Common House Problems that Increase Energy Costs and Decrease Comfort
Inadequate Insulation
Air Leakage
Inefficient Heating Systems
Inefficient Central Air
    Conditioning Systems
Duct Leakage

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC)?
What is the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities?
What is New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)?
What is Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY)?
What is energy efficiency?
What affects the energy efficiency of my home?
What are the benefits of making my home energy efficient?
Do I qualify for help?
Is there financing available?
Is there income eligibility?
How do I find out if my home is inefficient?
Do I qualify for a Free Home Energy Assessment?
Who will do the work on my house?
Can I receive more than one Free or Reduced-Cost Home Energy Assessment?
Are these contractors also code inspectors?
How does the PowerUp Referral benefit my community?
How does PowerUp Communities benefit my community?
What is the First Step in the PowerUp process?

What is the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC)?

The Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC) is a grassroots community-based organization founded in 1979, dedicated to promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, enhancing human dignity, creating effective democracy, and achieving economic, social & racial justice.

What is the Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities?

The Long Island Progressive Coalition’s PowerUp Communities is a green energy program servicing Nassau and Suffolk Counties which helps homeowners make their homes energy efficient and more comfortable, while generating good paying jobs and community revitalization.

We connect homeowners with government funds, one-on-one support and certified contractors, in receiving energy-saving home improvements. In addition to cutting waste, reducing our carbon footprint and saving people money, PowerUp Communities sparks job and business opportunities—right here in our neighborhoods. The LIPCs PowerUp Communities is the local Community Based Organization contracted through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authorities (NYSERDA) Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY) initiative.

What is New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)?

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA's programs and funding opportunities, visit http://www.nyserda.ny.gov.

What is Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY)?

In 2009, the Long Island Progressive Coalition worked with organizations throughout New York State to reduce energy costs and consumption and to provide good paying jobs by passing Green Jobs Green New York Legislation. GJGNY is a statewide program to promote energy efficiency and the installation of clean technologies to reduce energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Green Jobs - Green New York (GJGNY) Program provides New Yorkers with access to energy assessments, installation services, low-cost financing and pathways for various green-collar careers.

What is energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency means using less energy to do the things we do every day, which saves money, promotes a healthier environment and offers other benefits like being more comfortable at home.

What affects the energy efficiency of my home?

A home might use a lot of energy depending on how it’s built. For example, a house that has an older boiler or furnace, little insulation in the walls, and lots of leaky spots where air can get in from outside will burn a lot of energy, especially when someone turns the heat up during winter.

That’s because older furnaces need to burn more fuel to make heat, and a house that has air leaks and poor insulation will let more heat escape. During summer, the opposite happens. Hot air leaks into the house and people have to turn up their fans and air conditioners to stay cool.

What are the benefits of making my home energy efficient?

Energy efficiency improvements will help you save money and improve your homes comfort. PowerUp Communities homeowners save anywhere from $800 to $3000 a year on fuel/electric bills! Beyond the savings, these improvements result in reduced drafts and help you stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Bottom line, if you pay for the energy you use in your home, it should stay in your home. PowerUp Communities can help ensure that the money you are spending on heat and electric is money well spent.

Do I qualify for help?

We’ll help you find out. PowerUp Communities works with NYSERDA and the Long Island utilities so you can easily take part in programs to save energy. This includes taking advantage of rebates and low-interest financing to help pay for the energy upgrades. Low to moderate income residents can receive 50% (or more!) of the costs covered in rebates and discounts, or even have improvements made for free.

PowerUp Communities will let you know what your household qualifies for at first conversation and helps you obtain any necessary pre-approvals. We will also set you up with a qualified contractor who will give your home a home top-to-bottom look to see what upgrades you need.

Is there financing available?

Yes. PowerUp Communities primarily utilizes On-Bill Recovery for financing. On Bill allows you to use the savings on your utility bills to pay for the energy upgrades, without increasing your monthly expenses and with no out of pocket expenses by financing your loan on your monthly PSE&G Long Island electric bill. On-bill is available at 3.49% however the Smart Energy is at 3.99% or 3.49% if doing direct deposit. Homeowners can also utilize an alternative financing or opt to pay out-of-pocket.

Is there income eligibility?

No, there is no income requirement for PowerUp Communities. PowerUp will help you understand what your individual household qualifies for. Every household receives some sort of rebate to help pay for any improvements.

How do I find out if my home is inefficient?

PowerUp Communities will set you up with a NYSERDA HOME PERFORMANCE WITH ENERGY STAR Free or Reduced-Cost Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment. This assessment will let you know where you are wasting the most amounts of energy- and money- in your home. The assessment will include a health and safety check. After the assessment The contractor will provide you with a workscope which breaks down the recommended improvements and their costs. The assessment takes about 3 hours and is a complete top-to-bottom check of your homes efficiency.

Do I qualify for a Free Home Energy Assessment?

Homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk County with annual household incomes below $210,200 receive the assessment for free! Incomes above that can receive the assessment at a reduced cost; PowerUp can let you know how much.

Who will do the work on my house?

The same NYSERDA Home Performance contractor that performs the assessment will perform the work. These contractors are accredited by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national organization that trains and certifies contractors to do energy efficiency work.

Can I receive more than one Free or Reduced-Cost Home Energy Assessment?

No. NYSERDA only allows one free home energy assessment per homeowner, per building. If you would like another home energy assessment, you will be charged the market rate.

Are these contractors also code inspectors?

No. The contractors who come to work on your home are only there to help you make it more energy efficient. They may do some health and safety tests to make sure your home is safe, but they are not code inspectors or any other type of government official.

How does the PowerUp Referral benefit my community?

Utilizing the PowerUp Referral, homeowners that complete a retrofit through PowerUp are eligible to receive a donation in their name to their organization of choice for up to $200! The PowerUp Referral has the potential to raise thousands for the organizations that matter most to you!

To read more about the PowerUp Referral please click here

How does PowerUp Communities benefit my community?

PowerUp Communities is a community revitalization program. Each contractor participating in the PowerUp Communities program has signed a Community Benefits Agreement with the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC). This Agreement states that PowerUp contractors must pay a living wage with health care and hire local workers. By becoming a PowerUp homeowner you are not only improving the quality and affordability of your home, you are also helping to create green career pathways.

What is the First Step in the PowerUp process?

The first step in the PowerUp Communities process is to fill out a Home Inventory Form with a Homeowner Support Representative by calling 516-541-1006 x 15 or email powerup@lipc.org, or by clicking here. This form gives PowerUp insight into where the trouble spots in your home are. From there you will be contacted by a Homeowner Support Representative and directed to the next steps!

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