NEWTOWN — Why just install a roof when you can install a roof that pays you back?
Facing a $1 million roof replacement project for his 135,000-square-foot facility in Newtown, Joe Young of Tier ONE Machining and Assembly in Newtown turned to solar to lessen the cost, save on energy bills and do right by the environment.
“As a business owner I was thinking about how to deal with a large expense,” Young said. “I had heard a lot about solar energy — positive and negative — and decided to research it. I did a financial analysis and, despite what some people said, it worked out.”
“There’s also the green-friendly aspect of it,” he added. “People think of manufacturing as unfriendly to the environment. We go the extra mile to make sure we maintain a clean environment for our employees and the environment itself. Also, I have kids and I want the world to be a better place for them.”
Tier ONE used federal and state programs, tax credits and financing to help fund an 810-panel solar roof covering 30,000 square feet of roof space. Now that it is installed, Young said it is an experience to stand on the roof amid the field of panels.
The company received low-interest, long-term financing through Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, a program of the Connecticut Green Bank, also known as C-Pace. There were no upfront costs and a net savings on energy costs will result, Young said.
“It will be cash positive in year one, in good part due to incentives,”; Young said. “There are a lot of incentives from the state of Connecticut to put solar panels on roofs. This wouldn’t have been feasible without the incentives. That’s what made the project work.”
Tier ONE consulted with and ultimately contracted with Direct Energy for the project.
Young said his roof project is expected to generate 355,500 kilowatts in the first year. That will equate to a cost savings to cover the installation of the panels and some of the roof, Young said.
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