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Free home audits part of Cuomo’s energy strategy

cable-clouds-current-electricityIn what promises to be a boost for not only cost-conscious homeowners, but also for energy companies in the new green economy, New York State is making available free residential energy audits.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is making the audits available to homeowner regardless of income. The initiative is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal for New York to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The goals also include reaching zero carbon emissions from the generation of electricity by 2040.

”New York is leading the country when it comes to deploying a broad-based strategy to fight climate change, and New York homeowners can help play a role by lowering the carbon footprints of their own homes,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.  “The new Residential Energy Audit program will provide homeowners with an opportunity to lower their energy costs, fight climate change, and live sustainably and comfortably in their home by making informed home energy improvement decisions.”

The free audits became available Jan. 1 and are available for homes housing one to four families. The audits include reviewing homeowner’s energy bills and usage patterns, and result in a report on energy performance and ways to make improvements. Funding to cover the costs of the audits come from the state’s $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund.

Homeowners can find audit contractors participating in the program on NYSERDA’s website. As part of the audit program, consumers will also have access to green jobs, energy contractors who can help with home improvements to conserve energy and improve efficiency, and loans to pay for improvements.

“It’s great news that New York will now be offering a simpler home energy audit, free to all,” said Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “We hope every New York homeowner uses this program–to learn how to save energy and money–for themselves, and for the planet.”

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State seeks renewable energy projects

New York State is seeking proposals for large-scale renewable energy projects that fall in line with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to have 70 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030.

This third request for proposals comes with a June 13 deadline, but there’s a web seminar on how to make a qualified proposal that will be available May 2. Awards are scheduled for November of this year.

“New York is continuing to lead by example when it comes to advancing large-scale renewable energy projects that will bring significant economic growth and good-paying jobs to the state,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement.  “This action builds on our strong commitment to renewable energy and will be a critical part of the state’s bold plan to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change.”

This latest solicitation is aimed at providing $1.5 million megawatt hours, or enough to power 200,000 homes, to the state’s power grid.

In 2017 and 2018, New York awarded $2.9 billion in contracts to 46 land-based wind and solar projects, creating $7 billion in direct investment in the clean energy sector. The projects generate a combined 7.1 million megawatt-hours each year, which is enough power for nearly 1 million homes. Investments related to the latest solicitation are projected to create 1,000 short-term and long-term jobs in the energy field.

“This solicitation for large-scale projects continues our efforts to power more homes and create more good paying jobs. New York continues to lead the nation to protect our environment and combat climate change for future generations,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“To tackle climate change, we must build new clean, pollution-free power projects, like wind and solar,” added Anne Reynolds, executive director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “Today’s new call for renewable energy projects from NYSERDA is excellent news, as it will allow developers to compete for the long-term contracts that get projects financed and built and will create jobs for New Yorkers.”

Information on how to submit a proposal is available on the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency’s website.

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