Program helps homeowners become energy efficient and for some it’s free

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Patricia Walker has lived in her home for 38 years, and decided to have an energy audit. “They checked my gutters, they checked basically any insulation, any air holes, anywhere where heat is escaping or air is escaping. All of that was done and it cost me nothing,” Walker said of the assessment that was done at her home.

It cost her nothing, because she participated in New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Empower program. It provides energy upgrades to homeowners who qualify based on their income.

Jean Kessner is the Community Energy Advisor at Cornell Cooperative Extension. She is the person to help you get enrolled. She said, “You can get up to $10,000 worth of energy efficient upgrades to your house and the state pays the full bill. That $10,000 is good for this year until June 30th. Last year it was $7,000. I simply don’t know what it’s going to be after June 30th,” She added, “The program will continue.”

On this Earth Day, President Joe Biden pledged to cut greenhouse gas pollution in half by 2030. Kessner said a good place to start is right in your home. “Each individual house wastes a lot of energy,” Kessner explained, “To go house to house, program to program and get these leaks of energy stopped, this is what New York State is doing with these programs.”

For Patricia Walker, the program not only saved her money, “It saved my life, because even though it was in the basement, it eventually could have seeped up through the air vents or whatever and i never knew it was there.” Walker went on to explain, “So they found the gas leak. They called national grid and they came out and fixed it.”

To learn more about the program or to sign up you can e-mail SaveEnergy@cornell.edu. You can also call (315) 424-9485 ext 230, or visit SmartEnergyChoices-cny.org.

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