geothermal on display
at annual home show
DRYDEN — One way or another, it seemed, every booth, every product that made an appearance at the Tompkins Cortland Builders and Remodelers Association’s 26th annual Home Show made use of green technology.
“Just look around at the show,” said Paul Simonet, throwing a hand at the rows of energy efficient windows, appliances and building materials. “You don’t have to go green just because it’s your religion. It can be good for business, too.”
Simonet is the President of Maple Ridge Development, which is in the midst of building a housing development on East Main Street just outside the village of Dryden. It makes sense to go green, he said, because it’s what customers want.
“It just makes a lot of sense,” he said. “You don’t need as many utility lines, it takes pressure off the town’s grid and not to mention the lower energy costs. You can pay back the cost of solar in only five years.”
Simonet’s housing development, while still in its early stages, could boast a centralized solar farm.
“We’re pursuing putting a solar farm in the middle of the neighborhood,” Simonet said. “Not all the homes would have southern exposure which is the best for solar collection.”
Solar advocates were well represented at the show. One business, Phelps-based HALCO, was talking up a new incentive program from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA.
Under the new program, said Erin Pownall, a public relations representative with HALCO, ordinary residents qualify for up to $25,000 in low-interest loans to install solar panels on or near their homes. The rate of repayment, she said, is tied to the financial savings gained as a result of the panels, meaning a homeowner won’t pay more than they save in energy costs.