‘Power NY Act’ Supports Efficiency Upgrades

Legislation that supporters say will, among other things, help middle and low income New York residents do energy-efficiency upgrades, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In signing the Power NY Act, the governor touted its “on-bill” recovery program. The provision establishes a public-private partnership to provide low-interest loans to homeowners for energy-efficiency measures. The loans are then paid back through a line item on the recipient’s utility bill. Cuomo said this will encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in energy efficiency under the state’s “Green Jobs/Green New York” program and “will help create thousands of green jobs, result in greater energy efficiencies and lower energy bills for homeowners and businesses across the state.”

Power NY Act

image via Con Edison

According to the Center for American Progress, the legislation was badly needed in New York. “With some of the country’s oldest and leakiest houses, the lack of retrofits is taking a major economic and environmental toll on the state,” the think tank wrote recently. “New York’s buildings account for 60 percent of the state’s carbon emissions, much higher than the national average of 40 percent. Efficiency retrofits can make a major impact on the state’s carbon emissions and pollution levels.”

The  law also creates a new siting process for electricity-producing facilities and gives communities greater participation in these processes, the governor said. Prospective facility builders, for example, will be required to provide funding for the community that would be affected to hire researchers and lawyers. The siting board must also assess and make public any negative environmental impacts on a community, and if any are found, the facility applicant must reduce or remove the problems.

EarthTechling is launching a weekly green deals service in fall 2011 called Green Earthling Deals. Sign up for the weekly email by Wednesday, August 17, and you’ll be entered to win a 1st Step Weather Station from Urban Green Energy!

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.

    • This should definitely be considered as an equivalent national initiative. It’s extremely effective and on the government’s part its a totally revenue-neutral (or positive) system.