A Gathering of Efficient Minds

Posted by Macie Schreibman on May 04, 2011
A Gathering of Efficient Minds
Last week, home performance contractors gathered in New York and called upon the state to pass on-bill financing, which would allow moderate-income families to have access to funding for their energy efficiency retrofits. Organized by two local groups, Efficiency First and Building Performance Contractors Association, the efficiency advocates held news conferences in both Long Island and Syracuse to get the word out.

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, the following is an example of how the legislation would work:

A homeowner with a $1,000 annual electrical and heating bill wants to retrofit his house with new insulation at a cost of $2,000. But instead of taking out a traditional bank loan, the homeowner pays the $2,000 over a 10-year period at $200 a year as part of his utility bill.

The estimated savings from the new insulation would be immediately taken into account in his utility bill so that the $200 added on to his bill would not make the total annual cost greater than the initial $1,000. After the 10-year period, the homeowner’s insulation job would be paid for and his utility bill would (in theory) be lower due to the energy savings.

"Homeowners are much less likely to default on this kind of financing because they don’t want the lights to be turned off," said Richard Kornbluth, president of the board for the Building Performance Contractors Association.

If approved, the legislation would also complement Green Jobs/Green NY, a bill passed in 2009 with a goal to retrofit one-million New York homes and businesses in order to help residents save money on their energy bills.

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