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What to Expect


Once you have received your letter of approval, a participating contractor will be in touch within a week to schedule an energy assessment of your home and its energy-using systems.

NYSERDA's 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 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 EmPower New York contractor will evaluate your electricity use and cost, and may provide some minor improvements at no cost. Examples include:

  • Install high efficiency lighting as needed
  • Review and adjust your thermostat setting for maximum comfort and savings
  • Check and adjust your hot water temperature
  • Evaluate the need for high efficiency showerheads and aerators, and install if needed
  • Measure the energy use of your refrigerators and freezers. These may be replaced with new ENERGY STAR models, at no cost to you, if your old appliances use a lot of energy
  • Check for carbon monoxide (CO) and evaluate the need for CO and smoke detectors

Depending on your energy use, your EmPower New York contractor may also evaluate the need for additional measures to reduce your heating cost.  Examples include:

  • Evaluate your heating system
  • 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 us 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 energy assessment, your EmPower New York contractor may recommend energy efficiency measures to NYSERDA. If the services are approved, the contractor will return to install them at no cost to you.

Once all of the work has been completed, your EmPower New York 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 participating contractors to ensure that the measures are installed correctly.

Details about the monthly electric bill credit from community solar*

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.