The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced it has made a total of $1 million available to qualified home energy contractors and home inspectors through a four-phase, multi-year home energy ratings pilot.
The pilot which is targeted to one- to four-family homes, seeks to help homeowners who are “ready to invest in their homes” and are looking for “independent, trustworthy energy performance information,” NYESRDA said in a Feb. 20 news release.
Once approved through a competitive selection process, qualified contractors and home inspectors will provide those homeowners with home energy performance ratings including opportunities for improving their energy performance.
The announcement is part of the state’s efforts to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2025 energy-efficiency target to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) below forecasted energy use in 2025.
The new energy-efficiency target will set New York state on a path to achieve annual electric-efficiency savings of 3 percent of investor-owned utility sales in 2025, the release stated.
Home energy ratings are similar to a miles-per-gallon rating on a car, providing visual reports on how a home performs in areas such as insulation, air sealing, heating and cooling efficiency, and hot-water heating. Each rating comes with a list of recommendations or an improvement plan that helps the homeowner plan upgrades to increase the efficiency, comfort, and value of their home.
NYSERDA says two home energy rating systems will be piloted: the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Home Energy Score” and the “Pearl Home Certification” from Pearl, a private residential energy-efficiency certification firm. Six locations across the state (including two in Central New York) were selected to evaluate the impact the rating systems will have on consumer awareness and demand for energy efficiency services in different geographic areas.
The Home Energy Score will be offered in Queens, Broome County, and the Town of Tonawanda.
The Pearl Home Certification will be offered in Staten Island, Tompkins County, and the Town of Irondequoit.