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Bill would make energy audits credible

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If your house is too drafty in this frigid weather, take heart: There are new ways to get government help to pay for retrofitting. You'll need a home energy audit to tap into it, and you'd better make sure it's done right - not just by an insulation salesman with a clipboard. So a Suffolk bill regulating the audits, passed last week, makes sense.

The obstacle to making homes more energy efficient has been the upfront costs. The answer is programs to provide cheap financing - from the Town of Babylon, for example, LIPA, and the state's Green Jobs/Green New York program.

First, you need an audit to tell you what the house needs - from insulation to far more expensive work - and to set priorities for the repairs that will bring the biggest energy savings for the buck. But a handful of vendors are just doing a quick look at homes and calling it an audit. That won't suffice to help you get financing from those programs.

So, Legis. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon) sponsored legislation requiring those who advertise home energy audits to register with the county and prove that they're certified for it by an agency like the Building Performance Institute. The bill also details what the audits should include.

Fixing drafty homes saves money and creates jobs. This bill will help increase energy efficiency, and Nassau should follow suit. hN


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