City officials joined together to showcase how $2 million were spent to make all five Poughkeepsie Housing Authority projects more energy efficient. Our John Wagner has the story on how you can also save money on your electric and heating bills with a few subsidized upgrades.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- With winter fast approaching, the Poughkeepsie Housing Authority is hammering the final nails into a project that's making apartments greener, warmer and cutting energy bills by twenty percent.
"We insulated our buildings, we air sealed buildings and apartments, we replaced lighting fixtures with CFLs," said executive director Stan Merritt.
By weatherizing all of their 359 apartments, the Poughkeepsie Housing Authority should save a few hundred thousand dollars each year. And by taking advantage of various state and federal subsidies, they will earn their investment back in only a matter of months.
Low-income families can get inefficient water heaters and refrigerators and leaky windows and doors replaced for free, thanks to grants from NYSERDA and the Department of Energy.
"We ask the landlord to contribute 25 percent of whatever it costs us to do the work, which is cheap," explained Patty Lamoree, weatherization director at the Dutchess County Community Action Partnership. "He can get his house, you know, fixed up, keep his tenants warm and reduce their energy burden."
"If you look at your energy bills and you're like oh my, I don't want to pay this much, okay, you're a prime candidate for a comprehensive home assessment," said Joseph Malcarne, president of Malcarne Contracting.
Ninety percent of New Yorkers can get the audit for free, revealing how much fixes would cost upfront and save you on utilities down the road.
"Over the course of a year [on average], they save three to four hundred dollars on their heating bill alone," said Lamoree.
"With current energy prices and the way in which you can do simple things to make your house more energy efficient, typically the amount that you invest in doing the work will be paid back within three to five years," said Malcarne.
Low-income home owners, renters or their landlords should contact:
Community Action Partnership:
(845) 452-5104 Ext: 115 or 141
Regional Economic Community Action Program, Inc.
(845) 342-3978 Ext: 29, 17, or 55
Rural Development Advisory Corporation
Community Action Committee, Inc.
Community Action Commission to Help the Economy, Inc.
To sign up for a free or reduced cost energy audit, visit the NYSERDA website at www.nyserda.ny.gov.