New York, utility launch home energy program

UNIONDALE, N.Y. The Long Island Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority have launched the Home Performance with Energy Star program for homeowners on a statewide basis. Contractors can be trained and certified under the program to perform the work. Developed under Gov. George Pataki's New York Energy Smart program, Home Performance with Energy Star uses a whole-house

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — The Long Island Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority have launched the Home Performance with Energy Star program for homeowners on a statewide basis. Contractors can be trained and certified under the program to perform the work.

Developed under Gov. George Pataki's New York Energy Smart program, Home Performance with Energy Star uses a whole-house approach to improve homes of any style or size and reduce energy use by up to 40% to combat rising energy costs.

Under the program, contractors are trained and certified by Building Performance Institute to conduct a comprehensive home assessment to test a home's energy performance. Contractors participating in the program are trained to test the home for air leakage using a blower door and look for opportunities to improve the home's insulation, heating and cooling systems, windows, appliances and lighting. During the assessment, a contractor inspects combustion appliances such as heating equipment, ovens and water heaters to make sure dangerous combustion gases such as carbon monoxide are not leaking into the home. When the assessment is complete, the contractor identifies what improvements can be made, the cost of making those improvements and what kinds of financial incentives are available, such as low-interest financing, to homeowners who decide to have the improvements made.

According to its proponents, the benefits to contractors who participate in the program include:

  • Specialized training and technical assistance to help contractors better evaluate and service existing homes;
  • Differentiation of their business by becoming part of a select group of contractors certified by BPI;
  • Financial incentives to lower the start-up costs associated with entering the program, such as training, certification and diagnostic equipment; and
  • Marketing and advertising support to promote involvement in, and services available through, the program. More information about the program is available at www.saveonenergy.com or by calling 877/NY-SMART.