NYSERDA Launches $1 Million Multi-Year Home Energy Ratings Pilot to Improve Energy Performance to Combat Climate Change

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that a total of $1 million is available to qualified home energy contractors and home inspectors through a four-phase, multi-year Home Energy Rating Pilot (Pilot). The Pilot, which is targeted to one- to -four-family homes, will help homeowners who are ready to invest in their homes and are looking for independent, trustworthy energy performance information. 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 and therefore the durability, comfort and safety their home. Today's announcement advances the state's efforts to meet Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's 2025 energy efficiency target of 185 trillion BTUs in energy savings and supports the Governor's Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York on a path to a carbon-free economy.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, "Reducing energy use in homes is a key component to achieving Governor Cuomo's ambitious energy efficiency target and lays the foundation for greater energy savings across the state. By piloting these home energy ratings, New Yorkers will have access to a beneficial tool to identify potential high-performing energy features for their homes and prioritize areas that can be upgraded to make it more energy efficient, comfortable and lower costs."

This pilot supports Governor Cuomo's New Efficiency: New York 2025 energy efficiency target to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) below forecasted energy use in 2025, the equivalent to energy consumed by 1.8 million New York homes. Meeting the target will accelerate achievement of energy efficiency in the next seven years by more than 40 percent over the current path. 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.

Home Energy Ratings are similar to a Miles Per Gallon rating on a car, providing easy-to-understand visual reports that give the homeowner insight into how their home performs in areas like 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.

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 were selected to evaluate the impact the rating systems will have on consumer awareness and demand for energy efficiency services in different geographic areas.

Home Energy Score will be offered in:

  • Queens
  • Broome County
  • Town of Tonawanda

Pearl Home Certification will be offered in: 

  • Staten Island
  • Tompkins County
  • Town of Irondequoit

The pilot is being offered in four phases over the next two to three years: 

  • Phase 1: Seeks applications from participating contractors in NYSERDA's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program to use home energy ratings as a sales tool by delivering ratings to eligible homeowners.
  • Phase 2: Seeks applications from licensed home inspectors to deliver ratings to home buyers as part of a pre-purchase inspection.
  • Phase 3: Seeks applications from home energy contractors as a sales tool by delivering ratings to eligible homeowners.
  • Phase 4: Seeks applications from additional licensed home inspectors to deliver ratings to home buyers as part of a pre-purchase inspection.

Contractors and home inspectors interested in applying for qualification to offer these services can visit NYSERDA's website.

The residential sector has unique challenges with energy efficiency due to wide variations in homes, many companies selling varied energy products and services, and the way homeowners make decisions about investments in their homes. By introducing and helping companies leverage trustworthy third-party rating tools, the program will help consumers better understand their home, the benefits and value of energy efficiency, and create a plan to make energy improvements over time.

NYSERDA will conduct an informational webinar for phase 1 on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EST during which NYSERDA will review the requirements of the solicitation and answer questions. Applicants who intend to participate must register here. Future rounds of the pilot are expected to launch later in 2019.

Funding for this program is part of the state's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund, a core component of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

NYSERDA | nyserda.ny.gov