Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A program to help homeowners cut their energy bills will continue for two more years with funding from New York state. The Home Performance with Energy Star Program helps people pay for cost-saving improvements to their homes.
It's the time of year when heating typically comes at a higher price. The NYSERDA Home Performance Energy Efficiency Program provides information on ways to save.
The program offers free energy audits for homes, businesses and non-profit organizations. Homeowners can then apply for grants to pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of improvements, like insulation or new energy efficient appliances.
Homeowners who participate save on average $900 a year, program officials said.
"In the end, if you get the grant and do the work usually what you're paying for a loan payment is less than what you're saving on fuel," said Pat Dundon, owner of The Insulation Man, "So you've reduced the amount you're spending every month, but your house is more comfortable and you're using less energy."
Insulation companies who help with the free audits and improvements say they hope more people take advantage.
"It's amazing how many homeowners do not know about it still," said Jonny Norton, owner of Foam It Insulation. "It's one of the best kept secrets out there. It's here and it's legit. A lot of people are saying it's too good to be true."
The Southern Tier is leading New York state in the number of applications for the program in the past two years. Organizers want to start focusing on some of the more rural areas in the region that could benefit from retrofitting homes and businesses.
"Because we cover eight counties, over 500 cities and towns," said Euphemia Martin, Southern Tier Regional Outreach Director, "We're trying to get to the rural rural area of each county. For all of these people to have an opportunity for this program."
Any interested homeowners can call (607) 723-0110 or visit 477 State St., Binghamton.