PUSH Buffalo has in the past championed weatherization legislation that has become reality in the State of New York. Green Jobs/Green NY GJ/GNY
was passed by the State in 2009 and was a huge victory for not just the city of Buffalo, but for the entire State. As the greatest energy efficiency program in the history of the State, it aims to retrofit (the process of making a house more energy efficient) 1 million homes/businesses and create 120,000 jobs in New York State. It also offers money up front to homeowners to pay for these retrofits. The money comes in the form of a low interest loan to be paid back over a 15 year period. This is only half the battle.
Enter On Bill Recovery
PUSH Buffalo has been working diligently behind the scenes on what is known as on bill recovery. In practice without any upfront payments, this would allow homeowners to repay the cost of the retrofits on their monthly utility bill. The monthly payment would be less than the amount of money a homeowner would save in energy costs. It also proposes to raise a $5 billion pool towards retrofitting more homes.
As it stands now the one (Green Jobs/Green NY) cannot really go much farther without the other (on bill recovery). On bill recovery will help poorer consumers and homeowners in New York State who do not have good credit and who definitely are unable to afford the upfront costs of the one. By taking the cost of home retrofitting directly from the utility bill on bill recovery the other, ensures that poor and low income folks will have a better shot at survival during the State's cold winters.
PUSH Buffalo has been working closely with a local coalition of contractors and job trainers to put pressure on State politicians to pass strong on bill recovery legislation. Utility companies are working hard to strip out key provisions of the legislation. Strong on bill recovery legislation needs to be passed this legislative season, it must conserve consumer protections, and it must be implemented quickly in order to take Green Jobs/Green NY to scale.
Posted on Fri, May 20, 2011