Energy Use, Energy Efficiency and Energy Sources
How can you reduce your energy use?
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.
NYSERDA also offers some energy-saving tips for homeowners.
Renewable Energy: Solar
Solar Information Resources
NYSERDA’s NY-Sun initiative has an abundance of information on both rooftop and community solar.
- Solar for All: A NYSERDA program and NY-Sun initiative, Solar for All will help low income New Yorkers receive the benefits of solar power with no upfront costs, fees or payments. Check out this link to learn more and see if you qualify to save money on your electric bill today! Solar for All is a NYSERDA program.
- Program participants save money through a free community solar subscription
- Participants gain access to solar whether they are a renter or a homeowner
- No upfront cost, fees, or payments to participate
- Solarize Albany is a nonprofit organization that serves the Capital Region. They promote the use of renewable energy (both rooftop and community solar) by providing you with knowledge of how renewable energy will benefit your life and lower cost options through their bulk purchase model.
What is community solar?
Community solar can take a variety of forms, but often employs a shared solar model, with a local solar facility that is shared by multiple community members who receive credit on their electricity bills for their share of the power produced. Community solar expands solar access to those typically lacking such access including those whose roof exposure is not suitable, renters, those in multi-tenant buildings, and low-income communities. Read more here.
Click here to view NYSERDA‘s complete list of community solar projects in our area.
Did you know that you can select your energy provider and choose where your energy comes from?
Here is 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.