EmPower NY: Energy assistence

NYSERDA’s EmPower NY program helps people who are having a difficult time paying their energy bills. The program is no cost to the home-owner, and is open to anyone who has an electric account in their name and is eligible for the State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The homeowner or tenant will receive a home energy audit that includes education on practices they can do to save on their energy bills. Their appliances will be evaluated and replaced if they are energy hogs. In some instances, if the heating fuel use justifies it, the home’s wall and/or attic may be insulated through EmPower NY. Also the heating system and domestic hot water systems are checked for efficiency and safety. If the customer is a tenant, their landlord is expected to make a contribution to the properties improvements.
For the application.
For workshops on EmPower NY.

Don’t forget that NYSERDA has programs for everyone! Check them out…

Being good energy stewards in our personal lives

NYSERDA can help your congregation get an energy audit for your house of worship, but NYSERDA also can help you get an energy audit of your own home. For more information…

New York’s 10% Challenge invites you to help protect the planet from global warming by saving energy and choosing clean sources of energy.

You can:

  • Become more aware of your energy use – When starting a diet, it’s useful to become aware of what you’re eating and when. Most of us are surprised to find we eat more and more frequently than we suspected. Take a week to track your energy and transportation uses and you may be similarly surprised. One useful tool for electric appliances is a wattmeter, which are available for under $30.
  • Conserve energy – i.e. using less energy: It’s not “shivering in the dark,” but rather things such as turning out the lights when you leave the room. And it’s really not so bad to wear a sweater or thermal underwear in the winter! You can also use less energy for transportation such as walking, bicycling, or taking the bus when possible.
  • Hang your laundry! Electric clothes dryers use a LOT of energy. And unlike refrigerators (which also use a lot of energy), easy alternatives are available. In the summer, it’s not only possible to hang your laundry on your “solar clothes dryer,” but it’s actually enjoyable – and sun-dried clothes smell so nice!Even in the winter, it’s possible to hang laundry indoors either on a basement clothesline, or on clothes racks. A bonus is that it helps humidify the house. If you’re concerned about humidity, you can get a low-cost digital thermometer/humidity device that can tell you if your house is too humid. If you use gas forced-air, for example, it’s more likely that drying your clothes indoors will help raise it to a comfortable level rather than being too humid.
    Does your community or homeowners association forbid solar drying? Some states have “Right to Dry” laws that guarantees our right to save energy in this way. For more information about this initiative, visit Project Laundry List.
  • Use energy more efficiently – For example, replacing your incandescent light bulbs with more-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Purchase clean, renewable energy or create your own – In most areas of New York State, utility customers can purchase clean, renewable energy from renewable energy companies by paying a modest surcharge added to their main utility bill. NYSERDA has substantial incentives to help you create your own energy. Here’s more information about these options.
  • Reduce your consumption – All that “stuff” you buy required energy and resources to create it, ship it, and cart it away to the landfill. And for most Americans, our consumption levels represent a lot of energy, resources, and pollution.
  • Offset your carbon – Even with effort, you may not get your carbon footprint reduced to a level that is necessary to prevent global warming. A number of organizations now allow you to purchase carbon offsets. When you contribute, the organization purchases and retires carbon offsets and supports green energy projects. As CarbonFund.org (an example of one of these organizations) says, “Reduce what you can, offset what you can’t.”

Learning from others

Courtesy of Massachusetts IPL, here’s a case study of taking action on energy in one’s home.

MIPandL also has an interesting series on personal energy use. Here’s one analyzing the energy aspects of taking a shower including all the calculations. Visit Massachusetts IPL for more information about Everyday Stewardship.

If you’re a LIPA customer, you can be a Solar Pioneer

LIPA’s Solar Pioneer Program offers homeowners the opportunity to supplement their home’s energy needs with solar electricity, also known as photovoltaics or PV. Investing in solar electricity to supplement your home’s energy needs will enable you to not only generate clean electricity for your home’s electric requirements, but you could also reduce the amount of electricity purchased from LIPA and potentially sell power back to LIPA through net metering. For more info…

Get an Energy Efficient Mortgage

This little-known FannieMae program may be right for you. Energy Efficient Mortgages, also known as EEMs, make it easier for borrowers to qualify for loans to purchase homes with specific energy-efficiency improvements. Learn more about the program and read about one couple’s experience.

Measure your home against the Energy Yardstick

Measure you home against the Energy Yardstick. How does your home energy use stack up with other homes? Take EPA’s Home Energy Yardstick and find out!

Renovating your home?

Sorry Mac users – you’ll need a PC…

… to participate in the World Community Grid’s Clean Energy Project!

If you have a PC, put it to good use. Most of the time, it’s just sitting there (and from the computer’s point of view, while you’re typing something in a Word document, for example, even while you’re hard at work, your computer’s capabilities aren’t being used). Instead, you can download a secure program that will allow your computer to be part of the World Community Grid being used to do the calculations needed to find the next generation of clean energy. Concerned about computer security? With all the scams out there, you’re right to be. But check out this organization, supported by the world’s foremost science, education, and institutional organizations. This is NOT a new, untested concept, and their future depends on making sure you don’t experience problems.