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Energy audits touted at town meetings

July 27, 2011

A statewide initiative to promote energy efficiency, cut energy consumption and costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create green jobs is currently being promoted in Sullivan County.

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Green Jobs-Green New York Program (GJGNY) offers free home energy audits and low interest loans for home improvements to help homeowners save money and improve energy efficiency while increasing the comfort and safety of their homes.

Carol Roig, who is handling community outreach for the Sullivan County Office of Sustainable Energy (OSE), recently presented information on the program at town board meetings in Highland and Lumberland. The OSE assists residents in gaining access to energy efficiency programs available at the state level, including workforce training programs and other partnerships that encourage the development of a skilled green-collar workforce that supports the installation of clean technologies.

The energy audits are performed by contractors accredited by the Building Performance Institute who examine existing conditions and identify areas where improvements can be made. A typical energy audit lasts from one to three hours and involves visual inspection as well as tests using special diagnostic equipment such as a blower door, which measures where air is leaking from the home. Safety tests will also be performed to determine whether major combustion appliances such as furnaces, boilers, hot water tanks and stoves are operating safely.

Home improvements that might be identified include weather stripping; repair or replacement of home heating or cooling systems, water heaters, windows, exterior doors or major appliances; thermostat upgrades; installation of solar thermal heating or hot water systems; insulation; replacement of light bulbs and fixtures and more.

To implement any of the identified improvements, GJGNY can provide financing through low interest loans beginning at 3.49% interest with repayment periods of five, 10 or 15 years. Visit www.energyfi nancesolutions.com/main/homeowners
nyfour for information.

Work must be completed by contractors participating in NYSERDA’s Home Per formance with Energy Star ™ Program. For a list of local contractors contact 877/NYSMART or visit www.getenergysmart.org/Resources/FindPartner.aspx?t=4.