Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs
There are three incentive programs for residents. Two cover 100% the cost of improvements for low-income households, both renters and homeowners. The third is for moderate income homeowners, covering 50% of eligible improvements. Read on for more information.
EmPower NY - If your family makes less than 60% of the State's median income ($55,176 for a family of four in 2019), you may qualify for the EmPower program which covers 100% of qualifying energy improvements like insulation, air sealing, replacement of inefficient lighting, fridges and freezers, and more.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a federal program, uses the same eligibility criteria as Empower NY (see above), and provides additional energy improvements at no cost, including potential replacement of heating equipment.
Both of these programs are available for homeowners as well as renters, though landlord permission is required. Download a combined application for EmPower and WAP here. Contact a Community Energy Adviser for help filling it out and knowing where to mail it to.
Municipal Electric Customers - Special rebates available
Customers of municipal electric utilities may not be eligible for some of the NYSERDA programs above like EmPower NY and Assisted Home Performance. However, many municipal electric utilities have special rebates and programs to help with energy efficiency through the Independent Energy Efficiency Program (IEEP). See what your municipal electric utility offers here.
In addition to the rebates mentioned above, there are a number of financing options to help pay for energy-related improvements. Contractors and our Community Energy Advisers can provide additional information on these options, but we provide an overview below.
On-Bill Recovery Loan
This is a NYSERDA loan in which your loan payments are built right into your utility bill. With this loan, your monthly payments may not exceed your estimated average monthly energy cost savings. So your energy savings essentially pay for your work. Loan amounts of $1,500-$25,000 with terms of 5, 10, or 15 years. Rates are 3.49% for low-income households, 4.99% for households with moderate income, and 5.99% or 6.99% for everyone else. Learn more here.
Smart Energy Loan
This other NYSERDA loan is more traditional, with a monthly payment to NYSERDA's loan servicer. Amounts are from $1,500-$25,000 with terms of 5, 10, and 15 years. Rates range from 3.49% for lower income households who pay by auto payment to 7.49% for upper income households who pay by check. More info here.
Other Financing Options & Local Banks
Your contractor may be able to offer you other financing options. And you may also want to consider a loan through a local bank. Home equity loans can often be useful for energy-related improvements. Some banks even offer special loans for energy projects which you can take advantage of.