The Green Jobs / Green New York Act (A8901 / S5888), which passed both the New York Assembly and Senate, could be a model for other states. The legislation sets the goal of implementing energy efficient retrofits in one million buildings over the next five years and creating approximately 14,000 family-sustaining jobs. Efficiency measures help combat climate change, produce cost savings across the economy, reduce pressures on the electrical grid and provide public health benefits.
According to Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the Working Families Party, “The key innovation in the bill is a revolving capital fund, which would leverage private investment in energy efficiency to massively increase the use of existing technology”¦. [S]tate certified contractors will perform free or low-cost energy audits for homeowners, looking for repairs and upgrades (like air sealing, insulation, new boilers) that can pay for themselves through the energy savings they create. The work would be paid for by the fund -- homeowners pay it back out of a portion of their energy savings (they pocket the rest, in addition to getting their homes repaired).”
Specifically, NYSERDA will establish a revolving loan program to provide up to $13,000 per residential customer to retrofit a home, and up to $26,000 to retrofit each qualifying business. NYSERDA will also conduct energy audits, program administration and a credit enhancement for critical private sector capital investments.
The program will front the cost of the work, enabling property owners to afford energy efficient retrofits. Although property owners will repay the full cost over time, their total energy usage will be reduced by 30-40%, providing them with savings greater than their loan payment on their energy bill will be less than what they saved, providing property owners with net savings.
"This is exactly the type of innovative initiative President Obama envisions when he talks about creating green jobs and the new clean energy economy," said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill. "A successful program here in New York will establish us as a national leader in tackling the tough challenges of climate change and employment opportunities in the 21st Century."