LIFE Webinar Series

Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) LogoTo further the dialogue between stakeholders throughout the low-income energy community, the Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) is proud to host the LIFE Webinar Series. The LIFE Webinar Series serves as a venue for communicating information on assistance programs and current topics relevant to the low-income energy field to those involved in addressing the energy needs of low-income energy consumers. The Webinar Series is open to all and is available at no cost.

Upcoming Webinars

USDA’s Opportunities for Low-Income Households in Rural New York – Home Repair and Home Purchase Programs

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
1:30–2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Jennifer Jackson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Their programs promote economic development and provide technical assistance to help communities move toward empowerment. To support rural households in homeownership, the USDA provides affordable loans and grants to low-income applicants to purchase and repair homes located in rural areas. Learn more about these programs and how you can partner with USDA to better serve your client’s home repair and energy efficiency needs.

Register for the USDA’s Opportunities for Low-Income Households in Rural New York webinar.

Best Practices for Low- to Moderate-income Community Solar

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
1:30-2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Eric O’Shaughnessy, National Renewable Energy Lab

Community solar is one policy tool to increase solar access in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. The efficacy and sustainability of LMI community solar programs depend on several factors such as program structure, financing, incentives, and customer outreach. The National Renewable Energy Lab is researching LMI community solar program designs implemented by state agencies and proposed in the literature. This research will inform policymakers about lessons learned and best practices in LMI community solar programs. Join this webinar to stay current on the latest community solar models benefiting low-income communities.

Register for the Best Practices for LMI Solar webinar

Previous Webinars:

Renewable Heat NY: High-Efficiency Low-Emission Biomass Heating in New York State

Thursday, September 21 2017 
1:30 2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Matt McQuinn, NYSERDA

Homeowners throughout New York State spend a significant portion of their household income on heating bills, especially when volatile fossil fuel markets cause oil and propane prices to rise. When fossil fuel prices rise many rural areas of the state witness an increase in homeowners turning to wood, a locally-sourced and relatively inexpensive, fuel to heat their homes. This session will provide an overview of Renewable Heat NY, an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo to provide more affordable advanced biomass heating options to homeowners and help build the high-efficiency, low-emissions biomass heating industry in New York State. Join this webinar to learn about the incentives available for advanced cordwood boilers, pellet boilers, and pellet stoves—including information about additional incentives for income-qualified households. 

View the Renewable Heat New York webinar slides. [PDF]

Download the Renewable Heat New York webinar. [MP4]

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How Partnerships Can Expand Renewable Access to Multifamily Affordable Housing

Friday, August 22, 2017
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. ET
Presenter: Benjamin Cuozzo, GRID Alternatives Tri-State

Renewable energy can help drive environmental benefits and economic growth for communities most impacted by climate change, pollution and underemployment. GRID Alternatives is a national leader in helping low-income communities and communities of color get access to clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs, and our energy access work is lighting up off-grid communities across the globe. Its local affiliate office, GRID Alternatives Tri-State, is working throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to push this vision forward.

GRID Alternatives Tri-State has launched partnerships with other industry stakeholders such as Solar One, Co-op Power, and the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) to expand low- to moderate income (LMI) access to clean energy technologies to the multifamily affordable housing market. By innovating cooperative ownership models and impact investment, the Affordable Solar New York (ASNY) Partnership is working to increase adoption of solar PV by all forms and sizes of affordable housing developers. GRID Alternatives is also working in conjunction with AEA to offer multifamily affordable housing owners the opportunity to undertake deep efficiency retrofits, and further increase savings through direct behind-the-meter solar PV installations, or helping their tenants enjoy the benefits of solar PV through community shared solar models.

This webinar will discuss these ongoing partnerships in terms of lessons learned and from the perspective of how leveraging partnerships with other local community benefit organizations can drive better results for programs and a better experience for beneficiaries. 

View the Leveraging Partnerships to Create Opportunities webinar slides. [PDF]

Download the Leveraging Partnerships to Create Opportunities webinar.[MP4]

View Leveraging Partnerships to Create Opportunities webinar streaming online Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. 

Solar Options for Low-Income New Yorkers

1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Presenter: Michelle Andry, NYSERDA

New York State residents now have many paths to participating in solar, from buying or leasing a rooftop solar system to subscribing to a local community solar installation. For low-income households, solar can provide long-term financial benefits for those struggling with high energy costs in addition to being a source of clean, local energy. New York State is committed to expanding access to renewable energy to low- to moderate-income households and communities, including solar energy options. On this webinar, options for accessing solar that are currently available will be discussed in terms of their key differences and benefits from the perspective of a low-to-moderate income household. In addition, webinar participants will learn about new NYSERDA programs and funding opportunities that support solar projects for low-to-moderate income homeowners, multifamily affordable housing providers, and local organizations looking to engage low-income households in community solar.

View the Residential Solar Options in New York for Low-Income Households webinar slides. [PDF]

Download the Residential Solar Options in New York for Low-Income Households webinar. [MP4]

View the Residential Solar Options in New York for Low-Income Households webinar streaming online.Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

 

The NYS Weatherization Assistance Program: Greener, Healthier and Safer Housing for Low-Income Households

Thursday, June 29, 2017
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET
Presenter: Tom Carey, NYS Homes and Community Renewal

New York State’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest residential energy conservation programs in the United States. Administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) through its Office of Housing Preservation, WAP installs energy efficiency, health, and safety measures in homes occupied by income-eligible individuals and families to improve the energy efficiency of their dwellings and to reduce their energy costs. Since the inception of the Program in 1977, more than 688,000 dwelling units have been assisted. During the 2016-2017 program year, WAP served nearly 8,000 households, reducing energy costs by more than 20%, on average. Find out how this vital program stays relevant through innovation, careful monitoring, and a focus on measurable results. Staff from NYS Homes and Community Renewal will provide an update on the program, review current initiatives, and discuss some of the program’s accomplishments.

View the NYS Weatherization Assistance Program webinar slides [PDF]

Download the NYS Weatherization Assistance Program webinar [MP4]

View the NYS Weatherization Assistance Program webinar streaming onlineLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. 

What Can PACE Financing Do for Affordable Housing?

Thursday, March 23, 2017
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET

Presenters: Mark Thielking, Energize NY and Jeanine Baney, Drum Hill Senior Living

Join Energize NY’s founder and Executive Director Mark Thielking and Jeanine Baney, Finance Director of Drum Hill, to learn about the PACE Finance program and how it can support energy efficiency goals in affordable and multifamily housing.

Drum Hill Senior Living’s 120-unit affordable independent living facility in Peekskill, NY, recently underwent major energy efficiency upgrades. Built in 1909 as a school and last renovated in 1999, the Drum Hill facility was facing to $50,000 to repair its antiquated furnace. Energize NY’s PACE Finance program allowed them the access to capital needed to upgrade their facility to the benefit of residents’ comfort and property owners financial concerns. One hundred percent of project capital for the energy efficiency upgrades was provided through Energize NY’s PACE Finance program, which was designed to scale the adoption of energy reduction in New York State’s buildings and is made available by local municipalities. Energize NY also provided guidance that helped Drum Hill maximize savings.

“We knew that we needed to upgrade our heating system, but we were not sure how we could afford to pay for it,” said Jeanine Baney, Drum Hill’s Finance Director, “PACE financing provided a practical and affordable solution, which enabled us to address a lot of our energy issues comprehensively, with no upfront costs and without having to tap our credit lines or reduce amenities for our residents.”

Find out how much energy Drum Hill is saving, what measures they chose to implement, the return on investment of those measures, how it was paid for, and what the facility has envisioned for the future. Webinar attendees will also learn where Energize NY PACE finance is available statewide and how to qualify.

View the PACE Financing webinar slides [PDF]

Download the PACE Financing Webinar [MP4]

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Building Better Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Households

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenter: Ariel Drehobl, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy

Of the total spending on residential energy efficiency programs in 2014, 18 percent of electric efficiency expenditures and 34 percent of natural gas efficiency spending went toward low-income programs. Particularly for electricity expenditures, there is a need for more equitable spending on efficiency programs targeted to low-income households, which make up roughly 33 percent of the population nationally.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)’s recent report Building Better Energy Efficiency Programs for Low-Income Households addresses the key questions and challenges around low-income programs for single-family homes. It draws from a range of programs to provide recommendations for increasing the savings and reach of efficiency programming in this sector. Join this webinar to learn about practices that program administrators are using to overcome challenges and to explore strategies to use underutilized technologies and measures to realize greater savings. 

View the Building Better EE Program for Low-Income Households webinar [PDF]

Download the Building Better EE Program for Low-Income Households webinar [MP4]

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Creating a Nonprofit Hub for Energy Assistance 

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Time 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenters: Jennifer Gremmert, Deputy Director, Energy Outreach Colorado

Energy Outreach Colorado, a private, nonprofit organization, works with a statewide network of community assistance organizations, contractors and vendors to assist low-income consumers with energy affordability and energy assistance. The organization has helped struggling Coloradans avoid the despair of coming home to a dark, cold home with no hot water or working appliances. Through 2016, Energy Outreach has raised nearly $300 million, delivered energy assistance to hundreds of thousands of Colorado families, upgraded the energy efficiency of more than 38,000 housing units and 325 non-profit organizations and saved low-income ratepayers millions through their advocacy work.

Energy Outreach Colorado supports energy affordability in Colorado through three distinct strategies:

  • Provide emergency assistance for limited-income households at risk of having their home energy disconnected or whose home energy system is non-functioning;
  • Reduce energy costs and usage by providing energy efficiency upgrades and energy behavior change education for affordable housing communities and nonprofit facilities;
  • Advocate on behalf of limited-income consumers at the local, state and national level to support equitable energy policies

View the Creating a Nonprofit Hub for Energy Assistance webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Creating a Nonprofit Hub for Energy Assistance webinar [MP4]

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Bringing the Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to Low-Income Communities

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenter: Victoria Ludwig, State and Local Climate and Energy Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Energy efficiency and renewable energy provide multiple benefits to low-income communities, including cost savings, job creation, improved air quality, and healthier homes. To highlight promising practices for implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy options in low-income communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a resource: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities: a Guide to EPA ProgramsLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

This guide helps state and local staff connect with EPA initiatives that can assist them in expanding or developing their own energy efficiency and renewable energy in ways that benefit low-income communities. The guide can also be used by low-income community leaders and stakeholder groups to better understand the benefits of participating in EPA initiatives to help community members save energy costs, improve the health and safety of their homes, and protect the environment. In addition, the EPA is developing a series of case studies and program profiles to highlight effective efforts by state and local agencies, non-profits, and utilities to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities. EPA selected programs for inclusion based on their demonstrated ability to achieve results through on-the-ground implementation and their potential to be scalable, replicable, and sustainable, and to highlight a diverse range of communities (geography, size) and types of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Join this webinar to learn more about these informational resources intended to help state and local energy, environmental, housing, and social services agencies, non-profits, and utilities understand successful models that they can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by bringing energy efficiency and renewable energy to low-income communities.

View the Bringing Benefits to Low-Income Communities webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Bringing Benefits to Low-Income Communities webinar [MP4]

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Emerging Low-Income Clean Energy Solutions

Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Time 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenters: Rocky Mountain Institute eLab Leap Team

Join Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in this webinar featuring their latest research on emerging business models intended to provide clean energy solutions for low-income households and communities. In this hour, RMI's eLab Leap Team will profile specific examples of business models and explain how they are working to: (i) leverage public and private capital, (ii) streamline customer engagement, and (iii) lower costs of delivery to serve those customers who stand to benefit most from distributed energy benefits. Examples will include those featured in RMI's recent Insight Brief — Breaking Ground - New Models that Deliver Energy Solutions to Low-income Customers — and more.

View the Emerging Low-Income Clean Energy Solutions webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Emerging Low-Income Clean Energy Solutions webinar [MP4]

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HEAP Updates for the 2016-2017 Heating Season

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET

Presenter: Emily Maher Cmaylo, Center for Employment and Economic Supports, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost. The program also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat‐related emergency. This webinar provides updates on HEAP for 2016-2017 heating season.

View the Heap Updates webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Heap Updates webinar [MP4]

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Update on ESCOs

Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenter: Christine Bosy, Office of Consumer Services
NYS Department of Public Service

In February 2016, the NYS Public Service Commission took action to immediately address unfair business practices found in the retail energy market to ensure residential and small non-residential (mass market) customers are receiving value from energy service companies (ESCOs). Case 15-M-0127 prohibits ESCOs from entering into new ESCO contracts with mass market customers unless they provide guaranteed cost savings, or provide at least 30% renewable energy. The February Order also strengthens the process for revoking an ESCO’s eligibility to do business in New York if it is found to be in violation of State regulations. This webinar will cover all the important aspects of this proceeding and the Commission’s continued review of services that may benefit energy consumers.

 

View the Update on ESCOs webinar slides [PDF].

Due to technical difficulties, a recording of the Update on ESCO’s webinar is not available.

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Heat Seek: Helping New York City Renters Resolve Home Heating Issues 

Date: Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Time: 1:30pm-2:30pm ET

Presenter: Noelle Francois, Heat Seek

Heat Seek helps tenants resolve their home heating issues by providing the objective, reliable temperature data they need to hold their landlords accountable when they don't provide sufficient heat in the wintertime. 

Heat Seek staff and volunteers install low cost, web-connected temperature sensors in buildings across New York City at the beginning of heat season (Oct 1 - May 31), and they remain in place throughout the winter. The temperature sensors monitor the temperature by taking a reading once per hour, and readings are transmitted via 3G internet to the Heat Seek web app, where they are recorded in the tenant’s account. The web app incorporates the outdoor temperature, the time of day, and time of year in order to identify whether or not a building is in violation of NYC housing code. Tenants and their advocates can access the web app at any time to view their readings, and can download heat logs for use in tenant-landlord negotiations and/or housing court. 

During the winter of 2015-2016, Heat Seek ran a pilot program in 50 buildings throughout four boroughs. Buildings were sought out by the following criteria: 

  1. an organized tenant association,
  2. at a high risk for continued landlord abuse, as identified by Heat Seek partner organizations, and
  3. stated willingness to bring a group case to housing court, if necessary.

This webinar presentation by the Executive Director of Heat Seek provides an opportunity to learn about the initiative and the outcomes of their 2015-2016 pilot program. 

View the Heat Seek webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Heat Seek webinar [MP4]

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Overview of Emergency Energy Benefits Available through the Departments of Social Services

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenters: Saima Akhtar and Ray Burke, Empire Justice Center

Assisting low-income New Yorkers in finding all of the resources available to them is an essential part of what those in the human service field provide. This session will help attendees navigate that process by providing an overview of emergency and energy assistance benefits available to low-income households through their local Departments of Social Services and discuss advocating for clients to receive the full benefits to which they are entitled.

View the Emergency Benefits webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Emerging Benefits webinar [MP4]

View the Emergency Benefits webinar streaming online

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Planning Guide for Improving Community Disaster Resilience

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Presenters: Erich Gunther, National Institute of Standards and Technology Disaster Research Fellow, Ronda Mosley, Public Technology Institute

Low-income populations tend to be especially vulnerable to extreme weather, earthquakes, and other hazards that inflict tremendous costs. Although communities can’t stop natural hazards and have only limited ability to prevent technological- and human-caused hazards from occurring, they can minimize disastrous consequences through better planning and becoming more resilient.  Certainly, a robust physical infrastructure is vital in delivering energy to communities and in minimizing disruption from these hazards. But energy systems also depend on -- and are crucial to -- other parts of the community’s built environment, including physical infrastructures. A new Planning Guide from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides a practical approach to help communities set priorities and allocate resources to improve their resilience.

During this webinar, representatives of NIST and the Public Technology Institute will review the Guide, with a focus on energy systems as they relate to low-income communities. In addition, the audience will be introduced to the Community Resilience Panel for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, a new nonprofit panel that will recommend approaches and best practices that communities can use as they seek to become more resilient.

View the Planning Guide webinar slides [PDF]

Download the Planning Guide webinar [MP4]

View the Planning Guide webinar streaming online

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FEMA's America's PrepareAthon and American Red Cross' Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

Presenters: Eric Goldman (contractor), FEMA Region 2 and James Segerson, American Red Cross

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Representatives from FEMA and the American Red Cross join the LIFE Webinar Series to discuss two initiatives important to low-income community resiliency.

Every community experiences emergencies and severe weather, yet fewer than 50% of Americans feel prepared to handle a disaster. Research has shown knowing what to do when a disaster strikes is critical, especially when seconds matter the most. But it takes practice. Practicing what to do, where to go and how to stay safe during an emergency empowers individuals and the entire community. America’s PrepareAthon! was launched in 2013 as a national, grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience through hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises. The goals of the campaign are to increase the number of individuals who:

  • Understand which disasters could happen in their community
  • Know what to do to be safe and mitigate damage
  • Take action to increase their preparedness
  • Participate in community resilience planning

Home fires are the greatest disaster threat to American families. Seven people die every day from home fires. A fire-related injury is reported every 40 minutes. Annually, home fires cause 2,500 deaths and roughly $7 billion in property damage. The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign aims to save lives, reduce injuries and build more resilient communities through raising awareness, facilitating preventative actions, and fostering community participation. The national goal is a 25% reduction in home fire deaths and injuries in the next five years.

View the PreparAThon and Home Fire Preparedness webinar slides [PDF]

Download the PreparAThon and Home Fire Preparedness webinar [MP4]

View the PreparAThon and Home Fire Preparedness webinar streaming online

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Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) National Evaluations

Presenters: Bruce Tonn, Three3, Inc. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET 

The U.S. Department of Energy sponsored two multiyear peer-reviewed national evaluations of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), resulting in a statement of positive outcomes showing the program is strong and continues to operate in a cost-effective manner with many ancillary benefits such as good health, safety, and employment support. The evaluation efforts were led by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and are divided among a Retrospective Evaluation and a Recovery Act Evaluation. Both evaluations will be discussed.

View the WAP National Evaluations webinar presentation slides [PDF]

Download the WAP National Evaluations webinar [MP4]

View the WAP National Evaluations webinar streaming online

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Impact of Supplier Choice Programs on LIHEAP Clients and LIHEAP Agencies

Presenter: Aimee Gendusa-English, Citizens Utility Board of Illinois

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois will provide an overview of what gas and electric deregulation is and what states have it now or will have it soon. CUB has found that in Illinois most consumers do not save money with alternative suppliers, and low-income customers are disproportionately affected in a variety of ways. CUB will illustrate how deregulation works in Illinois, highlight the biggest issues advocates have faced and how some have been resolved. The presentation will also illustrate the issues LIHEAP staff and LIHEAP clients face when it comes to processing applications from customers with third-party suppliers and how posting funds to such accounts can increase labor and drain funds.

View the Impact of Supplier Choice Programs on LIHEAP Clients and Agencies presentation slides [PDF]

Download the Impact of Supplier Choice Programs on LIHEAP Clients and Agencies webinar [MP4]

View the Impact of Supplier Choice Programs on LIHEAP Clients and Agencies webinar streaming online

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2015 NY-Sun's Affordable Solar Program

Presenter:
Michelle Andry, NYSERDA

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

In October 2015, NYSERDA’s NY-Sun program launched Affordable Solar, to expand solar energy access to households most in need of the electricity cost reductions that solar provides. Affordable Solar doubles NYSERDA incentives for residential solar projects for households earning less than 80 percent of the area or state median income, which often lack access to sufficient up-front capital to purchase a solar installation. This webinar will focus on the details of Affordable Solar, including program requirements and the application process. In addition, strategies for integrating Affordable Solar with existing community and regional efforts to increase low-income participation and benefit from clean energy such as solar will be discussed. Finally, the presentation will provide an update on the recent rollout of Community Distributed Generation by the NYS Public Service Commission, which is expected to reduce many of the barriers to solar participation for low-income households and renters through “shared solar.”

View the NY-Sun's Affordable Solar Program presentation slide [PDF]

Watch the NY-Sun's Affordable Solar Program webinar [MP4]

View the NY-Sun's Affordable Solar webinar streaming online 

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Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing in Vermont

Presenters:
Elizabeth Chant, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Allison Donovan, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET 

In 2012, Tropical Storm Irene tore through Vermont, wreaking more destruction on mobile homes than other housing type. Mobile and manufactured homes are an important part of Vermont’s affordable housing stock, and the effort to rebuild focused on creating something that was more durable, affordable, and sustainable. Affordable housing providers partnered with energy efficiency experts and a modular home builder to create the VerMod, which is a modular home built to fit on the footprint of a mobile home. With solar PV, the home is net zero in energy use, even in Vermont’s harsh winter climate. Most important, this all-electric healthy home can be financed as real property. Vermont is well into its program, with more than two dozen homes placed, and the team is now working to bring the model to other states.

View the Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing presentation slides [PDF]

Download the Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing webinar [MP4]

View the Net Zero Energy Affordable Housing webinar streaming online

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2015 HEAP Updates for the 2015-2016 Heating Season

Presenter: Andrew Bryk, Center for Employment and Economic Supports, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost. The program also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat‐related emergency. This webinar provides updates on HEAP for 2015-2016 heating season.

View the HEAP Updates for the 2015-2016 Heating Season presentation slides [PDF]

Download the HEAP Updates for the 2015-2016 Heating Season webinar [MP4]

View the HEAP Updates for the 2015-2016 Heating Season webinar streaming online

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Best Practices for Maintaining an Anti-Poverty Network

Presenters:
Serena Rice, New Jersey Anti-Poverty Network
Jim Jacob, New Jersey SHARES

Wednesday, September 16, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

What can be done to start, continue, and grow a successful anti-poverty network that draws on the possibilities of as many like-minded organizations and individuals as possible? How does such a network take action to achieve the objective of reducing and ending poverty? What lessons can be learned from those who are currently engaged with an anti-poverty network? Join Serena Rice, Executive Director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, and Jim Jacob, CEO of New Jersey SHARES, to discuss best practices for maintaining an anti-poverty network.

The Anti-Poverty Network of Network of New Jersey (APN) is a nonprofit membership organization that seeks the prevention, reduction, and end of poverty in New Jersey. APN works to address both the causes and consequences of poverty through five core strategic activities: information sharing; community education; partnership building; providing a framework for public discourse on the causes, effects, and remedies of poverty; and advocating for effective policies and programs. New Jersey SHARES (NJS) is a statewide non-profit corporation providing assistance to individuals and families in need of help meeting their energy and utility burden. Through advocacy, community outreach, education, information and referral, NJS connects low and moderate income households with available resources to meet their ongoing needs.

View the Building a Statewide Anti-Poverty Coalition presentation slides [PDF]

Download the Building a Statewide Anti-Poverty Coalition webinar [MP4]

View the Building a Statewide Anti-Poverty Coalition webinar streaming online

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Implications of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act for Low-Income Communities

Presenters:
Skip Arnold, Energy Outreach Colorado
Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado
Chris Hickling, Edison Electric Institute
Emily Fisher, Edison Electric Institute

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

The national Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to combat a variety of air pollution problems and to establish air quality standards for certain common and widespread pollutants. Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act specifically calls for the reduction of certain pollutant emissions from existing sources, including power plants. Under Section 111(d) of the Act, EPA has proposed greenhouse gas reduction goals for a fleet of existing fossil fuel-fired power plants in the states. Once the EPA proposal is final, individual states will be required to adopt enforceable plans to achieve these goals. However, the goals and implementation strategies intended to reduce these emissions will differ among states and, therefore, among regions and communities in those states. Join representatives of Energy Outreach Colorado and the Edison Electric Institute for a discussion about the implications of Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act for low-income communities.

View the Clean Air Act presentation slides [PDF].

Download the Clean Air Act webinar [MP4].

View the Clean Air Act webinar streaming online.

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Community in Action: An Energy Education Opportunity

Presenters: Kelly Flowers, National Energy Foundation; Gary Swan, National Energy Foundation; Mary Thompson Grassi, National Energy Foundation
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Community in Action is an educational opportunity where people in the local neighborhood learn about energy and energy efficiency. Schools earn an educational grant for hosting with additional grant dollars earned based on participation. At these one-hour workshops, participants learn about:

  • Explore prepaid service technology,
  • Look at case studies from the U.S. and abroad,
  • Discuss the policy objectives and benefits that have been associated with prepaid service,
  • Identify consumer protections needed to ensure that the integrity of participants’ home energy security is retained, and
  • Review the menu of program and policy options available to achieve objectives identified by prepaid service proponents.

In addition, participants receive energy efficiency kits with which to put their new knowledge into action in their homes and neighborhoods.

Join Kelly Flowers, Gary Swan, and Mary Thompson Grassi of the National Energy Foundation to learn about the Community in Action workshop model and share ideas about how similar workshops might be best implemented in New York State communities.

View the Community in Action presentation slides [PDF].

Download the Community in Action webinar [MP4].

View the Community in Action presentation streaming online.

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Prepaid Electricity Utility Service: The Need for Essential Consumer Protections

Presenter: John Howat, National Consumer Law Center
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

With the installation of increasing numbers of digital electric meters with remote disconnection capabilities, some utilities are considering whether to propose implementation of prepaid service programs. With prepaid service, customers pay in advance for service and face remote disconnection soon after prepaid credits are exhausted. In this webinar we will:

  • Explore prepaid service technology,
  • Look at case studies from the U.S. and abroad,
  • Discuss the policy objectives and benefits that have been associated with prepaid service,
  • Identify consumer protections needed to ensure that the integrity of participants’ home energy security is retained, and
  • Review the menu of program and policy options available to achieve objectives identified by prepaid service proponents.

Please join in to consider what essential consumer protections are necessary when considering the implementation of prepaid electricity utility service.

View the Prepaid Electric Service: Consumer Protections presentation slides [PDF].

Download the Prepaid Electric Utility Service: Consumer Protections webinar.

View the Prepaid Electric Utility Service: Consumer Protections streaming online.

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Ohio's Percentage of Income Payment Plan

Presenter: Dave Rinebolt, Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

The State of Ohio offers customers with incomes under 150 percent of the federal poverty line a Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The Plan dates to 1983 and was significantly revised in 2010. Recent changes converted the Plan into an affordable rate plan with the bill determined by the customer’s household income. Ohio integrates this plan with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, fuels funds, and utility-funded weatherization programs. The coordinated programs use a single application and are administered by a single state agency in conjunction with a statewide network of local nonprofits. In addition, the coordinated programs use a centralized web-based eligibility and benefits system that sends benefit obligations directly into utility billing systems.

During this webinar, Dave Rinebolt, who serves as the executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, a statewide nonprofit that works with all the nonprofit agencies working in the PIPP, will explain this coordinated effort. Mr. Rinebolt was intimately involved in the 2010 program revision and was instrumental in putting electric PIPP in statute in 1999.

Download the Ohio's Percentage of Income Payment Plan webinar.
View the Ohio's Percentage of Income Payment Plan webinar streaming online.


Citizens Utility Board of Illinois Utility Bill Clinic

Presenter: Aimee Gendusa-English, Citizens Utility Board of Illinois
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois is an independent, nonprofit watchdog group tasked with protecting utility ratepayers from unnecessary costs. In its 30 year history, CUB has saved consumers more than $20 billion by blocking rate hikes and winning refunds, pushing for tougher consumer protection laws, and tireless public information and education campaigns, prompting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to call CUB “(t)he gold standard for consumer groups nationally”.

One of CUB’s most popular services is called a “Utility Bill Clinic”. These events evolved to help consumers navigate the pitfalls of phone, gas and electric deregulation, and public interest grew as Illinois adopted advanced metering infrastructure and expanded energy efficiency incentive programs. Clinics center around one-on-one utility bill reviews, in which CUB staff screen bills for unnecessary charges, expensive rates, and high energy consumption. Strong partnerships with LIHEAP offices and Public Housing Authorities suggest that clinics may draw greater turnout and yield more demonstrable results than some initiatives specifically targeted at low-income households. In this session, CUB explains how framing events in terms of “spotting hidden fees” and “avoiding scams” draws consumers who might not normally attend a seminar about “energy efficiency”. Moreover, CUB will provide examples of how the individualized format fosters teachable moments and creates opportunities to make household-specific suggestions for reducing energy consumption, and often concludes with directly enrolling client accounts in a variety of efficiency programs.

Download the Citizens Utility Board of Illinois Utility Bill Clinic webinar.
View the Citizens Utility Board of Illinois Utility Bill Clinic webinar streaming online

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Low-Income Consumer Decision Making

Presenters: Nat Treadway, Distributed Energy Financial Group, LLC and Judith Schwartz, To the Point
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Distributed Energy Financial Group’s Low Income Energy Issues Forum is focused on innovative and integrated policies and approaches that help close the widening gap between what vulnerable energy consumers can pay and their current utility bills. The Forum is comprised of utilities, regulators, energy assistance administrators and others who are taking a fresh look at the best ways to provide utility services and bill payment assistance to low-income energy consumers. This webinar will examine low-income customer decision making in the context of current regulatory practices and highlight seven elements that appear to consistently yield the greatest possibilities for success.

Download the Low-Income Consumer Decision Making webinar.
View the Low-Income Consumer Decision Making webinar streaming online

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Best Practices for Low-Income Energy Assistance Programs

Presenter: Donna Boyce, Solix, Inc.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Solix will examine best practices for program oversight and management in low-income energy assistance programs. Through both “certification” (initial enrollment) and “re-certification (continued enrollment), Solix has designed and implemented technologies and processes to ensure qualification is accurate, efficient, and able to stand up to the most thorough compliance audit.

Download the Best Practices for Low-Income Energy Programs webinar .
View the Best Practices for Low-Income Energy Programs webinar streaming online.

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Navigating New York State’s Oil Heat Industry

Presenter: Kevin Rooney, Oil Heat Institute of Long Island
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Join the LIFE Webinar Series for a conversation with Kevin Rooney, long-time CEO of the Oil Heat Institute of Long Island on what this winter has in store for New York’s oil heating homeowners. Kevin will discuss heating oil supply, price, and weather projections. In addition, he will provide simple, inexpensive, cost-effective weatherization and energy conservation tips for low-income homeowners.

Download the Navigating New York State’s Oil Heat Industry webinar.
View the Navigating New York State’s Oil Heat Industry webinar streaming online.

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HEAP Updates for the 2014-2015 Heating Season

Presenter: Andrew Bryk, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
1:30pm-2:30pm ET

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that issues heating benefits to supplement a household’s annual energy cost. The program also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat‐related emergency. This webinar provides updates on HEAP for 2014-2015 heating season.

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Solar One’s Whole Buildings Green Education for Affordable Housing Communities

Presenter: Gary Smith, Solar One
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

The goal of energy efficiency faces unique challenges and opportunities in affordable housing communities. In order to address energy efficiency issues unique to affordable housing, Solar One: New York City’s Green Energy and Education Center, has created a Whole Buildings Green Education for Affordable Housing Communities education and training program. The Whole Buildings program works with an entire building community to save energy and promote sustainable living. Solar One works with building operators, residents, and owners to identify measures to improve building performance, answer technical questions about building efficiency, reduce heating and electrical costs, and address common energy efficiency and sustainability measures. Whole Buildings fosters environmental literacy by reviewing relevant local laws, efficiency incentives, and the science behind building efficiency. This webinar will address the importance of, and Solar One’s experience with, delivering sustainability programming to staff, managers, and residents of affordable housing buildings in New York City. Gary Smith, Solar One’s Tenant Education Program Coordinator, will provide tips and focus on case studies, showing ways to engage the entire building community to cooperate toward the goal of energy efficiency.

Download the Solar One’s Whole Buildings Green Education for Affordable Housing webinar.
View the Solar One’s Whole Buildings Green Education for Affordable Housing webinar streaming online.

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Communications Lifeline: Universal, Affordable Phone Service for Low-Income Households

Presenter: Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Having phone service is essential for many aspects of modern life – from being able to call 911, to being reachable for additional work shifts, to staying connected to family and the larger community. The federal Lifeline program provides discounted phone service for eligible low-income households. There are a range of Lifeline phone service providers and products – from wireline to wireless, and from the "free" prepaid wireless cell phones to the more traditional discounted basic phone service with a monthly bill. Lifeline has undergone dramatic changes in the past few years. How consumers enroll and stay on the program has changed with the new program rules. There are also policy debates going on right now that will shape the evolution of Lifeline in national efforts to close the broadband divide. Olivia Wein of the National Consumer Law Center will provide an update on these changes and the implications and outcomes for low-income customers.

Download the Communications Lifeline: Universal, Affordable Phone Service for Low-Income Households webinar.
View the Communications Lifeline: Universal, Affordable Phone Service for Low-Income Households streaming online.

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The Foreclosure Crisis and the National Mortgage Settlement: Impacts on New York State

Presenter: Olivia Wein, National Consumer Law Center
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

The New York Attorney General (NY AG) has been a leader in holding banks accountable for their role in the national foreclosure crisis. Beginning with the National Mortgage Settlement, an historic Agreement between the federal government and 49 States in 2012, the NY AG’s leadership in this area has brought substantial relief to struggling New Yorkers trying to recover from the housing and economic crises. Settlements have included direct relief to homeowners in the form of mortgage modifications in addition to cash settlements to states, which the NY AG has used to launch a series of programs which address the foreclosure crisis in a comprehensive way. Settlements have also included a series of mandates aimed at reforming the way banks treat customers who are seeking mortgage modification assistance. The NY AG has played a leadership role in holding banks accountable in terms of implementing those reforms. Dina Levy of the New York State Office of the Attorney General will cover each of these topics, including a discussion about how the foreclosure crisis is currently playing out in New York State and where the NY AG will direct his focus in the coming months.

Download the Foreclosure Crisis: Impacts in New York State webinar.
View the Foreclosure Crisis: Impacts in New York State webinar streaming online.

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Energy Information Engagement Among the Poor

Presenter: Dr. Brian Southwell, RTI International and Duke University
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Social scientists are beginning to understand a number of ways in which low-income populations face resource challenges that affect not just their material standing but also the ways they engage information. Those challenges, in turn, also constrain the success of programs charged with helping low-income consumers conserve energy through changes in home maintenance and household energy behavior. Southwell and colleagues at RTI International and Duke University have explored both the national relationship between socioeconomic status, energy knowledge, and energy behavior in the U.S. as well as local patterns among Durham, N.C., residents. After first briefly reviewing national survey results, Southwell will outline pilot results from a small set of in-depth interviews with applicants to the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program in Durham County. Working with a North Carolina non-profit called Clean Energy Durham, Southwell’s team recently sat down with Durham residents to inquire about their information needs, preferences, and tendencies. The interviews explored the time-orientation of residents, e.g., tendency toward immediate goals versus long-term goals, perceived social network norms regarding community energy education, and a variety of other factors that pose both opportunities and challenges for future energy education outreach efforts. Southwell will discuss the on-going research effort and explore possibilities for collaboration in this arena.

Download the Energy Information Engagement Among the Poor webinar.
View the Energy Information Engagement Among the Poor webinar streaming online.

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Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing

Presenter: Michael Carliner, Research Fellow, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Michael Carliner, research fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, will present on the recent research brief, “Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing: The Need and the Potential.” This research brief describes the direct and indirect energy cost burdens that renters face and the disproportionate share of both total housing outlays and household income that lower-income tenants pay for energy. The analysis also looks at differences in energy costs and use between renters and homeowners living in various types of housing, as well as geographic variations in energy costs. The paper then examines the “split-incentive” problem in the landlord-tenant relationship and outlines strategies to overcome this barrier to efficiency and affordability. The report can be obtained online at http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/carliner_research_brief_0.pdf.

Download the Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing webinar .
View the Reducing Energy Costs in Rental Housing webinar streaming online.

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How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability

Presenter: Susan Antos, Senior Staff Attorney, Empire Justice Center
Thursday, February 27, 2014
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. ET

Senior Staff Attorney Susan Antos from the Empire Justice Center will present on their recent report, “Don’t Lien on Me: How New York’s Public Assistance Mortgages Undermine Homeownership and Financial Stability.” The report provides a comprehensive analysis of New York’s use of Social Services Law §106, which allows Social Services Districts to recover public assistance paid to individuals who own their own homes, by taking a mortgage against the recipient’s property. The report also chronicles the legal background of the practice, the interplay between this policy and the push for foreclosure prevention, the need for detailed recordkeeping, and makes recommendations to ensure that debt is recovered against these mortgages only in the appropriate situations and for the correct amount. The report includes an advocates’ toolkit to help in providing assistance to individuals who have a welfare lien. The report is available online at http://www.empirejustice.org/publications/reports/new/dont-lien-on-me-how-new.htmlLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

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The Social Enterprise Movement

Presenters: Ken Cerini and Bruce Newman, Social Enterprise Alliance-Long Island Chapter.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET

Representatives from the Social Enterprise Alliance-Long Island Chapter will present information about the Social Enterprise movement and how it is changing both the not-for-profit and for-profit landscape. Growing in popularity across the U.S., social entrepreneurism is a hybrid economic model that unites for-profit and nonprofit organizations to create mutual self-sustaining value and measurable social impact. Using for-profit business methods and the power of the nonprofit mission, Social Enterprises seek to be financially self-sufficient with little or no dependency on donations and/or government funding. Numerous examples exist of organizations that practice social entrepreneurism to pursue their social mission. This webinar will showcase some of these examples and set the stage for other organizations to explore the potential for adding social entrepreneurship to their operations.

Download the Social Enterprise Movement webinar.
View the Social Enterprise Movement webinar streaming online.

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