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Briarcliff Manor Companies Investing in Solar

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – A few years ago, Mark Seiden said he was so concerned about saving energy, he made sure the thermostat at his Briarcliff Manor location was placed in his office. But then Seiden heard about a few benefits of Solar Power.

“I used to set the thermostat every day or every hour and I wouldn’t let anyone else in the office touch it because I was so concerned about my energy bills,” Seiden said. “I still regulate the temperature but now when I look at my energy bills, I’m seeing good news.”

Seiden said he’s in a much different place mentally about solar than he was a year ago.

“I wasn’t concerned about the product but I was concerned about the technology,” said Seiden, a Briarcliff Manor real estate broker. “If I buy a computer today, it’s already outdated tomorrow. Was I going to buy something that was so outdated that I would feel stupid? But the technology hasn’t changed like that for Solar.”

Briarcliff Manor’s Sunrise Solar Solutions installed panels on the roof of Seiden’s business on Pleasantville Road last year. While the branch of Sunrise Building & Remodeling is approaching its fourth year in the solar business, President Eric Messer said the team is seeing a rapid response from local residents and businesses.

Despite initial ideas, Messer said he quickly learned that getting into the solar business and doing it right could be “green on two levels.”

“It really reduces our impact and our carbon footprint and it’s great for the environment,” Messer said. “We knew that but it was also green in the financial sense. So for us it made a lot of sense. The last couple of years it’s been hard to grow any kind of business. Now, all of a sudden this is really taking off.”

The company has completed work on 20 businesses and more than 20 homes throughout Westchester, including a 96-unit affordable housing complex in Montrose and a 100-unit apartment complex on Long Island. Messer said they are learning that most houses payback the initial investment within seven years and with New York State offering close to 70 percent in rebates and funding.

Messer said the company delayed work on its own building at 510 North State Road because it was busy with so many different jobs. “So why we would we slow that down by doing our own place? It hasn’t slowed down but we decided that we wanted to see those savings too,” he said.

Messer, who also serves as president of the Briarcliff Manor Chamber of Commerce, said the company guarantees its product for 25 years and doesn’t require customers to pay for parts or labor after the first five years.

“We know it’s an investment so to make it easier we give free parts and labor for the first five years,” Messer said. “By the time that’s done, it’s paid for itself.”

Messer later added that the total cost of most home and business solar projects cost around $30,000, but government savings mean most residents have paid closer to $10,000.

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