One great way to get started is to get a home energy audit through the New York State Research and Development authority (NYSERDA) Home Performance with Energy Star® program. Sign up for a free, or reduced-cost, home energy assessment and receive a comprehensive report with energy savings recommendations. Most New Yorkers qualify for the free assessment and are under no obligation to install the recommended home energy improvements. There are also incentives and financing options for middle and low income families and no-cost services for low income households.
You can select your own energy provider and choose where your energy comes from.
What you need to know about New York State energy service regulations.
New York opened its state electric and natural gas industries to competition in the 1990s, giving consumers the opportunity to choose their energy provider, either through a traditional utility or a third-party supplier known as an Energy Services Company (ESCO). ESCOs are entities that are eligible to sell electricity and natural gas to customers using the transmission or distribution system of a utility. All ESCOs must complete an application process with the state before they are certified to serve customers.
Consumers are not required to switch to an ESCO and it is unlawful for your energy supplier to be switched without your approval. Some consumers may consider switching to a ESCO because they are competing for business and thus may offer a wider variety of products and pricing options to appeal to consumers. For example, some ESCOs offer value-added services such as the opportunity to purchase electricity from a renewable energy source, including hydropower, solar, or wind.
To learn more about ESCOs and your rights as a consumer, read more here.
For a full listing of ESCOs available in your area, look here.