What residents can do.

Save on your energy bill and reduce your household's CO2 emissions! Capital Region residents are eligible for a number of programs intended to help reduce energy use and save money.

EmPower New York
Low income households (households with income below 60% of state median income) are eligible for free on-site energy use education and strategies for managing their energy costs through the EmPower New York program. Administered by NYSERDA, the energy efficiency services are delivered by private contractors and participating weatherization agencies, all of whom are Building Performance Institute accredited. Visit NYSERDA’s page on EmPower New York for more information.

Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency
If you have bought or recently installed a solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, or small wind turbine system, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit. For a complete list of eligible systems and how to apply, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
This federally funded program assists low-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating their homes. HEAP may help you pay for electricity, propane, natural gas, wood, oil, kerosene, coal, or any other heating fuel. The HEAP emergency benefit assists qualifying low-income New Yorkers who are facing a heat or heat related emergency and do not have the resources available to resolve the emergency. The heating equipment repair and replacement program is available to help low-income homeowners repair or replace furnaces, boilers, and other direct heating components necessary to keep the home's primary heating source functional. To see if you qualify for assistance or how you can apply, visit the HEAP webpage.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®
Have an expert show you how your home is wasting energy and money—and how you can fix it. Keep your hard-earned energy dollars while making your home more comfortable with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Through this program, a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractor will pinpoint the problems in your home and propose cost-effective solutions. Low interest financing and cash incentives are available to pay for the work. Visit to download an application and learn more.

Residential High-Efficiency Natural Gas Heating Rebate Program
National Grid offers rebates and incentives to New York State residents that install energy-efficient equipment. A variety of boilers, furnaces, and insulation packages qualify for rebates of up to $450. New equipment installed between 1/1/15 to 12/31/15 is eligible for a rebate contingent upon availability of funds. Learn more at National Grid's website.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) enables low-income families to permanently reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. Allocated funds are used to improve energy efficiency by plugging cracks, insulating walls, and installing weather stripping to doors and windows. Families receiving weatherization services see their an average annual savings in excess of 20% on their energy bills. Money is distributed to states from the Department of Energy (DOE). Those with income levels at or below 60% of the state median, senior citizens, those with disabilities, and families with children all qualify for assistance. For more information, visit the national WAP website or the New York State Weatherization Assistance Program.


Downtown businesses

Reduce energy costs and make your business more financially sustainable. Check out the following resources: 

Energy Audit Program
Many of New York small businesses and non-profits are eligible for a low-cost, comprehensive energy assessment. To be eligible, the business or organization must have an average electric demand of 100kW or less. A trained energy auditor will inspect your facility, looking for ways to reduce energy costs by reducing drafts, increasing ventilation, and controlling humidity. Visit the NYSERDA Energy Audit Program website for more info and how to apply.

Commercial and Industrial Rebate Program
NYSEG and RG&E commercial, industrial, and institutional customers that pay a System Benefits Charge are eligible for rebates for energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting improvements, heating upgrades, and HVAC systems. For more information on eligibility and rebate offers, check out the program’s webpage.

Demand Response Programs
Commercial and industrial customers that use large amounts of electricity at the same time puts the grid under stress, increasing the likelihood of outages. The New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) is working with businesses to help them manage their energy usage during peak electricity demand. In return, utilities pay these businesses for reducing their electricity use. To register your business for these programs or for more details, visit the NYISO website. Both National Grid and NYSEG are participants in these programs and tailor them to their customers. Visit their respective websites for more details.

Commercial Existing Facilities Program
NYSERDA’s Existing Facilities Program offers incentives for the installation of Performance-Based electric efficiency system improvements, National Fuel Gas efficiency improvements, and Renewable Heat NY large commerical installations. The Performance-Based Electric Efficiency incentives are offered for cost-effective energy efficiency projects that deliver verifiable annual electric energy savings. Visit the Existing Facilities Program website for details and instructions on how to apply.

FlexTech Program
NYSERDA’s FlexTech Program provides facility managers with detailed, objective, and customized information to help them make informed energy decisions. Consultants are available to help ensure maximum returns on energy investment. Cost-sharing incentives are available for certain projects and studies. Visit NYSERDA FlexTech Program webpage for details.

Commercial New Construction Program
The Commercial New Construction Program, offered through NYSERDA, provides assistance for incorporating energy-efficiency measures into the design, construction, and operation of new and substantially renovated buildings. The program is available to all types of building construction. Technical assistance is available to help design and construct buildings to meet modern efficiency standards. Supplemental funding can also be obtained to offset the costs associated with installing energy efficient products. Further information about the program or how you can apply can be found at the Commerical New Construction Program page on the NYSERDA website.

Renewable Energy Certificates
Buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) proves that your business is committed to supporting green energy. A REC is the equivalent of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (or 1MWh) of electricity created using clean forms of power, such as wind or solar. Supplying your business with green energy will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and increase your environmental standing. Green Power NYC has an easy to use site where you can begin purchasing RECs to offset your emissions.

Small Business Energy Efficiency Program
NYSEG business customers with demand of less than 100 kilowatts (kw) are eligible to receive free energy assessments and up to 70% of the cost of recommended lighting upgrades. For more information on how your business can enroll, visit the program’s website or call (877) 359-9814. National Grid also offers a similar program for its customers.

ENERGY STAR has provided an excellent guide (Adobe PDF) for small businesses on how to increase efficiency and reduce costs.