The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency offers two state grants for homeowners to replace old windows with energy-efficient ones: EmPower New York grants and Assisted Home Performance Grants. While they differ in eligibility, funding levels and application procedures, both grants target low-income homeowners.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority contracts with Honeywell International to oversee EmPower New York, which provides funding for cost-saving renovations. Grants are also available for improvements that promote health and safety. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also implements Assisted Home Performance Grants, which promote a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for homeowners.
Recipients of EmPower grants must be an electric or natural gas distribution customer of one of the following utilities: Central Hudson, Con Edison, National Grid, NYSEG, Orange & Rockland or Rochester Gas and Electric. Alternatively, they may be natural gas customers of Corning Gas, Keyspan Long Island or Keyspan New York. Applicants must live in a building with 100 or fewer units, and have an income of 60 percent or less than the state median income, or participate in a low-income utility assistance program.
For the Assisted Home Performance Grants, household income may not exceed 80 percent of the county median income or 80 percent of the state median income -- whichever is higher. Eligible applicants must also be customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. or Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation.
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There is no cost to recipients of EmPower New York. However, if the recipient is a tenant and not a homeowner, the landlord may be required to pay for 25 percent of the project cost. From 2008 to 2011, the EmPower program's budget was $26.8 million.
Single-family homeowners can receive Assisted Home Performance Grants of up to $5,000. Owners that live in a two- to four-unit building can receive up to $5,000 without verifying the income of their tenants. However, the same owner could receive up to $10,000 if all tenants do not exceed the eligible incomes. If only a portion of the tenants meet eligibility requirements, the amount of the grant is pro-rated accordingly.
To apply for an EmPower New York grant, individuals must be referred by their utility company or a local Office for the Aging and Weatherization Agency. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority prioritizes requests based on the potential for cost-effectiveness of energy usage reduction. For more information, call Honeywell International at 1-800-263-0960.
To apply to an Assisted Home Performance grant, the homeowner must contact a Building Performance Institute contractor or a community organization (lists of both are available on the grant's website) to perform a Comprehensive Home Assessment determining what improvements are viable.