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.
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.