April 22, 2016
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces $57 Million to Help Low-Income Households Reduce Utility Costs, Make Homes Healthier, Safer and More Energy-Efficient

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces $57 Million to Help...

Nearly 8,000 Households Expected to See Costs Cut 20 Percent or More

Local Investments Complement “Finger Lakes Forward” – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $57 million in Weatherization Assistance Program funds that will help cut utility costs for approximately 8,600 low-income families and seniors across the state. The 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 to ensure air quality. 

“The Weatherization Assistance Program has helped thousands of low-income households across the state make their homes safer and their utility bills more affordable,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding will build on this success by helping more New Yorkers save money on energy costs while creating cleaner and more sustainable communities in every corner of the state.”

The announcement was made by New York State Homes and Community Renewal at a residential home in Endicott, New York, that had recently been weatherized.

James S. Rubin, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal said, “Low-income households spend more than 10 percent of household income, on average, for heating and other energy expenditures. Adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and tuning heating systems are measures that pay for themselves in energy savings. A relatively modest investment in weatherization funds can mean a world of difference to a family struggling with energy costs or a senior on a fixed income.”

Congressman Tom Reed said, “We care about helping working-families access affordable, reliable energy and lower utility costs, which ultimately is one of the goals of our all-of-the-approach to energy security. Together, we can help improve energy efficiency across the board, which includes weatherization of our homes. Programs like these help our seniors and those struggling to make ends meet stay warm in the winter and helping them is the right thing to do.”

Congressman John Katko said, “Individuals and families in Central New York deserve safe, energy-efficient, and affordable housing. This investment will help improve safety and health standards in our neighborhoods and ensure that energy assistance is provided to those in our community who need it most.” 

The WAP is administered by HCR with funds from the U.S. Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services. Services are available in every county of the state 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 688,000 dwellings have been assisted.

A recent national evaluation of the WAP commissioned by DOE found that the program is extremely effective in cold climates like New York’s. Work in multi-family buildings is especially cost-effective with WAP investments saving in excess of 20 percent compared to pre-weatherization energy use.

A total of $1.3 million of the $57 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, green jobs, and our state-of-the-art training facilities help ensure that workers keep up with rapidly evolving technologies. 

A list of the 2016 Weatherization Assistance Program Award recipients is available here

For more information on the WAP and a list of awards by region, click here.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

This investment complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest in the region and leverage well over $2.5 billion to support up to 8,200 new jobs.

Since 2012, the state has invested more than $3.4 billion in the region to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. 

Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. More information about Finger Lakes Forward is available here

 

 

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