People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), a local organization fighting for affordable housing, held a press conference on Sept. 26th, 2013 at noon at 237 Main Street to announce the victories of its new energy efficiency program.
Green collar workers, participating contractors and representatives from PUSH Green will were on-hand to share their stories and take questions.
“Rebuilding Buffalo takes downtown development, but it also takes neighborhood development,” said Clarke Gocker, Director of Workforce Initiatives at PUSH Buffalo. “You see the cranes down here every day, but our city also needs a housing stock that is energy efficient and affordable for families. Green Jobs-Green NY is a grassroots economic development driver for our region. The program gives homeowners and small private businesses the opportunity to participate directly in Western New York’s economic turnaround.”
The energy efficiency program, PUSH Green, is a local initiative created under the Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY) legislation that was designed to reduce the state’s carbon footprint and create green jobs.
Since launching in 2012, PUSH Green has connected more than 300 Erie County homeowners to free energy assessments and helped more than 100 homeowners get energy efficiency retrofits with cost effective upgrades such as attic insulation, air sealing, high efficiency furnaces and boilers, and Energy Star appliances.
"Making our homes more energy efficient means strengthening our local economy and investing in our neighborhoods for future generations. I am excited to help bring these benefits to Buffalo and the Delaware District in particular. In North Buffalo alone, over 100 homes have been approved for free energy assessments through PUSH Green, with half of those already completed. Furthermore, the program provides good jobs that pay a living wage to hard-working people in our community and I believe that through unique programs and partnerships like PUSH Green, we can work together to make a stronger, more sustainable Buffalo" says Buffalo City Councilman Michael LoCurto.
PUSH Green’s Friends and Neighbors initiative is a partnership with NYSERDA-accredited contractors who have signed on to additional community benefit and hiring agreements—including paying family-sustaining wages and hiring local workers from under-represented communities. Thanks to partnership with these socially responsible contractors, PUSH Green’s workforce development efforts have created 20 full-time green jobs.
“As heating season starts up, interested homeowners should call PUSH Green and speak with one of our certified Energy Advocates,” said Kate Howard, PUSH Green Program Manager. “Working with contractors and government programs can be intimidating, but PUSH Green Energy Advocates are here to be an independent expert ally for homeowners, and can help navigate the energy efficiency upgrade process.”
PUSH Green Energy Advocates work one-on-one with homeowners to identify which energy efficiency program is the best fit. More than 90 percent of New Yorkers qualify for a free comprehensive energy assessment, and many will also qualify for subsidies, incentives, and low-interest financing, including On Bill Recovery, which provides an easy way for homeowners to repay their improvements – right on their energy bill.