Solar by CIR Recognized as a 2018 Top Solar Contractor in Buffalo, NY

July 24th, 2018 Posted by Company News No Comment yet

Buffalo, NY—More than 10,600 megawatts of solar power were installed last year in the United States, and local installer Solar by CIR has been recognized by Solar Power World magazine for its contributions to the industry. Solar by CIR achieved a rank of 174 out of 450 solar companies on the magazine’s 2018 Top Solar Contractors list.

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. The 2018 list was released on July 24.

Solar Power World is very excited about the 2018 class of Top Solar Contractors,” said Kelly Pickerel, editor in chief of Solar Power World. “Our 2017 list showed impressive installation numbers after 2016’s huge rush to meet ITC requirements, and many companies were hesitant to show unavoidable installation dips after last year’s high. We’re happy to feature a strong group of thriving U.S. solar installers on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list. These companies truly are at the top of their markets.”

The U.S. solar market had its biggest year ever in 2016, installing more than 15,000 MW. Although installations in 2017 dropped to 10,608 MW, the total still represents 40% growth over 2015 numbers. The year-over-year downturn can be attributed to the large influx of 2016 projects rushing to meet the anticipated expiration of a 30% federal tax credit that was eventually renewed. Last year also saw uncertainty surrounding potential Section 201 tariffs on imported solar panels, which may have led to delayed or canceled projects.

A major highlight of 2017 was the non-residential market growing 28% year-over-year, the fourth straight year of annual growth for commercial, industrial and community solar. In 2017, 30% of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the United States came from solar, second only to new natural gas capacity.

The first quarter of 2018 showed a 13% growth over the first quarter of 2017, and Solar by CIR will continue to contribute to the wave of increasing solar generation. By 2023, more than 15,000 MW of solar is expected to be installed annually.

CIR employs over 100 field staff some of whom helped install 3.8 MW capacity of their solar power in 2017. Since the beginning of the solar division in 2011, the company has installed just shy of 18MW of solar.  That is the equivalent of offsetting 13.4 metric tons of carbon, or 32,833 miles driven in a passenger car!

Director of Business Development, Ashley Regan says, “This past year was certainly a challenge in the solar industry given the tariffs and regulatory changes, but we are proud yet again of the steady growth CIR has realized in the renewable energy sector given it all.  Still coming out better and stronger than ever is a true testament to the hardiness of this industry and the people it employs.”

Find out if your home qualifies for solar here.

About Solar Power World

Solar Power World is the leading online and print resource for news and information regarding solar installation, development and technology. Since 2011, SPW has helped U.S. solar contractors—including installers, developers and EPCs in all markets—grow their businesses and do their jobs better.

Your Solar System in Winter

January 2nd, 2018 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

 

Snow and ice on your solar panels and what to expect

While we are usually excited to welcome Western New York’s first snowfalls in December and January, we know that there will be some days or weeks where solar systems are not producing energy. This is the time of year that we get calls from concerned homeowners who see an error message on their solar monitoring systems and want to know if something is not performing correctly. This post will answer some of those common questions about the effect of snow or ice on solar systems.

Should I try to remove snow and ice off of my solar panels when they’re covered?

No. It is not necessary for you to risk getting up on your roof to try and clear off snow or ice that may be covering them. Because solar panels are made from tempered glass and are dark colored, they often absorb sunlight more quickly and will naturally melt off any wintry covering without interference. Using a shovel, brush or similar item could damage your panels and system. Your system warranties do not cover any cracked glass or disturbed electrical wiring that may result from a homeowner trying to remove snow, so it’s best to let them be. Rest assured, we have already included these times of year in the calculations for what your system will produce over the course of a year. It’s all part of the plan.

It’s been some time now that they have been covered in snow and I’m not producing electricity.

It is more than common and completely expected that during Western New York’s winter months, your solar system won’t be producing very much electricity compared to the power that is created by your system during the more sunny summer months. This is why we rely on net-metering, which allows you to bank credits for the power you produce in sunnier months and then draw upon them during the winter months. When Solar by CIR’s design team developed your system, we used over 20 years of historical weather data to determine how much sunlight your system would receive over the course of a year as well as how many days it would not due to snowfall.

My solar system monitoring software is telling me I am not producing even in the daytime, and there is snow on my panels.

Your monitoring software might be giving you an error or telling you that your solar system is not producing when you have snow on your panels. Unfortunately, the software is not sophisticated enough to realize that there is snow on your panels and will try to alert you that your panels are not producing. If it is staying in night mode but it is daytime, this is also a sign that your panels are covered with snow. Once the panels shed their snow, the monitoring system will start tracking your solar production again.

Will my solar system produce any electricity during the winter months?

Yes. Solar panels will produce electricity when they are not completely covered, even on winter days. On a clear winter day, your panels will do quite well because solar systems actually function better when it is cooler. The summer heat can be tough on your system, imagine heat on electronics in the summer! Just as a reminder though, the suns less direct angle in the winter, the shorter days, and some snow coverage, contribute to why your system produces less than in the summer. Solar by CIR looks at solar production from an annual perspective and counts on your system over-producing in the longer summer days which carry you through the winter. To re-iterate, this is only possible through having a net-metering relationship with the utility companies.

Holiday Special Offer: 2nd Generation Nest Thermostat

December 21st, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

If you’ve been thinking about having a solar system installed by Solar by CIR, call us February 28th 2018 with the promo code NEST2018 and we will include the installation of one 2nd generation NEST thermostat with your solar project. Certain exclusions apply, please ask a Solar by CIR sales representative for details.

Solarize SBR Campaign is Extended

December 15th, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

Solarize SBR Campaign Extended 90 Days

The Solarize SBR has been extended an additional 90 days due to strong interest from members of Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable (WNYSBR). Originally set to expire in November, the campaign has been extended by WNYSBR until February 28th 2018.

Solarize SBR is a campaign that gives exclusive pricing to the 70+ WNYSBR organizations and their employees for installing solar arrays. Superior warranty offerings and competitive pricing will be available to WNYSBR members during this campaign. Employees will have access to base residential installation pricing starting at $2.50/Watt, which is approximately 10-20% lower than the market rate for solar installs across New York State. As part of Solarize SBR, companies that are interested in solar will receive a free solar site evaluation. Solar site evaluations typically include a roof and shading analysis to determine the sizing and efficiency of a potential solar installation.

With the campaign launching in September, several organizations have already hosted informational solar sessions at their places of employment, with additional membership organizations scheduled for upcoming events for the duration of the campaign. Check out the calendar on SBR’s website  for upcoming events.

Interested in joining the SBR? Click here to fill out the application on SBR’s website. Once a member company is part of the SBR, a sustainability action plan is created detailing what actions will be taken to become and a more sustainable business and how sustainability goals will be met. More information can be found here

If you are already a SBR member and are interested in hosting a Solarize SBR event at your company please fill out this form on the SBR website to get more information and schedule an event.

There’s never been a better time to go solar!

If you work for one of these companies, then you are eligible to participate n the Solarize SBR campaign:


Advanced Technology Recycling

Buffalo Zoo

Cannon Design

Computer Task Group

Curbell, Incorporated

Erie County

Gin-Sue Enterprises, LLC

Greif, Inc.       

Harmac Medical Products

Industrial Support, Inc.

Lexington Co-Operative Market

Perry’s Ice Cream

Tapecon, Inc.   

Triad Recycling and Energy/Guard Contracting

University at Buffalo

Wendel

1088 Delaware Condominiums

Coca Cola Bottling of Buffalo

Ecology & Environment

Environmental Services Group

McCullagh Coffee

Modern Corporation

National Grid

Rich Products

Siemens Industry, Inc.

The Knoer Group

TM Montante Development/Montante Solar

Tri-Main Center

Uniland 

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff-

Ambius Buffalo

Block Club Magazine

Botanicus, Inc.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Buffalo Energy

Braymiller Market

C & S Companies

CIR Electrical

Community Beer Works

Covanta

DesignSynergies Architecture

Eaton Office Supply

ECOsponsible, LLC

Eco_logic STUDIOS

Elm Street Bakery

GM Powertrain

Greatbatch Medical

Great Lakes Environmental & Safety Consultants, Inc.

ITT Enidine

Lime Energy

M/E Engineering, P.C.

Millington Lockwood

Natale Builders

Nestle Purina

Niagara Malt

Pro Squared Facility Solutions

Restore/Habitat for Humanity

Solara Environmental Products & Services

Solar Liberty

ServiceMaster Bldg. Maintenance Professionals

Sweet Home School District

1088 Delaware Condominiums

Watts Architecture & Engineering                                                                         

Wilson Greatbatch

Wireless Control Group

Xylem

We encourage you to see how much you can save and consider the opportunity to go solar through the Solarize SBR campaign before it ends.

To sign up, fill out the form at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeLtwzVyIGoeNhzJHW8OSLikYzPI2kmvtjzFkN6e4NgzYnwsg/viewform

Solarize SBR Awards Residential Solar Installer

October 20th, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

Solar by CIR is excited to announce that they have been selected by the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable (WNYSBR) to be the preferred residential solar installer for the Solarize SBR campaign. WNYSBR has decided to offer a solarize campaign to their members who have joined their organization to develop and implement corporate sustainability plans. The campaign is designed to complement SBR’s work to help businesses in the Western New York region be greener. This limited time campaign reserves pricing and warranty offerings to WNYSBR membership and helps them move onto electricity produced from solar power. Combined with tax credits, and incentives available from New York States Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), going solar has never looked better.

There are two aspects to the Solarize SBR campaign that make it unique. There is a commercial component, where member businesses and not-for-profits can receive a free solar site evaluation and special pricing on solar installations at their facilities. In addition, WNYSBR is extending the benefits of the campaign by offering a residential component to members employees. People who work for a company that is a member of the WNYSBR can participate in the residential aspect of the campaign.

Solar by CIR is working to provide informational sessions at member company’s offices and facilities to promote the Solarize SBR campaign. WNYSBR members such as the University at Buffalo, Erie County Government, Wendel, Harmac Medical Supplies, Ecology and Environment, Curbell, and others are some of the first to host Solar by CIR and share the campaign with their employees. The ability of this campaign to have tremendous reach into the Western New York region is extraordinary.

The Solarize SBR campaign’s exclusive features are available until November 31st of 2017. Residential solar campaign participants can take advantage of low cost per watt project pricing at $2.50/watt. This is a price that is 10-20% below average market rate pricing for residential solar systems across New York State. In addition to 25-year production and product warranties on solar equipment, the campaign offers an extended 10-year labor warranty. Solar by CIR will work with homeowners to see if their property is suitable for solar by doing a solar site assessment and offering a preliminary design proposal. Your solar sales representative will outline all the tax credits and incentives you are eligible for that reduce the upfront cost of your solar system. As always, all solar site evaluations are free and require no obligation.

If you work for one of these companies, then you are eligible to participate n the Solarize SBR campaign:


Advanced Technology Recycling

Buffalo Zoo

Cannon Design

Computer Task Group

Curbell, Incorporated

Erie County

Gin-Sue Enterprises, LLC

Greif, Inc.       

Harmac Medical Products

Industrial Support, Inc.

Lexington Co-Operative Market

Perry’s Ice Cream

Tapecon, Inc.   

Triad Recycling and Energy/Guard Contracting

University at Buffalo

Wendel

1088 Delaware Condominiums

Coca Cola Bottling of Buffalo

Ecology & Environment

Environmental Services Group

McCullagh Coffee

Modern Corporation

National Grid

Rich Products

Siemens Industry, Inc.

The Knoer Group

TM Montante Development/Montante Solar

Tri-Main Center

Uniland 

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff-

Ambius Buffalo

Block Club Magazine

Botanicus, Inc.

Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus

Buffalo Energy

Braymiller Market

C & S Companies

CIR Electrical

Community Beer Works

Covanta

DesignSynergies Architecture

Eaton Office Supply

ECOsponsible, LLC

Eco_logic STUDIOS

Elm Street Bakery

GM Powertrain

Greatbatch Medical

Great Lakes Environmental & Safety Consultants, Inc.

ITT Enidine

Lime Energy

M/E Engineering, P.C.

Millington Lockwood

Natale Builders

Nestle Purina

Niagara Malt

Pro Squared Facility Solutions

Restore/Habitat for Humanity

Solara Environmental Products & Services

Solar Liberty

ServiceMaster Bldg. Maintenance Professionals

Sweet Home School District

1088 Delaware Condominiums

Watts Architecture & Engineering                                                                         

Wilson Greatbatch

Wireless Control Group

Xylem

We encourage you to see how much you can save and consider the opportunity to go solar through the Solarize SBR campaign before it ends.

To sign up, fill out the form at this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeLtwzVyIGoeNhzJHW8OSLikYzPI2kmvtjzFkN6e4NgzYnwsg/viewform

Solarize Tonawanda

August 21st, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

Tonawanda Town officials have announced a limited time price offering to assist residents and business owners who are interested in converting to solar energy through the Solarize Tonawanda program. The campaign was initiated through the efforts of the Tonawanda Planning and Development Department with the support of numerous local businesses and organizations. Solarize Tonawanda has vetted CIR as a local solar company that will install your solar equipment. Solar by CIR will be offering a base pricing at $2.50/watt. This price is significantly below traditional market rate pricing for solar systems in the Town of Tonawanda and across the state.

The public launch event detailing all of the information about the program will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23rd at the Tonawanda Municipal Building, 2919 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14217. Please come and join us! Tonawanda and Kenmore residents 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.

To participate in the Solarize Tonawanda campaign you need simply to contact Solar by CIR. They will schedule a time to do a free 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%. Additionally, the Town of Tonawanda has budgeted $200,000 for low to moderate income homeowners to purchase their systems. This money will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Solarize Tonawanda campaign will not last forever, this promotion ends on November 24th, 2017.

To sign up, call Solar by CIR at 716.362.5000 or fill out the form below.

Solar Panel Installations by CIR powering environmental learning at Sail Buffalo

August 15th, 2017 Posted by Solar No Comment yet

(image link: http://www.buffalorising.com/2017/08/sail-buffalo-outfits-its-swedish-design-fishing-huts/)

Director of Operations at Sail Buffalo, Captain Pierre Wallinder, has been developing something special along the shore of Lake Erie at the Outer Harbor. An article in Buffalo Rising this month that covers the ongoing evolution of the Sail Buffalo Sailing School mentions the incorporation of solar panels, which were installed by CIR in 2014 (https://www.buffalorising.com/2017/08/sail-buffalo-outfits-its-swedish-design-fishing-huts/#disqus_thread). The incorporation of solar panels on this site are part of a larger effort of developing an eco-learning center at one of the premier sailing schools in Buffalo, NY.

Along with use of solar panels on site, Sail Buffalo houses an eco-classroom built from plastic bottles, Grassroots Gardens raised beds and a habitat restoration program. With all of these installations on one site, Sail Buffalo has turned itself into a green sailing school that offers a multitude of learning options for all. Solar plays an integral role by allowing the Margaret L. Wendt Sailing and Science Pavilion on the Sail Buffalo campus to stay open all year long. The Sailing and Science Pavilion features radiant heat floors, recessed lighting and generates enough solar power from the panels to power the entire site.

Sail Buffalo’s panels are used for electrical power, but the panels themselves work in conjunction with the rest of the environmental learning installations on the site to promote sustainability and renewable energy use. CIR takes pride in advancing environmental sustainability in the Western New York Community and we are proud to play a role in powering the environmental learning opportunities at Sail Buffalo.

Tags: Buffalo solar, solar installation, sustainability, environmental learning

 

Solarize Amherst Campaign Extended Through September

August 4th, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

On July 31, the Amherst Town Board held a vote on whether to extend the Solarize Amherst Campaign beyond the previous end date of July 30.  Voting unanimously, the Board adopted Resolution 2017-903, Extension of Solarize Amherst Campaign and Electrical Permit Fee Waiver.

Solarize Amherst will now continue through Saturday, September 30, 2017, an additional 60 days.  Until then, residents of Amherst are still eligible for free solar evaluations (both technical and financial) to help people decide whether solar is right for them and their property.   Upon selecting solar, a waiver of electrical permits fees from Amherst and discounted prices on solar installations will be offered through the new end date as well.

Contact Solar by CIR today, and join over 50 of your neighbors in going solar!

http://www.solarbycir.com/home/qualify/solarize-amherst/

CIR RANKS 5TH IN NEW YORK STATE’S SOLAR CONTRACTORS LIST

July 31st, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar No Comment yet

The 2017 Top Solar Contractors list (https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2017-top-500-solar-contractors/) was recently published in the July 2017 issue of Solar Power Worlds, a leading online and print resource for news and information about solar installation, development, and technology.  The list features the top solar contractors in the country, from the Midwest to the Coasts, and includes solar developers, construction companies, rooftop contractors, and more who are installing solar for residential, commercial, or utility scale customers.

CIR features prominently on this year’s list, rising another 46 spots from the 2016 rankings, reaching number 126 for 2017 and continuing CIR’s history of growth and rising national status, along with reflecting the increase in affordability and efficiency of solar power.  CIR is ranked fifth in New York state, and ranked number one in the Western New York region.  To help achieve this position, CIR installed over 8,500 kilowatts for the 2016 installation year.

Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Pedro, says “We are proud of this outstanding achievement and look forward to continual growth within the NYS solar market.”

 

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New Opportunities for Commercial Solar Through Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

June 22nd, 2017 Posted by Company News, Solar 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 http://commercial.energizeny.org/