Cooperative ownership is based in the premise of working together for the benefit of community and ultimately humanity. One blossoming area for appropriate properties of 300 or more so units utilizing the “co” in cooperative and community is cogeneration. Conceptually, it’s the utilization of potentially wasted heat energy, predominately from the generation of electricity. The older properties that utilize the furnace to heat hot water all year long, obtain substantial savings from using the wasted heat energy from steam generation to drive electricity producing turbines that power the resident’s homes. With this, the property produces all or part of the electricity that normally would come from the local utility. The money that the residents would normally pay to outsiders, is re-circulated back into the property to cover the costs of producing and financing the electricity generation equipment. The remnants of steam that drove the electric turbines are redirected into a system to capture the excess heat energy which maintains sufficient hot water supply for residents. The heat plant, capable of heating the entire property now only needs to run the roughly 4 months of the heating season as opposed to the entire 12 months of the year to supply adequate hot water. Thus, the shareholders continue to pay for electricity at existing utility rates and the property saves on overall energy costs, but you will need to rely upon experts to accomplish such a substantial feat.
You will need a specialist to guide you through the volumes of complications that accompany such a substantial transition. Inquire of your property manager for a consulting firm adequate to verify the viability of such a project. Once you have assured viability, the equipment needs to be acquired and installed as well as maintained. Let’s face it, your building superintendent is no expert in electricity production systems nor their maintenance. By working with the proper professional, you can obtain all the benefits that are available. NY State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) offers incentives to establish such energy efficient aspects of your property by offering incentives which reduce your out of pocket costs. NY City is on course to become a leader in energy efficiency and the States programs support that initiative. Together, your property can save, and the State and City can shine as beacons of where our country needs to go. Become a leader and utilize your influence to ascertain how “co” is part of your properties vocabulary.
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