Ygrene (Y-Green) Energy Fund has recently signed on with the city of Sacramento, California, although they are in about a half-dozen cities nationwide. A city enters into a contract with Ygrene and the company gets paid back over a period of time (approximately 20 years) in exchange for their expertise and help making buildings energy efficient.
The reason why we should be thinking about companies like this is because the city has so many old buildings. This is a way to avoid what most building owners dread – the upfront cost of converting to new energy.
If the owner pays a company back through property taxes over time, it may be worth thinking about. Companies like Ygrene use local contractors for a lot of the hardware and provide training for communities to sustain the program. The best part might be that this is a private-sector solution.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has expressed interest in alternative energy for New York’s buildings, even suggesting wind technology on the roofs of large buildings. Well, some people discount how unbelievably heavy those windmills really are. They are best planted on the ground.
But solar panels on roofs and efficient water filtration with biofuel-petroleum blends are a way to drastically reduce greenhouse gases, and it saves money in the long run - approximately $48,000 a year on the West Coast.
In order for a company like Ygrene to wait out a 20-year period in order to be fully reimbursed, they must be coming in with serious seed money of their own. That’s great if that is the case, because there is no way that owners of apartment buildings are going to be able to foot the bill for green energy upfront.
Alternative energy programs are best when they are by and large set in the private sector. Ideas like Cap and Trade (although unpopular to some) or Ygrene are at least on the right track, offering private-sector solutions to environmental problems. Ygrene understands green energy, and this means that there does not need to be another government agency getting involved.
David Wright and the WBC
David Wright is undoubtedly a fan favorite in New York - all baseball fans like him as a player. He showed how dynamic he can be when he has protection in a lineup when he played in the World Baseball Classic, a truly unnecessary tournament.
Wright is already one of the best Mets of all time. He signed on to stay with this troubled organization when he could have gone elsewhere, doing what very few other players would do (think Tony Gwynn).
What Wright is headed for, however, is the unfortunate experience of being a great player on a team that has not built around him. He is experiencing what Don Mattingly went through with all of those long meaningless seasons with the Yankees.
Wright is the main reason to go to Citi Field. The Mets have to build around him. If the Mets get good when he is in his last year or two, it will be a disservice. They need to put a lineup behind him so he gets good pitches to hit.
If the WBC showed us one thing it is that Wright can be doing so much more for the Mets if they allow him.