Awards Through New York’s Weatherization Stimulus Program Will Reduce Energy Costs for Low-Income Homeowners and Renters; Advance Governor’s Target of Two Million Electrified or Electrification-Ready Homes by 2030
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced $34 million in federal funding awards for over 1,000 homes to become more energy efficient and climate friendly. Awarded through the state’s Weatherization Stimulus Program, the funding will support electrification and electrification-ready upgrades that will lower energy costs and improve health outcomes for income-eligible renters and homeowners.
“New York’s nation-leading clean energy goals require that we reduce harmful building emissions across all communities,” Governor Hochul said. “Our comprehensive decarbonization strategy includes resources to ensure low- and moderate-income New Yorkers are not left behind in the transition. This $34 million will bring us closer to our goal of reaching two million climate-friendly homes by 2030 and achieving a better and greener future for the next generation of New Yorkers.”
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 allocated additional funding to states to support heat and energy conservation programs for low-income households, including the federally-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. Administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, the Weatherization Assistance Program helps reduce energy costs for income-eligible homeowners and renters by providing free services that help conserve energy and improve safety and health standards.
The $34 million made available for the Weatherization Stimulus Program is intended to reach households that otherwise would not be eligible for deep decarbonization assistance. Using the existing network of Weatherization Assistance Program sub-grantees, 31 awards were granted to nonprofit community developmental organizations and local municipalities to support project scoping and complete work to improve energy efficiency and decrease carbon emissions in income-eligible single and multi-family homes throughout New York State.
Additionally, a portion of the funds will be used to train and enhance existing sub-grantees capacity to deliver these services in the future, supporting the Governor’s goals of investing in and developing New York State’s workforce for climate-friendly activities.
The potential scope of work through the Weatherization Stimulus Program includes:
- Cold climate heat pump installation;
- Electrification readiness (e.g. improvements to electrical service);
- Ventilation cleaning, sealing and balancing;
- Health and safety building repairs and improvements;
- Building envelope improvements including enhanced insulation and air sealing.
The Governor’s unprecedented commitment to electrification-ready homes will help meet the State’s carbon reduction target set by the New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires an 85 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050 and eventually net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy.
The awards announced today build upon the state’s Clean Energy Initiative and the $6.8 billion already devoted to reducing the carbon footprint of New York’s building stock, including in HCR’s affordable housing portfolio.
Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The $34 million in awards allows us to expand our existing Weatherization Assistance Program in order to meet the ambitious targets set by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. By making energy-efficient upgrades accessible to more than 1,000 income-eligible households, we can help lower energy bills for cost-burdened New Yorkers, address disparate health outcomes, and advance Governor Hochul’s goal of achieving two million climate-friendly homes by 2030.”
Vlada Kenniff, Vice President for Energy and Sustainability at the New York City Housing Authority, said, “Many of NYCHA’s stand-alone buildings require significant investments. The partnership with HCR and Weatherization Assistance Program service provider Association for Energy Affordability will allow us to address long-standing unfunded needs such as window replacements, making these buildings electrification ready, and electrifying space heating and hot water where feasible.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “As energy costs skyrocket nationwide, too many New Yorkers are struggling to pay their utility bills. Families should never have to choose between heating their homes and purchasing other necessities like food and medicine, and this federal funding will help ensure that hundreds of households across New York don’t have to. I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan to secure the $34 million that will make this project possible and I’ll keep fighting to lower utility costs for all New Yorkers.”
Representative Yvette D. Clarke said, “If we are to overcome the climate crisis, it is essential we enable our communities to overcome any of their current reliance on fossil fuels. Thanks to Governor Hochul’s tireless dedication towards this existential issue, New York communities are heading the right direction to meet our eco-friendly goals. These grants and the millions of dollars in funding within them will fundamentally revitalize our state’s fight for carbon neutrality, and I am beyond grateful to the Hochul Administration for delivering them to New York homes. But let me be clear: ensuring New York and America are prepared for climate change is no simple feat. It will require commitments at every level of government that will reach families in every corner of our nation. I was proud to support federal legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and the American Rescue Plan that produced the transformative climate investments that lead to this funding, just as I am proud to support these grants as they redefine energy efficiency in our state.”
Representative Paul Tonko said, “With energy prices continuously on the rise, countless Americans are feeling the strain on their pocketbooks, and disadvantaged and low-income communities are shouldering the worst burden. I pushed to deliver critical investments with our American Rescue Plan that would support electrification and lower home energy costs, and I am proud to have secured additional needed funds under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I thank Governor Hochul for her leadership ensuring New Yorkers receive these critical resources that cut costs and support a clean energy future.”
Representative Kathleen Rice said, “These funding awards will help reduce New York’s carbon footprint while simultaneously bringing down costs and improving health and safety standards for consumers. I applaud Governor Hochul for this important investment in energy efficiency and for her continued leadership in reaching our state’s clean energy goals.”
Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said, “For New York to achieve the goals in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we need to address the largest source of energy use across the state: buildings. More energy efficiency results in less overall energy use, which reduces emissions and costs. This program is important to support building decarbonization and electrification across the state, which will ultimately provide significant benefits for both the climate and public health, while supporting low-income residents.”
Lisa Dix, New York Director, Building Decarbonization Coalition, said, “Today’s announcement is a great step forward toward Governor Hochul’s bold commitment to achieve two million electric-ready and electrified homes by 2030. Providing efficiency, weatherization, electric upgrades and clean heat investments to benefit New Yorkers who face disproportionate health impacts from climate pollution and increased energy burden due to volatile fossil fuel price spikes, is also a good example of equitable climate policy mandated by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.”
Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “Weatherization is critical to the fight against climate change and to clean up the air we breathe,” said Rich Schrader, New York Policy Director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “As we move towards a more sustainable future, programs that advance an equitable transition, like the Weatherization Stimulus Program, are necessary to ensure that all communities are able to get the health, economic, and climate benefits of cleaner energy.”