Governor David A. Paterson today announced the beginning of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program to provide homeowners with free or reduced-priced energy assessments and low-interest loans to finance energy-saving improvements. The program was the result of the Green Jobs-Green New York Act enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor last year.
"The Green Jobs-Green NY program will build on the significant efforts our State has already taken to help put New Yorkers to work in the clean energy economy," Governor Paterson said. "New York is well positioned to become a national leader in the clean energy economy as we continue to use green technology to lay the foundation for economic recovery and prosperity. Our clean energy initiatives will facilitate local job growth, reduce greenhouse gas pollution, help improve public health, and ensure the State's long-term energy independence."
The program, which seeks to significantly increase the number of energy efficiency improvements undertaken, will create green jobs by stimulating investment in energy efficiency improvements for residential homes and small commercial, not-for-profit and multifamily buildings. It also will fund significant training for green jobs.
President and CEO of NYSERDA Francis J. Murray said: "The Green Jobs-Green NY program will help homeowners and businesses reduce their energy costs while creating permanent jobs. This program will provide a much-need boost for struggling local economies throughout New York State. I am grateful to our Legislature their leadership in enacting this program and to Governor Paterson for signing this into law."
Free energy audits will be provided to individuals with incomes up to 200 percent of the Area Median Income, and reduced priced energy audits will be available to households with incomes up to 400 percent of the Area Median Income. A listing of income levels by county can be found at: http://www.getenergysmart.org/Files/HomePerformance/gjgny_area_median_income.pdf.pdf.
Through this program, the State will establish a revolving loan fund for homeowners and small business owners who will be able to pay back loans from the savings on their energy bills. NYSERDA is launching the loan program for residential homeowners, and will soon follow with a launch of loan offerings for small businesses, not-for-profits, and multifamily buildings. The unsecured residential loans will be capped at $13,000 for a term of 5, 10 or 15 years and will be offered at an initial interest rate of 3.99 percent - 3.49 percent if the borrower signs up for automated monthly payments.
The job training component will focus on new entrants to the workforce and displaced workers. The training programs and any education and enrollment efforts will be subjected to a competitive procurement process available to community based-organizations.
The State will fund the Green Jobs-Green New York loan program and establish the statewide green jobs training program, with $112 million in funding acquired by auctioning carbon emission credits through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The seed money from the RGGI fund and from an $18.6 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Energy will be used to leverage private investment.
The following statements were provided in support of the Green Jobs-Green NY program:
Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said: "Putting New Yorkers back to work is our primary focus. The Green Jobs-Green NY program not only creates jobs and job training opportunities, but it also helps New York residents reduce their energy costs and allows New York's businesses to run their companies more efficiently. I applaud Senator Darrel Aubertine for his leadership in shepherding the groundbreaking Green Jobs legislation through the Legislature and Senator Kevin Parker for his efforts in making capital construction projects affordable for all New Yorkers. I also thank the Governor for initiating this important program and his dedication to creating new jobs and rebuilding New York's economy."
Dick Kornbluth, President of the Board of Directors for the Building Performance Contractors Association of New York State, said: "The Green Jobs/Green New York program has the promise of significant jobs creation. These jobs will directly relate to saving energy and improving the quality of life of the residents of New York and they are jobs that cannot be exported. We look forward to working with NYSERDA and the other partners in the Green Jobs/Green New York program to bring energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety, and building durability improvements to the homes and business of tens of thousands of New York residents over the coming years."
Richard Cherry, Founder and President of the Queens-based Community Environmental Center, said: "It's exciting to see this excellent and significant increase in the number of green employment opportunities. NYSERDA has done a great job of working with different constituencies to put together this valuable program."