ALBANY, N.Y., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- New York families have invested over $100 million to improve the energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety of more than 13,600 homes through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) Program. With Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, homes of any style or size can be improved to reduce energy use and costs by up to 40 percent. Developed under the New York Energy $mart(SM) program and sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Home Performance with ENERGY STAR has helped New Yorkers reduce energy usage by more than 13.4 million kWh in electricity and 616 billion BTUs of oil and gas since it began in 2001. Hundreds of New York State homeowners sign up for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR every month, with each household saving an average of more than $735 per year. "Surpassing this incredible milestone shows how passionate New Yorkers are about energy efficiency and how many of our neighbors have already taken practical, powerful steps to reduce their energy use," said Peter R. Smith, President and CEO of NYSERDA. "Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can meet the needs of many different New York households by increasing comfort, reducing utility bills and lessening the effects that our daily living has on the environment." Through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program, a participating contractor accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) will conduct a Comprehensive Home Assessment to test a home's energy performance. During the assessment, the contractor will 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. The contractor also inspects and tests combustion appliances such as heating equipment, ovens and water heaters to make sure dangerous combustion gases like carbon monoxide are not leaking into the home. When the assessment is complete, the contractor will identify what improvements can be made, the cost of making those improvements and what kinds of financial incentives, such as low-interest financing, are available to homeowners who decide to have the improvements made. Homeowners across the state attest to the increased comfort and safety of their homes in addition to lower monthly energy bills: "When we moved in last summer, our home had almost no insulation," says Annalisa Oliva of Liverpool. "With the improvements made to our home under the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program, our home was really comfortable through the winter." "I called for an assessment under Home Performance with ENERGY STAR because our 1970s ranch was very drafty," said Cynthia Brock of Ithaca. "Our contractor discovered that we had hardly any insulation in our ceiling and our furnace was leaking carbon monoxide. Now we have insulation and a high efficiency furnace that heats our entire home and our hot water. Plus our energy costs have gone down by 45 to 50 percent." "We used Home Performance with ENERGY STAR in the winter of 2005. After the work was completed, our energy bills stayed the same despite the rapidly rising energy prices at the time and we found our home to be more comfortable," said Richard Roth of North Harlem. "We are thrilled with the improvements to our home and I even recommended the program to my neighbor." "When we bought our 1860s-style fixer upper, the previous owner told us that we wouldn't be able to afford to heat the house so we picked Home Performance with ENERGY STAR for the energy efficiency and environmental results. After the work was completed, our heating bill went from $450 to $90 in one month," said Martin Clement of Watertown. To schedule a comprehensive home assessment under Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and learn about other ways to save energy, visit www.getenergysmart.org or call toll-free 1-877-NY-SMART. All New York Energy $mart(SM) programs are funded by a System Benefits Charge (SBC) paid by electric distribution customers of Central Hudson, Con Edison, NYSEG, National Grid (formerly Niagara Mohawk), Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric. NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation established by law in 1975, administers SBC funds and programs under an agreement with the Public Service Commission. New York Energy $mart(SM) programs are designed to lower electricity costs by encouraging energy efficiency as the State's electric utilities move to competition. The programs are available to electric distribution customers (residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial) who pay into the SBC.
SOURCE New York State Energy Research and Development Authority