Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal — NJAA Conference & Expo — May 11 - 24, 2012 — C


NJAA C onference & E xpo

By Stuart Fox, American Boiler Company With solar in disarray, other options for energy savings emerge in New Jersey


he stunning collapse of SREC prices in New Jersey has revealed

costs for a 125 unit apartment building by 30%. This means an investment of approximate- ly $225,000 can save about $50,000 per year in energy costs. This is a return that rivals solar during its heyday, without the speculative nature of the SREC market. Plus, reliability increases with CHP because property owners are less dependent on the grid for electricity. Some CHP models can even serve as backup gen- erators. Property owners with less than 100 apartments may find that they don’t have the domes-

tic hot water requirements to justify a CHP system. In those cases, there are other invest- ments to evaluate that will substantially reduce energy costs. If you’re running on oil, a burner conversion from oil to gas (or oil to dual fuel) should absolutely be considered. With the dramatic divergence in oil and gas prices over the past few years, fuel costs can be slashed. Surging natural gas supplies and rising global demand for oil by developing countries are likely to sustain the wide price differential in oil and gas prices. With a payback of less

than two years, the financial risks involved in converting an oil burner are minimal. If you’re already running on natural gas, and CHP is not a good fit, you may want to con- sider improving the efficiency of your boiler. Generous incen- tives in New Jersey allow prop- erty owners to upgrade to high efficiency boilers and have the State fund up to 70% of the cost. Property owners with boilers under 500,000 Btuh should research the Direct Install pro- gram, while larger commercial property owners should take a look at the Pay for Performance

program. Both incentive pro- grams are explained at www. njcleanenergy.com. As we move into the start of the warmweather season, now is a great time to take a fresh look at ways to save money on heating and electricity. With the profitability of solar projects taking a nosedive, property owners should come down from their rooftops, and take a look around their boiler rooms for investments they can truly bank on. Stuart Fox is the CFO of American Boiler Company, located in Hillside, NJ. n

the specula- tive nature of photovoltaic solar systems for commer- cial property owners. Less than a year ago, SRECs – the tradable certificates

Stuart Fox

that solar operators are issued for generating 1,000 kWh of electricity – were selling for over $650 each. At that level, the owner of a 50 kW system could comfortably recover an investment in solar in ap- proximately 5 years, and enjoy a return on investment that would exceed the returns avail- able frommore traditional real estate investments. It seemed too good to be true and many rushed into the market to capture their share of the SREC goldmine. So many rushed in, in fact, that the supply of SRECs surged and the price has dropped to under $100 per SREC. A 50 kW system that was once earn- ing its owner over $30,000 a year in SREC revenues now produces less than $5,000. For those counting on that revenue stream to service debt, this is an extremely unfortunate development that has turned what seemed like a savvy financial move into a real fi- nancial burden. Without new legislation requiring energy companies to purchase addi- tional SRECs, the oversupply of SRECs in the market will continue to suppress SREC pricing into the foreseeable future. Commercial property owners looking for alternative ways to cut energy costs and cre- ate a greener building should explore Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. CHP (also known as cogeneration) offers a far less speculative in- vestment with the potential for impressive returns. Unlike so- lar, CHP’s financial benefits are not derived from an artificial market of RECs manipulated by state regulators. Rather, the value of the CHP system comes from its ability to effi- ciently produce both hot water and electricity from a single fuel source. The cost savings can be dra- matic. A single 75kW CHP system can reduce energy

Tired of Oil? ...Go2Gas It’s easy, fast & you’ll save money every month!

Three Easy Steps: 1. Project Management : American Boiler Company handles all aspects of your project including design, permitting, inspections, and coordinating with your local gas utility. 2. Installation: Factory trained and certified technicians install your new gas burner right — the first time. 3. Enjoy your savings month after month.


24 Hour Emergency Service Serving NJ & NYC

1300 Central Avenue Hillside, NJ 07040 (973) 923-1999

For more information on oil to gas conversions visit:


Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker