New York Program Exceeds $100 Million in Energy-Saving Home Improvements

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR(R) Improves Efficiency and Comfort of

Thousands of Homes Statewide

Apr 17, 2007, 01:00 ET from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

    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
     "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 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