A new program is aiming to help Long Islanders save on energy bills as winter nears.
Power Up Communities, a project run by the Long Island Progressive Coalition, helps connect homeowners to contractors who will offer a free audit of their homes to identify any drafts or insulation work that can be done to make their houses more energy efficient and burn less heating oil in the winter months.
After the audit -- which usually cost around $300 for a regular customer -- homeowners are given estimates on how much it would cost to have work done on their homes. Power Up Communities then works with the homeowners to help them finance the process.
"We help the homeowner learn about the different programs, financial opportunities and rebates that are available that ordinarily they may not know about," said Ed Laborde, project manager for Power Up Communities. "For some residents, we go a step further and help them fill out [forms]. A lot of people… have so much to do that this shouldn’t be an added burden to them."
One way that homeowners can save on making their homes more efficient is the "On-Bill Recovery" program, which allows the cost of the contractor's work to be paid through savings on the energy bills. The cost of upgrading a home to be more energy efficient is usually between $13,000 to $15,000, Laborde said.
Homeowners can visit powerupcommunities.com to sign up for a free audit or call 516-541-1006 ext. 14.
Power Up Communities started last year, and has helped upgrade 30 homes to be more energy efficient so far.
Photo: The Carter family of Wyandanch with contractors from Home Performance Technologies, Inc., who helped upgrade their home through the Power Up Communities program.