In January 2020, the Rochester Zen Center contacted The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to inquire about the Charge Ready NY rebate program for installation of charging stations at their retreat center at Chapin Mill in Batavia and their main center at Arnold Park in Rochester. This was in support of the Zen Center’s plan to convert their entire fleet to electric vehicles.
The Charge Ready NY program provides rebates of $4,000 per charging port for (1) public parking lots available to the public for at least 12 hours a day, five days a week; (2) workplace parking lots with at least 10 spaces and at least 15 employees at the facility; and (3) parking lots at multi-unit dwellings with at least eight parking spaces and at least five dwelling units.
In February, because the Zen Center was a residential facility with staff living in the buildings, it was qualified as a multi-unit dwelling.
Most of the cost of the installation is site preparation and electrical hook-up which does not vary much with the number of ports installed. Because of this, it was determined that the rebate for the installation of four charging ports should cover most of the cost of the project.
Applications were submitted to NYSERDA in early March. The Chapin Mill project was approved on March 16. Site work began on April 30 and was completed on May 7. The $16,000 rebate was received on July 7. It was $1,500 more than the $14,500 actual cost of the installation.
The Arnold Park project was approved on April 26. Site work was delayed until the rebate for Chapin Mill was paid. Work began on August 25. It is hoped that the cost of the Arnold Park installation will be fully covered by the $16,000 NYSERDA rebate plus the $1,500 excess from the Chapin Mill project.
The Zen Center found that NYSERDA was very helpful. Although the Zen Center did not fit neatly into one of the three categories, NYSERDA was willing to be flexible. Faith organizations interested in installing charging stations should contact NYSERDA. They may be able to find a way to make the Charge Ready NY program work for them.