Staten Island Local laws 92 and 94, which took effect last November, requires “any roof undergoing major construction be covered in either solar photovoltaic (PV) panels or a green roof system (covered in vegetation).”
The law applies to new construction, vertical and horizontal extensions, and major modifications to the roof requiring a permit.
“Climate change, air pollution and rising energy costs are realities that affect the most vulnerable of our world, including hundreds of thousands of New York City residents,’’ City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) said. “Addressing this climate emergency requires us to take decisive, innovative action to reduce our carbon emissions.”
Over 70% of greenhouse gases in NYC are from buildings, claims the City Council’s Climate Mobilization Act, which includes the laws 92 and 94.
The new law will require an additional investment of an estimated $15,000 to $20,000 on those building and buying new homes, prompting many to fear the law will limit construction and slow down the local economy as the additional expense will halt ongoing projects.
However, it has been proven that solar panels increase the value of your home by over $16,000, and have economic benefits such as lower energy costs and tax incentives.
Rose said the bills were “part of a package that paves the way for a cooler, greener future by using rooftops as a resource to reduce the negative impact of new development.”
Supporters of the bill say the solar panels are a move to significantly reduce the city’s use of carbon energy and build focus towards renewable energy.