New Opportunities for Commercial Solar Through Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

June 22nd, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Many business owners have considered solar panels, high efficiency lighting, new furnaces or even chillers for their property, but often run into doubts that lead into not moving forward on their plan.  Some of those questions may include, ‘what if I move locations, what if I sell my business, how will any loans impact my credit, will this improvement help save me money?’  In many counties and cities across New York, there is a new financing program that can help remove the uncertainty from all of those questions.

This new program is commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and is currently available in certain New York municipalities for commercially owned properties.  Sectors that may be eligible for this type of financing include small to large commercial businesses, industrial, agricultural, and non-profit sites, and often multi-family housing properties are eligible as well.

PACE works by setting up a financing product as a special assessment or tax charge that is placed on the improved property’s annual tax bill.  The repayment period on this new charge is flexible in length for up to 20 years, and it is collected and treated the same way as the standard annual property tax.  One major benefit of this arrangement is that the cost of the project is removed from the property owner, and is instead attached to the property itself.  If the building and its improvements are sold, the special assessment moves automatically to the new owner of the site.  Additionally, this funding is entirely separate from classic loan and bank financing which relies on a company’s credit, which PACE does not use.  

Properties owners that wish to apply for PACE funding must be current on all tax payments for the last 3 years and have no bankruptcy filings in the last 7 years.  The loan-to-value ratio of the property cannot exceed 80%.  This ratio, also called the LTV ratio, compares the amount of any loans or mortgages on a property to the overall value of the property.  For instance, if a property has a mortgage of $225,000 against an appraised property value of $300,000, the LTV is 75%, which is less than 80% of the total value of the property, so the location would be eligible for PACE funding.  The PACE funding covers 100% of an energy efficient or renewable project, as long as it is valued at no more than 10% of the total appraised value of the property.  

If all of the above requirements are met, then the building undergoes an energy assessment to verify that the improvements will lead to a positive cash flow on day one after installation. PACE approval is obtained and after finishing the project, PACE funds are released to the property owner and the annual repayments are set to start, while the owner begins to enjoy their new clean energy benefits.

The result of this innovative new funding path is to help commercial building owners increase the value and efficiency of their buildings while reducing utility costs due to energy savings and removing the risk of direct ownership.  For more information, see our partners at


May 19th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Amherst Town officials this week have announced a limited time price offering to assist residents and business owners who are interested in converting to solar energy through the Solarize Amherst program. The campaign was initiated through the efforts of the Energy Conservation Citizens Advisory Committee, as well as the Clean Energy Communities Committee, which was created by the Town Board in March.  As part of the program, Solarize Amherst has vetted three local companies that will install the solar equipment. Solar by CIR came in as the most competitively priced residential solar installer, offering base pricing at $2.50/watt. This price is significantly below traditional market rate pricing for solar systems in the Town of Amherst and across the state.

The next public events detailing all of the information about the program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20th at Clearfield Community Center, 730 Hopkins Road, AmherstPlease come and join us!  Residents or business owners interested in taking part in the program will receive free solar evaluations, including a roof evaluation, preliminary site design, energy usage profile and financial analysis.  Additionally, town officials will waive electrical permit fees, which could total an additional $200 in savings.

To participate in the Solarize Amherst campaign you need simply to contact Solar by CIR. They will schedule a time to do a site visit to see if your property is suitable for solar. They will also need a recent copy of your National Grid bill to see how much energy you use in a given year. They will offer you a proposal detailing the gross cost of the system, minus any incentives and tax credits you would be eligible for. Solar incentives and tax credits, on average, decrease the cost to the homeowner by 50-60%. After which, if you get the solar installed at your property, the Town of Amherst will count it towards their goal of the 10 signed contracts needed before July 31st 2017.

To sign up, call Solar by CIR at 716.362.5000  or website at to schedule a free solar site evaluation.

Fire Fighter Safety and Emergency Response for Solar Power Systems

May 15th, 2017 Posted by Company News, Uncategorized No Comment yet
  • When: Monday May 22nd from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Where: Oakfield Fire Hall, 20 Albert St. Oakfield, NY 14125
  • Presented by: George Hart, Solar by CIR, PV Design Engineer

“Today’s emergency responders face unexpected challenges as new uses of alternative energy increase. These renewable power sources save on the use of conventional fuels such as petroleum and other fossil fuels, but they also introduce unfamiliar hazards that require new firefighting strategies and procedures.

Among these alternative energy uses are buildings equipped with solar power systems, which can present a variety of significant hazards should a fire occur. This study focuses on structural firefighting in buildings and structures involving solar power systems utilizing solar panels that generate electrical energy, with a particular focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) panels used for electric power generation. The safety of fire fighters and other emergency first responder personnel depends on understanding and properly handling these hazards through adequate training and preparation.” Please come and join us Monday May 22nd at 6:30pm to learn more about safety methods and solar PV basics imperative to fire code response. This training is free and open to the public. Please RSVP below.

Buffalo Means Business

April 19th, 2017 Posted by Company News No Comment yet

Don’t miss the 4th Annual Buffalo Means Business: Celebrating 185 Years of Buffalo! Our beloved city turns 185 years old on Thursday, April 20th 2017

Enjoy samples of Buffalo’s favorite food, brews, spirits and more. Sponsored by CIR, we’ll be presenting the Sustainability Award to a very deserving business.

Thursday, April 20th 2017 from 5-8pm at Prior Aviation Service located at 50 N Airport Drive Buffalo, NY 14225 in Hangar 2.

For just $15, you’ll enjoy samples of locally crafted Buffalo favorites including food, beer, spirits & Bootleg Bucha.

Want to learn more about solar, listen to Darrin Harzewski on WBEN.


Get a Nest Learning Thermostat with Solar Install

March 10th, 2017 Posted by Company News No Comment yet

Is solar right for you? How about solar energy matched with a Nest Learning Thermostat? For each solar purchase during the month of March 2017, we’ll add & install a brand new wifi thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat learns from you, creates a schedule and is proven to save energy. Get the benefits of solar and reduce your energy consumption with Solar By CIR.

Get a Nest Learning Thermostat with solar install

Use promo code Nest17 on your qualification form.

CIR Ranked 53rd in the US for Top Residential Solar Contractors of 2016

January 9th, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

BUFFALO, NY – Jeff Pedro, Chief Financial Officer of CIR Electrical Construction Corporation, announced today that CIR Electrical Construction Corp was ranked 53rd in SolarReviews Top 100 American Residential Solar Contractors of 2016. SolarReviews allows people to review installers’ and manufacturer’s performance as rated by their customers. These results were based on reviews received over the last twelve months. “We are both humbled and proud to be acknowledged on the most recognized list of solar companies in North America. Knowing that our customers are happy and satisfied is a great feeling and what we strive for,” said Pedro.

About SolarReviews:

“SolarReviews came about because we found a gap between what the consumers in the solar industry wanted and what was available. The ability to view reviews on an Installer and to directly contact them was limited, often forcing consumers to choose “3-quotes” sites, where they had no idea of who would contact them, or even how many companies would do so. Add to this the fact that the consumer did not know the companies and you often had an unhappy experience for both installers and consumers.

SolarReviews is trying to both inform consumers as to installers performance, and to promote valid installers to consumers. We hope that the information and listings on this site lead to a higher number of positive experiences in solar, as we move toward a zero-footprint future.”

Information taken from

Big Congrats to our own Ashley Regan!

December 8th, 2016 Posted by Solar No Comment yet

“The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), does hereby certify that Ashley Regan has satisfied the requirements and standards for the PV Technical Sales Professional.”

The next time that you see Ashley, give her a high five! Ashley becomes the fourth member of our team to be NABCEP Certified. This is a huge accomplishment!

Voluntary certification programs accomplish three important goals:

1. Provide a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners;
2. Provide practitioners with a way to distinguish themselves from their competition; and
3. Improve quality, public perception of the given occupation and increase the industry’s prominence.



Deadline for solar discounts has been extended in Orleans County

October 25th, 2016 Posted by Company News, Solar, Solarize Orleans No Comment yet

The deadline for solar discounts in Orleans County have been extended to November 18th! We’re hosting a mixer on Wednesday at 810 Meadworks, 113 West Center Street in Medina from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Anyone who is interested in solar can meet with one of our representatives to answer questions. For more information, contact Melanie McMahan at or visit

A Thank-You to Our Summer Intern Quinn Porzio

August 16th, 2016 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

Quinn Porzio joined the Solar by CIR team back in late May to help with the summer rush. Construction season always leaves us very busy this time of year and his help went a long way. Quinn took on whatever task he was given. You could always guarantee that his work would be done well and in good time. Some of his responsibilities were looking after the monitoring of our customers, helping out with warranty claims, working on back up documentation for the design and completing our customer final binders. He was a great addition to our team and we are sad to see him go but are looking forward to seeing his progress through his senior year at Alfred University. He will be graduating in the spring of 2017 with a degree in Renewable Energy Engineer.

Good luck in the future Quinn, you will be missed!


August 8th, 2016 Posted by Solar No Comment yet

Solar Power World, the industry’s leading business-to-business publication, announced the release of its 2016 Top 500 Solar Contractors list at the end of July. The Top Solar Contractors list is the most recognized annual listing of North America’s top solar contractors working in the utility, commercial and residential markets.

Companies are grouped and listed by specific service (construction firms, developers, electrical subcontractors, EPCs, rooftop contractors), markets (commercial, residential, utility) and states by 2015 installed capacity (in MWdc). CIR has proudly ranked 172, jumping 46 spots from last year. Currently, we are ranked 9th in New York State.

“Each year our company aims to grow more and more into the booming solar market. CIR has high aspirations for the renewable sector despite decreasing subsidies. With new Federal and State programs, solar will remain a part of our energy vision. Local job creation, coupled with decreased dependency on fossil fuels will be a major driver. Our hats go off to all of the other ‘Top 500 Solar Contractors’ on this list that have helped contribute to this prospering industry. We are both humbled and proud to be acknowledged on the most recognized list of solar companies in North America for a third year in a row,” said Ashley Regan, Director of Business Development.