Homeowners Cited for Energy-Conservation Efforts

23 homeowners were recognized Tuesday evening.

Six months after their homes with energy upgrades, Bedford saluted yet another couple of dozen this week as pioneers in energy conservation.

In a town hall ceremony similar to last December’s, residents taking advantage of the Energize Bedford program—which looks to cut home energy consumption by 10 to 40 percent—left with a seal, a participation certificate and the thanks of grateful town officials.

A leader in northern Westchester’s energy-conservation efforts, Bedford has targeted a 20 percent reduction in energy use by 2020. “Each of you,” Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts told the certificate holders, “is helping us toward our goal, and we congratulate you.”

Tom Bregman, director of the Retrofit Project Program, made clear Tuesday just how far out in front Bedford has sprinted in energy-conservation efforts since roughly the end of 2010. Addressing the board and a large town hall audience, Bregman noted that Bedford residents—barely 10 percent of northern Westchester’s population—have initiated a third of all the area’s home-performance upgrades.

“What has happened has been dramatic,” Bregman said, “and it’s happened in the last 18 months.”

Bregman’s wide-angle focus goes with the territory, literally, for the retrofit director. While his job began as a town position, it was understood from the start—and spelled out in the federal grant money that funds it—that the program will expand its borders. Ultimately, Energize opportunities are expected to be available in all 14 communities of the Northern Westchester Energy Action Coalition.

Already, Bregman told his town hall audience, additional Energize programs are under way in the towns of Somers and New Castle as well as both the town and village of Ossining. Plans are on the drawing board, he said, for launches in three or four more towns.

10506er June 21, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I'd be curious to know how much each of the 23 homeowners had to pay contractors to make their house retrofiited enough to win an award! What specifically did they do? The double-edge sword of going green is the cost of the green products - forget affording good solar panels. They are exorbitantly expensive. I once considered a home-size wind turbine (I live up on a hill) but gee, by town code it's an accessory structure and was too high! Irony? I'm for my own kind of conservation, and I'm a little offended that those who can afford alot of retrofitting are singled out for awards.
Thomas Bregman June 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM
As most homes are very different the kinds of work will vary between them. Building science (the science of how homes work in terms of energy use) has matured in the past 20 years to the point of being able to model with software each individual home. This means that the energy savings from each measure (type of work) recommended can be accurately predicted and the savings in $$$$ can be estimated. While savings will vary depending on the condition of the home and the work selected, homes in New York that have completed "Home Performance with ENERGY STAR" improvements will save $1000 or more a year in their energy bills. The idea behind these programs is that the work can pay for itself out of the savings and that New York state has great low cost (2.99%) financing that makes it possible for most everyone who owns a home to afford the work. You can find out more at our website energizeny.org or by calling our office at 914-244-7210.
Christopher Roberts June 22, 2012 at 03:13 PM
10506'er—I used to have the same concern before I understood how this program actually works, but now that I understand it, I don't think you (or I) need to be concerned. It doesn't necessarily cost the homeowner anything, at least not out of pocket. The assessment is free to most people (and the people who have to pay the $250 can well afford it, because it's a means-tested subsidy) and the work itself is (a) offset by State incentives between 10% and 50%, and (b) the whole thing can be financed 100% through the State. As i understand it, in most cases, the monthly loan repayment is equal to or less than your actual savings. So the work is done, no money down, and your monthly expenses stay the same or go down. As for the awards in the article, it's just for doing the program. It's not based on how much you spent or even how much you saved. Seriously, call the Energize people and try the program out. It's a really good thing, and not what you think it is.


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