temperature has assuredly become a hot topic in offices throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan during the recent heat wave. Eco Brooklyn’s office is no exception to the heat. However, we have a unique approach to the problem.

Passive housing has been a cornerstone of environmental design since the ancient Greeks and Romans (check out this article […]

Das Haus New York

Last week, the interns from Eco Brooklyn went to the Net Zero Symposium sponsored by Das Haus in White Plains, New York to hear lectures and view a model of Das Haus, a passivhaus model made from two shipping containers that functions completely off the grid. The conference was held at the White […]

Riverside Park: Flushing Away the Porter Potties, Adding Composting Toilets

In 1875, Fredrick Law Olmsted designed Riverside Park, in 1935 Robert Moses built a highway right thought, but somehow the park has prevailed and it now going to be home to one of the greenest structures in the city – a composting toilet.

Riverside Park is home to the cities only clay tennis courts, this […]

The Living Building Challenge- Winner of the 2012 Buckminster-Fuller Challenge

Green building and eco-sensitive design is currently at the forefront of our modern ethos. What this means for the green builders, contractors and architects of NY, and the world, is a period of dramatic change and challenge is ahead if not already begun. A change in the way we think about new buildings and construction, […]

New Green City: A key element to Green design and construction.

On a beautiful fall day in early October, Eco Brooklyn, a New York City green contractor, took to the South Plaza of Union Square in downtown Manhattan to check out New Green City, an event hosted by GrowNYC. The event hosted many contributors, ranging from non-profits and schools to entrepreneurs, government agencies, and corporate sponsors. […]

Reasons NOT to do Solar (maybe)

Obviously, the author at these links is NOT selling PV systems (I haven’t checked their accuracy):

A PV Alternate Energy Summary… (April 25, 2010) …

” Present panel costs are $3.50 per peak watt. For a significant net energy contribution, 25 cents or less per peak PANEL watt is required. Thus, present costs are […]

Solar PV vs. Solar Thermal Costs

There is an increasing opinion amoungst New York solar installers that solar thermal pays for itself quicker than solar PV.

Looking at the numbers I thought so too and would recommend solar thermal as a better investment if the client had to choose between solar PV and thermal. Of course it is great when the […]

Solar powered attic fans

The following info to chew on was compiled by Martin Holladay, former associate editor at the Journal of Light Construction, former editor of Energy Design Update, currently senior editor for Green Building Advisor. GreenSpec recently delisted powered attic ventilation fans, to which the powered attic fan manufacturers have taken great exception.

– – – – […]

Brooklyn Brownstone Solar Installation

Ever since the fire department threw a wrench in the New York solar installation movement this year New York solar panel installers have been scrambling to find alternatives for solar installations on Brooklyn brownstones.

The wrench in this case is a law that requires a SIX foot wide walkway from the front of the roof […]

Green Roof and Solar Installation Tax Abatement

Navigating the maze of paperwork to get the New York Green Roof and Solar Tax abatement can be confusing, and we’re green roof and solar installers! Below is a list of all you need. The process is pretty simple once you figure it out. Any New York green roof installer and solar panel installer needs […]

Solar PV for Brooklyn

Like most people nowadays we think Solar PV is sexy. When you have a Brooklyn brownstone it isn’t like you can have a lot of it, though. Especially now with the new fire regulations requiring a large area of the roof be left open for fire fighters. And if you want a green roof or […]

New York Green Roof and Solar Tax Abatement Forms

If you ware building a green roof in Brooklyn or installing a solar PV system in Brooklyn you can apply for a tax abatement. It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

You want to go here

That will give the NYC forms for you to download and fill out. You will […]

New Jersey Solar PV Paperwork

We are working on a solar PV job in New Jersey. Right now we are in the first stages of analyzing load, costs and paperwork needed. One of the people on our installation team is solar expert David Gibbs. He just sent me the paperwork required to apply for the New Jersey tax rebates and […]

Reclaimed Lumber Pergola

We have built a pergola on the green show house for solar pv and thermal. This raises it above the green roof.

Green Architect Roxanne Ryce-Paul sketched up the drawings for it:

It looks really great. Eco Brooklyn green builder and project manager Jack Watson built it with his crew.


LED Basics

LED lighting is not a new idea. It is only in the last few years or so that the technology’s efficiency and efficacy surpassed CFL and HID lighting. This makes it hard to find cost effective lighting replacement, without large upfront cost. But at Eco Brooklyn we are passionate about improving the energy efficiency of […]

Solar Heroics

Bob Cavello from Mercury Solar is one of the players in solar PV sales in Brooklyn. There aren’t many players and you get to know them all if you are in the green building community.

He has this great term: Solar Heroics.

Solar Heroics is when your installation pushes the limits of conventional solar installations. […]

Suntech Solar

I have a lot of respect for Suntech, one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in the world. It is one of the few exceptions I will make in my distain for Chinese products.

China has a lot of great products. But the moment you ship them half across the globe in gas guzzling tankers […]

Urban Off Grid

My manager Jack and I were talking about the direction of Eco Brooklyn today and we were trying to put into words the concept of Eco Brooklyn’s services.

Jack came up with a genius term: Urban Off Grid.

That is exactly what Eco Brooklyn does. We create urban off grid houses. This does not mean […]

Lighting with LED 1

Lighting can account for 15-20% of your monthly electric bill. With recent advances in LED technology we are able to reproduce the same level of brightness for 1/5- 1/10th the power. This is a huge savings. If we all work together we can reduce this country’s electrical draw by 10%! That equates to a lot […]

Solar Panels on the Brownstone Roof

The Brooklyn green show house has a green roof, solar panels, and solar water heater panels. Needless to say that is a lot to fit on a 600 square foot space. So we’re looking at ways to fit it all in.

Considerations are: Make it look nice from the street and back yard. Make it […]

Brooklyn: the Berkeley of the East Coast

Berkeley,California, is one of the few places in the world where the ideals of the 60’s went beyond drugs and loose sex and actually blossomed into some very powerful things.

Green building is one of these. Berkeley has examples of green building that carry a direct lineage back to 1960 hippie ideals. The houses are […]


Here is a cool app courtesy of It shows all the natural homes in the world (at least the ones they know of, which is probably one tenth the real number). The map at first only shows the US, but we’ll forgive them their nationalism in light of our recent and proud presidential election.


Solar Panels, An Example in Green Considerations

The process of building green is different than normal building. There are new considerations to include in the mix.

Here is an example. Solar PV is a smart choice in NY I think. NY gets a lot of sun and although a Californian electrician might scoff at it, most NY professionals think it is a […]

Adding Solar gain and recyclables to Facade

Above: Facade with planter and recycled joists.

Originally the top facade of the building had a lot of rotted wood. And there was a great view. So in the heat of the summer I tore down the wall and planned on adding a wall of glass. It would have been magnificent.

But then […]

Recycled Wood Floor

I have relationships with the contractors in the neighborhood. These oak floors were perfectly fine but the owner wanted to replace them with cherry wood floors. Instead of put them in the dump I got them.

The lower floors of a brownstone are dark so I like light floors to maximize the light.


Eco Brooklyn is a member of American Solar Energy Society

The American Solar Energy Society has been around since 1954, way before most people even knew what solar was. Visionary is the word.

They also put out a very useful magazine.

Now of course they are huge and respected.

More at

Solar Tax Credits Extended

After a disastrous few weeks on Wall Street, the renewable energy industry has come out a winner. It seems there’s always a silver lining in even the worst developments.

The long-awaited extension of the Production (PTC) and Investment Tax Credits (ITC) were finally passed as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. […]

Jack Johnson has solar studio

Jack Johnson shows off his solar studio.