ALBANY, N.Y. - For New Yorkers on a fixed or moderate income, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and National Grid are offering income-eligible households incentives to make energy efficiency home improvements at up to 50 percent savings.

“As household budgets get smaller and energy costs continue to rise, the cost of operating a home is a real challenge for New Yorkers,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr. “Making energy more affordable for families who need it most is the top priority of NYSERDA's Home Performance with Energy Star Program.”

Through Home Performance with Energy Star®, eligible customers can receive up to 50 percent off, or up to $5,000 per household, of the costs associated with energy efficiency home improvements such as increased insulation, air sealing, and efficient furnaces, lighting, and appliances. Now through May 31, 2009, upstate National Grid residential gas customers may be eligible to receive up to $6,000 per household to help reduce the initial investment for improvements. Residents can check eligibility requirements and find a participating contractor at or by calling 877-NY-SMART.

“Helping our customers save money and reduce their impact on the environment by using energy wisely gives them the power of action,” said Susan M. Crosset, vice president of energy solutions in upstate New York for National Grid. “Our partnership with NYSERDA makes it easy for customers to take the active step of investing in energy efficiency and manage their energy costs.”

The Home Performance with Energy Star Program is designed to make energy-efficiency home improvements more affordable for residents with low to moderate incomes. Contractors accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) take a comprehensive approach to evaluating home energy usage. The contractor will measure a home’s overall energy performance, and will carefully evaluate insulation and air sealing, as well as the efficiency of heating equipment, appliances, and lighting. Contractors also test ovens, water heaters, and other equipment 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 the available financial incentives. The contractor will also estimate monthly savings on energy bills and length of time each improvement will take to pay for itself. Customers decide which improvements to make on their homes.

For more information about Home Performance with Energy Star and a list of BPI-accredited contractors, visit or call 877-NY-SMART (877-697-6278).

Publication date:03/16/2009