What to Expect
Once your EmPower+ application has been approved, you will receive notification on what incentive level your household qualifies for. Low-income households receive no-cost energy improvements whereas moderate-income households are eligible for a 50% cost share toward the cost of energy improvements.
A program contractor will be in touch, typically within a week, to schedule a home energy assessment of your home and to answer any questions you have about NYSERDA program offerings. In addition to program contractors, Regional Clean Energy Hubs are available statewide to provide you with information on both NYSERDA and other clean energy opportunities available in your area.
NYSERDA's program contractors take a “whole house” approach: they look at how your house is heated, how well it keeps the heat in, how electricity is used, and your daily in-home activity. The home energy assessment generally lasts one to three hours and identifies areas where energy efficiency, comfort and safety upgrades can be made.
During the initial visit, your program contractor will evaluate your electricity use and cost and may provide some minor improvements/health and safety items at no cost to you. Examples include:
- Install high efficiency lighting as needed
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Smoke Detector
- Furnace Filter/Furnace Slot Cover
- Shower Heads
- Door Sweep
Depending on your energy use, your program contractor may also evaluate the need for additional measures to reduce your heating costs. Examples include:
- Evaluate your existing heating system and identify opportunities for switching to clean heat alternatives.
- Inspect the heating distribution system: the ducts or pipes that bring you heat.
- Assess the insulation levels in the home, which usually involves probing the walls for insulation, inspecting the attic or roof insulation, measuring the home, and ensuring that insulation is in all the right places
- Measure the air leakage in the home, using a “blower door.” This device helps determine if the house is drafty, find the leaks, and make sure that the home still has sufficient fresh air after the work is done.
- Check for gas leaks if natural gas or propane are in use at the dwelling
On the basis of this home energy assessment, your program contractor may recommend energy efficiency measures to NYSERDA. If the services are approved, the contractor will review the energy efficiency improvements with you and discuss any out of pocket costs (if applicable).
Once all of the work has been completed, your program contractor will perform final tests to ensure that the energy efficiency measures are performing exactly as they should.
Before, during or after the work, you may be contacted by NYSERDA's Quality Assurance and Quality Control inspectors. These teams work independently from program contractors to ensure that the measures are installed correctly.
Details about the monthly electric bill credit from community solar*
For low-income households, after you have received your letter of approval, NYSERDA will work with your utility to connect your account to a local community solar project. This process may take several months, but we do this on your behalf, and you do not need to take any action.
Once the utility notifies NYSERDA that your account has been connected, we will send you a letter that states that you are officially assigned to a project. That letter will also have more information about when the credits will begin appearing on your electric bill. You will then start receiving between $5-$15 a month off your electric bill, reducing your monthly utility costs.
*Please be aware that the monthly electric bill credit from community solar not may not be available in all areas.