Governor Cuomo announces $59 million to help cut energy costs and improve affordability
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced $59 million in funding through the Weatherization Assistance Program to help cut utility costs for approximately 9,200 income-eligible families and seniors across the state. Funds will be released to a statewide network of non-profit organizations to conduct energy-efficiency work including, but not limited to air sealing, insulation, upgrading heating systems, and diagnostic testing to identify hazards such as carbon monoxide and mold. Weatherization can save an average of 20 percent on utility bills.
In Chautauqua County, Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. was awarded $606,780 for 96 units.
“This program has helped thousands of families cut utility costs, save money and build stronger, more energy efficient homes,” Governor Cuomo said. “I urge any New Yorker who qualifies for this funding to see how we can help make your house more energy efficient, less expensive to maintain, and more resilient for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw our way.”
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York’s Weatherization Assistance Program has invested more than $738 million since 2011 to make 118,600 homes safer, more resilient, and more affordable.
Administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, with funds from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, WAP is available in every county through a statewide network of local providers. Priority is given to households with children, seniors, persons with disabilities, and those receiving Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds. The program assists all types of housing including single-family homes, multi-family buildings, and manufactured homes. Since the start of the program in 1977, more than 705,000 dwellings in New York State have been assisted.
A total of $1.3 million of the $59 million will go toward providing the network of subgrantees with training and technical assistance. Training in weatherization techniques, such as energy auditing and repairing heating systems, ensures that program funds are used effectively and work is done safely. Each year the Weatherization Program supports hundreds of good-paying, green jobs and our state-of-the-art training facilities help ensure that workers keep up with rapidly evolving technologies.
An evaluation of HCR’s Weatherization Program that was completed earlier this year found significant benefits. Energy use in completed homes is reduced by nearly 20 percent, on average, and health and safety hazards such as poor indoor air quality, lead-based paint and mold that can trigger asthma are reduced or eliminated. These actions provide substantial measurable benefits to occupants.
RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “By adding insulation, upgrading heating systems, and fixing leaky windows and roofs, we can help assure vulnerable New Yorkers spend less of their household income on utilities. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the WAP has helped make energy costs less burdensome and living environments healthier for more than 118,000 households – from single-family homes to multi-family buildings throughout the state.”
More information on the WAP is available at http://www.nyshcr.org/programs/weatherizationassistance/