Davis & Warshow Goes Solar

February 17, 2011

Davis & Warshow, a kitchen and bath fittings dealer, has powered up New York City’s largest private-sector solar installation at its Queens headquarters. The initiative is part of the company’s Practically Green program, a small steps approach to going green that was inaugurated two years ago.
The installation, which encompasses 1,038 panels affixed to the roofs of three buildings within the company’s 250,000-square-foot complex, will produce in excess of 270,000 kWh of clean energy annually. Other benefits of the system include the elimination of more than 235,000 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution, more than 757 pounds of sulfur dioxide pollution and 263 pounds of nitrous oxide annually, making it equivalent to the planting of 18 acres of trees.
“When we first issued our Practically Green manifesto, we knew that we’d be taking baby steps toward making Davis & Warshow green,” said David Finkel, company president. “The move to solar is a giant leap for a company our size, and we’re proud that it’s such a substantial achievement among New York City’s environmental improvements. We believe it is important for even the smallest business to do its share and reduce its environmental impact without adversely affecting the bottom line. We’re finding that our commitment has both environmental and economical payoffs, thanks to a number of state and federal programs in which we participated.”

To finance the project, D&W obtained Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), including NYSERDA incentives worth $453,606, a one-time treasury grant of $393,650 and annual, four-year property tax abatements of $75,123. Finkel estimates that in three to four years Davis & Warshow will recoup its nearly $900,000 investment in the photovoltaic system, which features panels installed by National Grid Energy Management working in concert with Solar Energy Systems.

“The challenge, and long-term goal of becoming carbon-neutral may seem insurmountable, but gradual steps, as we’ve undertaken, do add up,” said Finkel. “I think our actions prove that smaller companies can make a big impact on the environment, whether they encourage employees to carpool, install low flow fixtures in their restrooms, or retrofit their facilities so that heating, cooling, lighting and all operations are more energy efficient. We’re proud to serve as a model and can confirm that going green in a practical manner is a surprisingly painless process.”

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