Deep Energy Savings with Immediate Positive Cash Flow
The Long Island Green Homes Program
Client: Town of Babylon
Location: Long Island, New York
Many homeowners want to retrofit their houses to be more energy efficient, but upfront cost is an obstacle. Over time, homeowners recoup those costs through savings on energy bills. But for those who lack the cash to make the changes, those savings may never be realized. In communities where many people in older homes can’t afford to make their homes energy efficient, overall energy usage remains high. Most of that energy is from fossil fuels, a finite resource that contributes to global warming through harmful emissions.
On Long Island, New York, leaders in the Town of Babylon wanted to give residents
an opportunity to retrofit their homes without incurring steep out-of-pocket costs.
The Town loans money directly to homeowners (up to $12,000), who make low monthly
payments correlated to the savings on monthly utility bills. Appropriate technology
was needed to calculate potential energy savings.
Conservation Services Group’s ROLE
The Long Island Green Homes program--part of LIPA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program--utilizes independent BPI certified contractors to conduct home assessments and install energy efficient measures. They use an energy modeling software program developed and licensed by CSG to determine energy savings. The projected savings are critical,
because that figure determines how much money the homeowner is eligible for and
what the monthly payments will be upon completion of the work.
- Lower energy bills for homeowners
- More comfortable living space
- Cleaner indoor and outdoor air
- Creation of green jobs
- More than 850 retrofitted homes
- Reduction of carbon emissions
- Investment in community
Strategy & goals
The program’s goals are to:
- Reduce carbon emissions by 65,000 to 130,000 tons
- Reduce energy costs for homeowners
- Create green-collar jobs
To achieve these goals, city officials needed to tap into surplus Residential Garbage District funds. To do this, the definition of solid waste was expanded to include energy waste, allowing an initial $2 million from the fund to be allocated to the Long Island Green Homes program.
Administrative costs are covered through a 3 percent interest rate on each of the projects financed.
If residents are significantly delinquent, the outstanding balance is added to their annual property tax bill. The total monthly payment (including the three percent administrative fee), is designed to be less than the average monthly savings on the resident's energy bill.
Through the program, homeowners are able to make improvements they could not otherwise afford, as well as benefit the community through job creation and improving the environment.
- More than 850 homes have been retrofitted through this program, which is equivalent to more than 1.5% of the Town of Babylon's single family homes.
- The average participant has reduced home energy costs by more than $1200 a year.
- The average cost of retrofitting is $9,700.
- Homeowners have reduced their carbon emissions by 20 to 40 percent, or five to 10
pounds per day.
Donald Miehling, Program Operations Manager