The Final Review

Veronica Ciechowska

I ensure all the needed building permits are issued, we meet all the required building code standards and our clients are regularly informed. I have a passion for solar energy and am excited to learn more about solar filing processes.
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Posts by Veronica Ciechowska

Global Rooftop Solar Brings Clean, Economical Energy Access

Aug 21, 2018 10:15:00 AM

Last week, we covered New York City’s rooftop solar and storage and how the city is one of the leading municipalities in solar implementation in the eastern United States - if approved by the New York City Council, a mandate requiring green roof installation (including solar panels) could place New York alongside other U.S. cities with robust solar roof requirements, leading in the way in sustainable energy generation and resilient planning. 

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New York City’s Solar Incentives Prioritize Drawdown's Rooftop Solar Solution

Aug 14, 2018 10:30:00 AM

Rooftop solar, now ubiquitous in many areas throughout the world, plays an increasing role in both commercial and residential energy generation and storage. While it has a history of implementation in countries such as Germany and Australia, there has been an influx in smaller rooftop installations throughout the world. As of 2015, 20 percent of all photovoltaic (PV) capacity worldwide is smaller-scale, rooftop panel installations.

Part of the Electricity Generation sector, rooftop solar ranks #10 in Project Drawdown’s list of solutions for fighting global warming. If implemented according to their scenario results, growth from .4 percent to 7 percent of worldwide rooftop solar energy generation will net a 24.6 gigatons reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and save $3.4 trillion dollars in home energy costs by 2050. 

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Recent New York State Changes to Increase Energy Efficiency and Storage

May 30, 2018 10:00:00 AM

New York has been at the forefront of state-level work to combat climate change. Recently undertaken initiatives and regulatory changes are part of the state’s aggressive push to increase sustainability and transform the electrical grid. Programs to deploy more energy storage and improve buildings’ energy efficiency are among the 2018 developments in New York State.

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NYC DOB 2018 Process Updates and Drawing Requirements

Mar 8, 2018 10:30:00 AM

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) continues to streamline plan review for all permits. After the Building One City report was released in 2015, the City implemented a number of changes to customer service and began to update submittal and permit processes. DOB is now making further updates to the existing DOB Now system to make more project eligible for electronic submittal, with an eventual goal of all project submitted electronically. We’re taking a look at the current drawing requirements as well as changes to the DOB’s submittal processes this year. 

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New York City Takes Bold Steps to Meet Paris Climate Agreement Goals

Oct 4, 2017 8:00:00 AM

New York City Mayor de Blasio is following through on his commitment to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement targets. The Mayor announced on September 14, 2017, a progressive proposal requiring New York City’s existing buildings to undertake significant reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. If the Mayor’s plan becomes law, it will move New York City to the forefront of United States cities pushing for improved building energy efficiency and use.

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Key Steps to Support Battery Energy Storage System Adoption in NYC

Apr 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Burnham attended the NYC Solar Installers Workshop held on March 1, 2017. Battery energy storage systems were a major focus of the Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York organized workshop, particularly fire safety concerns relating to batteries. Although there has been significant progress in removing obstacles to energy storage system deployment in in New York City, fire safety issues need to be fully understood and protocols developed to allow for an efficient battery installation process. 

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Building Permits in New York City's Historic Districts

Nov 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New York City has 35,000 landmark properties and most are located in 139 historic districts and historic district extensions across the five boroughs. These properties also include individual, interior, and scenic landmarks. With that in mind, it is natural to wonder how to obtain permits for alterations and improvements in New York City’s historic buildings. We decided to dive into the details of New York City’s landmark preservation requirements and show how renovations in historic districts may receive approval.

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What is New Jersey’s Proactive Approach to Solar Energy?

Nov 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New Jersey is one of the top states for solar energy. A major reason for New Jersey’s solar leadership is its strong Clean Energy Program that started in 2001.The Clean Energy Program includes a progressive Renewable Portfolio Standard and the use of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates. We thought we would take a closer look at these components of New Jersey’s solar energy initiatives.

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The Economic and Resiliency Value of Pairing Solar and Storage: New York City

Sep 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory published a report in June 2016 that examines the resiliency value of pairing solar and storage. The report, New York Solar Smart DG Hub-Resilient Solar Project: Economic and Resiliency Impact of PV and Storage on New York Critical Infrastructure (Resilient PV and Storage Report), is based on a study jointly conducted by NREL and the City University of New York (CUNY). It is part of a larger initiative run by Sustainable CUNY, the NY Solar Smart Distributed Generation (DG) Hub - Resilient Solar Project. The Resilient PV and Storage Report makes the case for using solar combined with storage to provide resiliency in addition to reducing greenhouse gases and lowering energy costs.

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The 2016 NY Solar Summit: Resiliency and Solar with Energy Storage (Part II)

Jul 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham sponsored and attended the June 20, 2016, New York Solar Summit (Solar Summit) organized by Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York (CUNY). In our recent post, we discussed sessions from this year’s Solar Summit on the following topics: the unveiling of the NY State Solar Map, the changing role of utilities, and the advancing of community solar. However, there were also important presentations on the ways solar is helping resiliency and developments in energy storage that we will discuss here.

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The 2016 NY Solar Summit: NY Solar Map and Community Solar (Part I)

Jul 5, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Burnham was pleased to be a sponsor of this year’s New York Solar Summit (Solar Summit) coordinated by Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York (CUNY). The event, held on June 20, 2016, focused on different initiatives in New York State to bring down solar soft costs and encourage the adoption of solar. Speakers and attendees included leaders from federal, state, and municipal agencies, utilities, non-profits, and private industry. We want to share highlights from the 2016 Solar Summit.

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Understanding the Solarize Community Solar Programs in New York City and State

Jun 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New York City and State Solarize programs are locally organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting a group of homes and businesses in one area to install solar energy. New York State supports Solarize community solar programs as part of the NY-Sun Incentive Program. The NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance solar energy. In his 2016 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo set the goal to install solar projects in 150,000 new homes and businesses by 2020. In this post we’ll share how the Solarize program is performing across the state as well as share updates to the New York shared renewables program and Solarize NYC.

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Approval for NYC Commercial-Scale Energy Storage Paired with Solar

May 17, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The use of energy storage paired with solar is a new area of renewable energy growth. States and local jurisdictions are in the early stages of regulating storage paired with solar, and such regulation includes issuing permits and approvals for energy storage systems. One leader in this area, New York City, is working on improving its energy storage approval process as part of a larger effort to develop electrical grid resiliency.

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Improved Fire Code Guidelines for New York City Solar Installers

Apr 12, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New York City solar installations must comply with the Fire Department, City of New York’s (FDNY) code requirements. In a prior post, we discussed some of the New York City Fire Code provisions that cause delays and increase the cost of installing solar in the city. Based on our experience assisting clients with solar permits, we also recommended possible solutions to the issues posed by the New York City Fire Code. We are pleased FDNY recently took steps to resolve some of the problems faced by New York City solar installers and will review these improvements in this post.

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New York City Solar Permits in Special Flood Hazard and Wetland Areas

Mar 8, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New York City’s proximity to water bodies, including the ocean, places the city’s solar installations in special flood hazard and wetland areas. We at Burnham assist clients with New York City solar permits and find the solar permit application process in special flood hazard and wetland areas may require added time and costs. In this post, we will provide an overview of the requirements for New York City solar permits in these areas, as well as highlight parts of the process that could be improved.

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NYC Fire Code: Barriers to Installing Solar

Jan 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM

New York City has taken important steps to streamline solar permitting and bring down the cost of installing solar. However, further improvements should be made to the Fire Department, City of New York’s (FDNY) portion of the permit process. At Burnham, we assist clients with their solar permits and have found that that some of the New York City Fire Code requirements cause serious delays and raise costs. In this post, we will examine some of the issues the New York City Fire Code creates for solar installers and recommend ways to resolve these problems.

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Guide to Expediting Solar Permits With NYC Professional Certification

Dec 8, 2015 7:30:00 AM

As of last week, New York City provides another tool for expediting solar permits and reducing solar installation costs. New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) announced on December 3, 2015, it will expand the type of solar permits eligible for Professional Certification in order to eliminate permit wait times. At Burnham, we manage the solar permit process on behalf of our clients and participate in the organization that advocated for this change. In this post, we will explain why Professional Certification expedites solar permits and how to use the certification.

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Burnham at InterSolar 2015!

Jun 30, 2015 11:51:00 AM

Intersolar North America has become the most attended solar event and the premier networking platform for the North American solar industry. Co-located with SEMICON West, it takes place annually at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, the United States’ pioneering solar market on July 14 - 16th. Burnham is excited to take part again in InterSolar and will be an exhibitor (booth 8811 8812) at the conference.  

The event’s exhibition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, energy storage systems and solar thermal technologies. Burnham’s Energy Team will be ready to answer your questions, show you the benefits of using the BurnhamEYE PV inspection application and network with other leading names in the solar community.

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California Fire Code Requirements See Change

Jan 8, 2015 8:02:00 AM

As of January 1, 2015, several changes to the California Building Code and the California Residential Code have gone into effect. The changes apply to rooftop-mounted photovoltaic systems, also called PV systems, installed on residential, commercial and public buildings. Specifically, the code changes require that all PV systems be tested, listed and identified with a fire classification rating in accordance with UL 1703.

History of UL 1703 and PV Systems

Before 2013, PV systems were only subject to fire testing when they were stand-alone components – not when installed or mounted on a building. In 2013, UL 1703’s fire classification requirements changed, requiring all PV systems be tested for flammability characteristics. This test includes the PV module, the roof rack, and the roof itself, and is to be conducted by one of the Nationally Recognized Test Labs. UL, TUV, CSA and Intertek are all labs included on this list.

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