Long Island Homeowners Embrace NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program to Cut Energy Costs

Program’s First Year on Long Island Leads to 190 Energy Efficiency Projects that Save Homeowners an Average of $870 Annually

March 14, 2012

Homeowners on Long Island have completed 190 energy efficiency projects during the first year that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program has been available in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and participants are saving an average of $870 annually on their energy costs.

NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program uses a “whole-house” comprehensive assessment approach to home energy usage and provides cash-back incentives and low-cost financing to help pay for energy efficiency improvements made as a result of the assessment.

The assessment, free for most homeowners, is funded through Green Jobs - Green New York, a program created by New York State to significantly increase the number of energy efficiency improvements in the state while creating green jobs.

“Working in conjunction with the Long Island Power Authority, we are now able to offer all homeowners on Long Island – using any type of heating – the opportunity to reduce their energy use, cut their energy bills and improve the comfort of their homes,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “We hope more homeowners will make home energy efficiency improvements using the free energy assessments and low-cost financing that is available to them.”

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has had a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program on Long Island for some time, focusing on homes that heat with electricity or that heat with other fuels but have central air conditioning systems. The NYSERDA program complements LIPA’s program, providing incentives for homeowners who heat with gas, oil or propane.

Eligible energy improvements under the NYSERDA program include energy efficient furnaces and boilers, duct sealing, air sealing, insulation, energy efficient water heaters, doors and windows.

In part, the growth in the number of homes completing NYSERDA Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects in 2011 reflects the activities of the Long Island Green Homes Consortium, an organization that receives funding from NYSERDA and the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency on Long Island. Consortium members include the towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, Huntington, Islip, North Hempstead, Smithtown and Southampton; the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDC); and the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. The consortium joined with NYSERDA, LIPA, and National Grid in June 2011 to kick off a partnership to help homeowners on Long Island cut energy costs.

A recent study of 1,012 New York homeowners conducted on behalf of NYSERDA shows that 56 percent of homeowners polled plan to make home energy efficiency improvements, and 87 percent of those plan to do so within the next three years. A total of 1,012 homeowners participated in the study, which was conducted by KJT Research.

Through the NYSERDA Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, homeowners work with contractors trained in building science and accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). The contractor looks at the entire house, not just one room or a single problem area, and recommends improvements for saving energy.

The assessment is free for homeowners whose income is less than 200 percent of the state or area median income.

To help homeowners reduce the cost of installing energy efficiency upgrades, NYSERDA provides cash-back incentives and low-cost financing. As of January 30, on-bill recovery financing also has been available, enabling homeowners to pay for energy efficiency improvements through their utility bills, using the energy savings from the improvements to offset the cost of the work.

Homeowners may receive an incentive of 10 percent of the cost of eligible energy efficiency improvements, up to $3,000, from NYSERDA. Households with an income at or below 80 percent of state or area median income, whichever is greater, can receive a 50 percent subsidy of the cost of eligible energy efficiency improvements, up to $5,000.

Households with an income at or below 60 percent of the state median income may be eligible to receive free energy efficiency improvements through NYSERDA’s EmPower New York program or the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, a New York State Homes & Community Renewal Program administered by the Community Development Corporation of Long Island (CDC). For more information about these services, call 1-800-263-0960 (EmPower New York) or 1-631-471-1215 ext. 176 (CDC Weatherization Assistance Program).

Unless stated otherwise, NYSERDA incentives cannot be combined with LIPA incentives for the same measures.

Additional information about NYSERDA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program can be found at http://nyserda.ny.gov/home-performance.

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 11/26/2014