On Thursday, February 18th Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins sponsored a workshop that was hosted by the Downstate North Energy $mart Communities on ways homeowners are able to save money on heating and electric bills. The two-hour workshop, conducted in the Greenburgh Town Hall, was designed to provide homeowners of every income level with specific information on the financial incentives available for improving the energy efficiency of a home.
Downstate North Energy $mart Communities is an affiliate of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation that works to provide New York State with ways to reduce energy consumption, promote the use of renewable energy sources and to protect the environment. Since 1975, NYSERDA has been a leader in research and advocacy for improving the State’s economic and environmental well being through energy efficient technology.
As a member of the State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has continued to build upon an established record of support for environmental conservation and alternative energy initiatives. This record includes fighting against cuts to the Environmental Protection Fund, supporting legislation establishing a green roof installation tax credit and funding local environmental organizations such as the Greenburgh Nature Center and Beczak Environmental Education Center in Yonkers.
Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins has also sponsored legislation (S. 5942) that establishes a small business energy assistance and advocacy services program, enabling small businesses to access energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy services. She has been a supporter of NYSERDA’s mission, voting to increase resources available for the organization to create new programs.
During the workshop, a panel of experts spoke with local residents about the wide range of financial incentives that are available to individuals of all income levels. The panel included a Home Performance contractor, NYSERDA contractor and a homeowner that is currently using the program.
Homes built using the “New York ENERGY STAR Homes Program” use approximately 30% less energy than conventionally built homes, which can result in major savings for the owner. Additionally, federal tax incentives may be available for a homeowner with a participating utility provider and that use an accredited contractor to install energy efficient equipment or measures.
“NYSERDA does an excellent job explaining the easy ways to save money on utility bills. Heat and electricity, especially during the winter months, are a major expense. There is no doubt that if homeowners who attended the workshop utilize some of the programs that are offered, that they will be able to reduce some of those expenses and save money,” concluded Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins.