Frequently Asked Questions
- What is available through EmPower+ ?
- Can I get paid back for work I have already performed?
- How do I know if I qualify for EmPower+?
- What are some of the energy efficiency improvement that are available through EmPower+?
- Are heat pumps available through EmPower+?
- What are some services that EmPower+ does not provide?
- Does EmPower+ provide services to renters?
- Does my landlord have to be involved?
- Does my landlord have to pay anything?
- Who will be working on my EmPower+ project?
- Can I hire my own contractor?
- Do EmPower+ contractors perform code inspections?
- If I accept improvements from EmPower+, are you going to put a lien on my home? Am I required to pay the program back if I move or my income changes?
- I just had work done through EmPower or Assisted Home Performance, can I apply to EmPower+?
- Who do I contact if I have more questions?
- What happens if I’ve financed a portion of my energy efficiency project and I sell my home?
- How does the monthly electric bill credit from community solar work?
- What is EmPower+ and how is it different from EmPower New York and Assisted Home Performance?
Q: What is available through EmPower+ ?
A: EmPower+ provides low-to-moderate income households with access to incentives toward energy efficiency measures, no-cost home energy assessments, which identify all opportunities in the home, and no-cost direct install measures. For moderate-income customers, NYSERDA Financing is available to apply toward the balance of the project not covered by incentives.
Q: Can I get paid back for work I have already performed?
A: No—EmPower+ cannot fund work that has already been completed.
Q: How do I know if I qualify?
A: You may be eligible if the following are true:
- Your total household gross income meets the income guidelines or if you are receiving HEAP, SNAP, or public assistance.
- You reside in a single-family residence and are located in a geographically eligible territory.
Q: What are some of energy efficiency improvement that are available through EmPower+?
A: EmPower+ can provides incentives toward:
- Air sealing to reduce drafts.
- Added insulation to keep your home more comfortable.
- Replacement of old-style light bulbs with high-efficiency lighting.
- Replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers with new ENERGY STAR® certified models.
- Installation of clean heating and cooling heat pumps.
- A monthly electric bill credit of between $5-$15 from community solar (low-income households only).
- Everyday strategies and tips to help you manage your energy costs.
Q: Are heat pumps available through EmPower+?
A: NYSERDA ensures that heat pumps can be an affordable option for low and moderate-income households. To be installed through EmPower+, the house must meet certain minimum requirements. Please refer to Section 5.10 of the Program Manual for additional information.
Q: What are some services that EmPower+ does not provide?
A: EmPower+ does not provide:
- Generally roofs, whole house window replacements, whole house door replacements, extensive home repairs to address water damage or other health and safety concerns.
Q: Does EmPower+ provide services to renters?
A: Yes—EmPower+ provides energy services to anyone who owns or rents a home and meets all of the eligibility requirements. There are limited energy efficiency improvements a renter can receive without landlord/building owner consent.
Q: Does my landlord have to be involved?
A: No—EmPower+ can provide some limited electric reduction services to your apartment where possible, but landlords are encouraged to participate in order to provide you with a more comprehensive project.
Q: Does my landlord have to pay anything?
A: A landlord contribution is required for moderate income-eligible tenants, where EmPower+ is paying for 50% of the eligible workscope. For low-income eligible tenants, if a landlord contribution is required if the project exceeds program funding caps or for certain measures such as heating replacements.
Q: Who will be working on my EmPower+ project?
A: There is an entire team working to ensure that you receive the best services possible.
- NYSERDA administers the EmPower+ program.
- CLEAResult is the implementation contractor that coordinates the delivery of services to your household from the application process through the installation of upgrades in your home.
- An approved program contractor will install the energy improvements.
- Honeywell is the quality assurance contractor that ensure energy upgrades were installed in the best possible way to save you the most energy.
- Slipstream (Formerly EFS) provides loan origination services.
- Regional Clean Energy Hubs can assist you with your project and help identify other local offerings.
Q: Can I hire my own contractor?
A: No—but customers can select a from a list of program contractors or opt to have NYSERDA assign a program contractor for their project. These contractors are qualified and credentialed by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and other national organizations that set the technical standards for contractors in energy-efficient building performance.
Q: Do the contractors perform code inspections?
A: No—EmPower+ program contractors are not code inspectors.
Q: If I accept improvements from EmPower+, are you going to put a lien on my home? Am I required to pay the program back if I move or my income changes?
A: No, there is no cost or future obligation when you participate in EmPower+.
Q:I just had work done through EmPower or AHP, can I apply to EmPower+?
A: The Assisted Home Performance and EmPower programs historically had set project incentive caps and a household could participate in the program multiple times until the project incentive caps were reached. Once the project incentive caps were reached, the household could not participate in the program again for three years. Following this three year period, the program caps reset, and the household was once again able to participate in the program. This three year lookback for EmPower and AHP will remain in place with EmPower+.
Q: Who do I contact if I have more questions?
A: Please don’t hesitate to call 1-877-NYSMART for more information or reach out to a Regional Clean Energy Hub.
Q: What happens if I’ve financed a portion of my energy efficiency project and I sell my home?
A: If you have financed your energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements with an On-Bill Recovery Loan through the Green Jobs Green NY Residential Loan program, you can either pay off the loan in full prior to or at the time of sale of the property you can transfer the loan to the buyer, provided you have given written notice of the loan to the new buyer. This written notice must be provided to the buyer prior to accepting a purchase offer and must contain all of the following information: (1) notice that the property is subject to a Green Jobs-Green New York on-bill recovery charge; (2) the total amount of the original charge; (3) the payment schedule and the approximate remaining balance; (4) a description of the energy efficiency services performed, including improvements to the Property, and an explanation of the benefit of the Green Jobs-Green New York qualified energy efficiency services; and, (5) a statement concerning the collection of information which states that the purchaser agrees to authorize their utility company to provide to NYSERDA, upon request, information on their energy usage and other sources of energy used in the Property. All information collected by NYSERDA will be kept confidential and will be used exclusively for the purposes of evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the on-bill recovery program on an on-going basis.
If you have financed your energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements with a Smart Energy Loan through the Green Jobs Green NY Residential Loan program, you will remain responsible for the balance of the loan which you can either payoff with no pre-pay penalty or continue paying the monthly installments. A Smart Energy Loan is not transferrable to a new buyer.
Q: How does the monthly electric bill credit from community solar work?
A: For eligible low-income EmPower+ participants, you may receive credits on your monthly electric bills from community solar, where available. There is no cost for this or future obligation, and this will not impact any assistance you may already be receiving from HEAP or a utility bill assistance program. Nothing is installed at your home- community solar is a group of panels that are installed at a site in your community rather than on individual roofs. Please be aware that community solar project may not be available in all areas.
You may opt-out of receiving the community solar electric bill credits by submitting an email to [email protected]. If you do not have access to email, please call 877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278) and a representative can submit your opt-out request on your behalf.
Q: What is EmPower+ and how is it different from EmPower and Assisted Home Performance?
A: Historically, EmPower New York (EmPower) provided no-cost energy improvements for households earning 60% or less than the State Median Income. Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (Assisted Home Performance) provided a 50% cost-share toward energy efficiency measures for households earning between 60 and 80% of the Area/State Median Income. NYSERDA is now combining these separate offerings into one program called EmPower+.
For customers, in addition to the low income tier currently served by EmPower, EmPower+ will also serve the moderate-income households who historically participated in Assisted Home Performance .