It is a self-financing residential retrofit program for upgrading the energy efficiency of existing homes in the Town of Babylon. The program will enable residents to make their homes greener and healthier at little or no out-of-pocket cost. Often, residents will save money immediately from making these improvements.
Most homes–even newer ones–have not been constructed to building performance standards that conserve energy. The overwhelming majority of homes on Long Island are wasting considerable amounts of energy and contributing unnecessary greenhouse gasses to the environment. Leaking energy means that homeowners are wasting a lot of money. With fuel costs at all time highs and in a region where utility rates are among the highest in the nation, homeowners can no longer afford to waste energy.
By reducing the amount of energy needed to power our homes we will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. Every time we turn a light on in our homes or turn up the thermostat or turn on an air conditioner, we are using energy from a power plant or burning scarce fossil fuels (oil and natural gas), all of which produce greenhouse gas emissions. By combating global warming and cleaning the air, you are also preventing the need to build more power plants and are reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
A Town of Babylon Licensed Green Homes Contractor will conduct a comprehensive energy audit of your home to determine what energy-efficient home improvements may be effective. The contractor will prepare a detailed report that will demonstrate the savings you will receive from making the improvements. The savings will, generally, cover the cost of the upgrades.
The objective of Long Island Green Homes is to reduce your homes energy usage, thereby reducing your utility bills. Therefore, an energy assessment will be performed by a town licensed, BPI certified, Energy Auditor. The cost of the energy assessment is $250, which will be paid directly to your auditor.There is no longer a $250 assessment fee. Free or low-cost energy audits through NYSERDA's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program are available to residential customers.
Following the Home Performance Evaluation, you will be given a detailed explanation of how your home uses energy, where the most energy is being wasted or lost, and specific improvements that could increase energy efficiency. The report also calculates a fixed cost for each recommended improvement along with the projected dollar amount you will see in energy savings on an annual basis, from that specific improvement.
The Long Island Green Homes Program pays the contractor the entire cost of the energy-efficiency improvements. Under a separate contract with the homeowner, the Town sets up a monthly payment plan that has the homeowner pay for the improvements over time only from a projected utility bill cost savings. For example, if our expert Home Performance Evaluation auditors project that you will save $1,000 per year in utility bills, The Town will establish an annual payment schedule (benefit assessment payment) based on your projected annual savings. Therefore your payment would be less than a $100 a month.
Retrofitting refers to the addition of new technology or features (such as insulation, more efficient boilers) to older systems (or your home). By improving your homes energy usage, Long Island Green Homes aims to prevent unnecessary air leakage and wasted energy escaping from your home.
One of our town licensed BPI certified, Energy contractors. This The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) measures the knowledge, skills and competency of individuals, and evaluates the organizations impacting building performance. BPI has an integrated certification, accreditation and quality assurance program designed to support the building performance contracting industry. BPI ensures our contractors are educated to the highest standards for energy efficiency improvement work, and are exceptionally qualified to complete the efficiency improvements on your home.
The best part of the Long Island Green Homes program is that there are no up-front costs to the homeowner for the improvements.
Once the licensed contractor has completed the work, the Town will directly pay the contractor. The homeowner will then pay the Town for the improvements on a monthly basis for an amount and term that is agreed upon in advance. With almost every customer, the savings from reduced energy bills will be greater than the cost of the improvements. This means that the homeowner will have a positive cash flow; the money that was going to the utility companies is now going to make your home greener and healthier. Once the improvements are completely paid for all of the savings go directly to the homeowner, saving him/her an average of $1,000 every year.
The Town is not making loans to residents. The Town is expanding the definition of solid waste to include energy waste, based on its carbon content. By defining energy waste in this way, the Town is able to provide energy-efficient improvements to Babylon residents’ homes from its solid waste fund. This type of measure is known as a “benefit assessment.” A benefit assessment can be established when a municipality provides a specific improvement on a parcel of property for a public purpose, assessing the cost of the benefit against the property. In the case of Long Island Green Homes, the energy-efficient improvements to homes serve a vital purpose, remediating the environmental damage caused by leaky and inefficient homes.
The Town will provide for energy saving improvements up to $12,000 per home and the homeowner will pay for the improvements through a monthly benefit assessment fee. The amount of the monthly benefit assessment fee is structured to be less than the monthly savings on a resident’s energy bills resulting from the energy-efficient improvements. The Town will charge a 3% administrative fee which will be built into the monthly payments residents will make to pay for the improvements.
The LI Green Homes program can only issue contracts to homeowners. However if a landlord chooses to participate in the Long Island Green Homes program, the residents will benefit from the efficiency improvements as well. The program is currently open for those residing in one or two family homes.
Other towns are working on jump starting their own Green Homes Program. Please contact your local Supervisor or Town Board to let them know you are interested in a Town sponsored program. Visit the Long Island Green Homes Consortium to find out what you can do on your own. You can also refer to LIPA’s efficiency programs as another resource to make your home more energy efficient. Click here for LIPA's website.
When you sell your home the benefits associated with the energy efficient home improvements pass automatically to the new homeowner, so it is only fair that any remaining costs for the improvements will also pass automatically. Once you sell your home your liability for any additional payments is over.
Absolutely not. You will be hiring a contractor as you would for any other type of work you would want to do in your house. The only difference here is that the contractors are licensed by the Town to insure they have the credentials and capability to properly do this kind of work. At no time will Town employees be permitted to enter your home without your explicit permission.
Although the program is starting in Babylon it is our expectation that it will be replicated throughout Long Island and New York State. The potential benefit to homeowners, to our environment and our economy is too substantial for this program to be offered only in Babylon. The name also reflects the fact that this program is in line with regional and statewide objectives under the leadership of New York State Governor David Paterson. Governor Paterson’s Renewable Energy Taskforce recently proposed a roadmap to pave New York’s way to energy independence including the need for comprehensive building efficiency. In addition, Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) recently released his Efficiency Long Island Program, which emphasizes making homes more energy-efficient.
Before we can schedule you for a Home Performance Evaluation, we need some information about your home's energy use. Please fill out the Self-Check Home Inventory Form, which includes some basic questions about your home, as well as your energy usage habits. In addition to the form, you will be asked to provide your two most recent years of utility usage data; that includes your electricity, oil, and/or gas. If you don't have this information, please request it from your utility providers by calling or visiting their websites. Click HERE for step by step directions on how to get your LIPA electricity data from www.lipower.org, and click HERE for directions on how to get National Grid natural gas data from www.nationalgridus.com. This information gives us a good indication of whether or not the LIGH program is potentially right for you.
Once we have processed the data from your Self-Check Home Inventory Form, a Town of Babylon Licensed Green Homes Contractor will perform a Home Performance Evaluation on your house. The contractor will provide a detailed report that will recommend certain energy efficient home improvements and estimate the savings that will result. You make the decision to hire the contractor to perform the energy-efficient home improvements. What energy-efficient home improvements are offered through the program? Improvements include efficient lighting, weather-stripping, caulking, air and duct sealing, insulation and upgrading of heating units, etc. We will advise participants which appliances, cooling units, and other eligible measures offer the best return and what LIPA rebates and incentives apply. Please call our office at (631) 422-4411 if you have any further questions or concerns.
Once we get your form and utility data, we’ll call you to set up an energy audit within a day or two. Once the audit is preformed and the work is recommended, we can have the work finished within 1 to 2 weeks. So you can start seeing a savings within 2-3 weeks from today.
We still recommend that you have a professional energy audit to be certain that your home is running efficiently. We have found that many homeowners are unaware of the significant energy problems in their home.
We use state-of-the-art, industry standard software called Real Home Analyzer to calculate your savings, using your 2 years of utility usage data and the information from your Energy Audit. LIGH also thoroughly reviews each project for accuracy, and performs regular quality assurance inspections.