• Shared Solar Win!


    Solar energy has been on the rise for a while and it is becoming a major way to save money on the electricity you use in your household.

    What solar does is becoming increasingly understood, there is one huge pitfall to the way the structure is around solar energy – it only benefits homeowners whose homes qualify for a solar panel.

    So who’s getting left behind?

    · Homeowners whose roofs do not face the correct direction
    · People who rent

    In a city like Buffalo, there are a high number of people who, by this virtue, are being left out of the energy savings of solar power. Here at PUSH Buffalo, it is our mission to identify when this is the case and bring the power to the people. Literally.

    Community organizers and PUSH personnel has been working on a state-wide initiative to bring shared solar to our state. While details are still being hashed out, there has been some progress in shared solar which will allow for all those being left out of the solar game a chance to participate. There are ideas for a subscription model that would allow for an agency to own a solar panel and allow community members a chance to subscribe to the panel for energy credits. There is a co-operative model that would allow a group of homeowners to put their resources in a pot and benefit from a single panel.

    For more information, you can call PUSH Buffalo or check the website for more information regarding the solar work as part of the Energy Democracy campaign.

    Solar panel is the wave of the future – we’re working hard to ensure that it’ll be there for all.


  • C&R Housing with PUSH Green Training Opportunity


  • Our Summer of Change!


    New hires, new office, new offerings - oh my!

    PUSH Green has been busy this summer. From launching our new solar offering, hiring two energy advocates, collaborating with others for a new marketing and outreach strategy, and moving to where it all began at 456 Massachusetts Avenue...

    It has been a whirlwind few months, indeed.

    Thankfully, with all those changes made we're still vigilant about our mission - to connect you, your neighbor, and your community to energy efficiency measures that'll help our planet and your wallet.

    With all this said, are you experiencing a bit of a pain that comes when your utility bill is mailed to you? Energy efficiency methods not only keep your home warm in the winter but can also keep it cool in the summer. Why wouldn’t you make your home more efficient so that the AC stays where you need it to be?

    Don’t believe us? You can read more about how that happens here. Like the article says, “Prepare yourself for one of the great injustices of home performance: The same problems that make your home drafty and expensive to heat all winter can also make your home unbearably hot all summer.”

    Are you ready to make an investment in your home using solar or energy efficiency? Your best bet is to give us a call at 716-886-1780 or emailing us at to see what you qualify for.
    We can’t wait to meet you!

    - PUSH Green!



    (a small sampling of photos taken at our Solar Jam on 7/11/15)

  • 5 Things You Can Do to Keep Cool for Less Green this Summer

    Sunday marks the start of summer here in Western New York – something we’ve been waiting on for months!

    But from a energy efficiency angle - is your house ready?

    While we want to make sure that people are warm during the winter, we also want to help you keep cool on those humid, summer nights. Don’t be fooled, summer cooling can keep your energy bills higher than they need to be!

    5 Things to Do at Home to Keep the Bills Low this Summer


    1. LED lightbulbs! Are they an investment in the beginning? Yes. Are they completely worth it in the long run? YES. Did you know that LED lightbulbs use 70%-90% less energy than incandescent bulbs? In addition to that they also give off less heat in the home. Does that not convince you? How about the fact that they save $30-$75 on your energy bills.... and last over 20 years!
    2. Check your ducts! Summer weather is the perfect time to go check on things you can do yourself to save yourself money. For instance, you could easily seal up holes in your HVAC ducts. How easy? Check out this short video to see how:

    3. Remember to change the HVAC air filters every three months and have a contractor give your cooling system a tune-up if you can.
    4. Pool owners! Did you know that pool pumps can be the second largest energy suck in a residential unit? To keep the water flowing can easily cost an average of $460 in electric bills a year! Keep it energy efficient by keeping an eye on the pump, making sure it’s running smoothly and efficiently. And as with any home appliance, make sure it’s an Energy Star certified model.
    5. Shade your home. Really, it’s that simple. Using blinds, curtains, and awnings on the south and west sides of your home will help to keep the heat from being absorbed into the home.

    Those are some of the easiest things you can do to get your home more energy efficient and cooled down for this summer.

    Any questions on specific things you can do in the home to make it more energy efficient for the summer? Ask us here, tweet us, Facebook us, or stop by the office.

    As always, PUSH Green is on hand to make your home more energy efficient year round. Just ask us how!

  • Energiewende In-Depth

    In December, we recapped our executive director's (Aaron Bartley) trip to Germany and how the country is approaching energy efficiency, or "energiewende," for all its citizens. 

    While Aaron did a great job in highlighting key points to his trip, we think it's worthwhile for you to see his in-depth conversation with the Sierra Club and WNY Peace Center. Carve out some time to watch Aaron talk about his experiences in Germany!

  • Staying Warm and Dry


    PUSH Green is proud to announce that we’ve launched a new program aimed at solving greater household issues that might impede the ability to perform energy efficiency work.

    We’d like to introduce Staying Warm and Dry on the West Side!

    Income eligible homeowners in the 14213 zip code now have access to grant money to fix things like a leaky roof, bad pipes, mold, chimney repair, or water damage to walls for example. Things like this have halted energy efficiency work in the past because these kinds of repairs can be very cost prohibitive.

    And at PUSH Green, we’re all about finding solutions to these hurdles because we want to see this community running efficiently and see our neighbors keep a few extra bucks in their pockets.

    There are rules and guidelines for eligibility available now on our website. If you’re still not sure, feel free to call our office at 716-886-1780 to speak with an energy advocate that can help see if you qualify.

    As always, we look forward to helping our community. Stay warm!

    (And if you’re not, you’ll really want to give us a call to see what we can do for you….)

  • A Very Green Business

    Here at PUSH Green, we spend a lot of time getting homes for families energy efficient and saving them money. But did you know we do the same for commercial customers as well?

    We believe that the business owner deserves to save money on their utilities and keep their business or non-profit energy efficient. 

    Funding will be available to qualified small commercial and non-profit businesses for purposes of making eligible capital improvements that prepare the building for installation of comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit measures through NYSERDA’s Green Jobs - Green NY (GJGNY).

    You'll have to give us a call to schedule a one-on-one with our commercial energy advocate, Sheila, at 716-886-1780 and she can tell you all about getting a free energy audit, too!

    In the meantime there are things you can do to your building to start saving some money. It makes a difference in the long run!


    • Consider buying a laptop for your next computer upgrade. They use less energy than desktop computers.



    • Install door bottoms, threshold, or door “shoes” to seal gaps beneath exterior doors.



    • Save on your lighting maintenance costs by investing in ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lights. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs last 35 to 50 times longer than incandescent lighting and 2 to 5 times longer than fluorescent lighting. They also come with a minimum three-year warranty and will even help reduce your cooling costs since they produce very little heat.


    Water Heaters

    • Buy an ENERGY STAR-qualified water heater. In areas of infrequent use, consider tankless water heaters to reduce standby storage costs and waste.


    Want more tips to reduce your utility bills at your business or non-profit? You can find them here on the NYSERDAwebsite. 


    Go Green. Why not?

  • What is Energy Democracy?

    We here at PUSH Buffalo and specifically, PUSH Green, have been working really hard to make sure that everyone is included in this Energy Democracy campaign we have going on. We think it's important that members of the community are included in the decision making process when it comes to how their utilities are managed.

    But we've managed to jump right in without giving a clearer understanding of what Energy Democracy is as a concept.

    So to clarify, we've elected our Director of Workforce Initiatives, Clarke Gocker, to jump in and offer a better, more succinct definition of Energy Democracy, and his reflective thoughts on PUSH Green. 


    Energy democracy is a fancy way of saying people should have greater control over the cost of energy, how they use energy, where they buy or source energy, and whether they can own energy generating technologies or facilities, like solar and wind, on their homes or in their communities.

    Energy efficiency and conservation are affordable ways to gain greater control over some of these things. PUSH Green has demonstrated this time and again by connecting WNY residents to NYSERDA programs, including state-sponsored low interest financing options like On-Bill Recovery. It is why PUSH Green has invested so much time in our communities building shared understanding of the value of energy efficiency improvements, and empowering renters and homeowners to make informed decisions about retrofit projects that will benefit everyone and the environment.

    In 2015, PUSH Green will come full circle with a new program offering - rooftop solar (photovoltaic) PV installation - that will further empower community members to lead the region toward an alternative clean energy future.

    We've loved engaging with community members to make this future real. Its how and why we do this work. As a mission-based not-for-profit, PUSH Green is uniquely positioned in the marketplace, in the industry, and most importantly in our communities, to advocate for a clean energy vision that puts people first and increases opportunities for democratic decision making, control, and individual and collective ownership of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Recently, New York State has set out to define what an alternative clean energy future could look like and who should be at the table developing and refining that vision. PUSH Green believes that all of our communities deserve a seat at that table, not least among them, communities that have struggled the most with energy affordability and access to clean energy. As we await opportunities to engage in public conversations with other stakeholders across NYS, we can all take steps together to begin building the clean energy future we want to see. We can act now to retrofit our homes and businesses and install renewable energy in our communities.

    With the end of the year fast upon us its time to share some reflections on our achievements and the way forward in 2015 and beyond. Since 2012, PUSH Green has completed over 300 energy efficiency retrofit projects and has created dozens of living wage jobs in the local green economy. It might go without saying but through this work PUSH Green is helping to create an alternative clean energy future for low to moderate income community members and working families in Western New York.

    PUSH Green believes a more sustainable clean energy future is only possible if its powered by people, not profits, and is guided by principles of energy democracy.

    If you believe our clean energy future should put people over profits, call PUSH Green at 886-1780.

  • Germany teaches PUSH about energy


    Energy Transition, or "Energiewende," in Germany

    Energiewende, or Energy Transition, is the process that has put Germany at the lead globally in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Last month, PUSH Executive Director, Aaron Bartley, traveled to Germany to learn more from these global leaders in energy.

    We asked Aaron to recall his trip for us and here’s what he had to say, in his own words.

    1. It is possible for small communities to build electric generation and heat systems that are community owned, off-the-grid, 100% renewable, and cheaper than utilities. In Feldheim, we met with a community member who described partnerships with a wind entrepreneur to build dozes of turbines at the edge of town. He also partnered with other contractors to build micro-grids to fain independence from the utilities and install central heat systems for the whole town.

    2. The transition to renewables relies on our ability to build a social movement rooted in Energy Democracy. In Germany, this moment came out of a crisis: the Chernobyl disaster. The entire society was affected deeply by the fear of nuclear clouds overhead. That led to social movements and mass consciousness about energy. This was important both to build the political support needed for policies and so that citizens felt connected enough to the problem and solution that they themselves wanted to play a role by investing in solar and wind.

    3. The transition doesn’t come cheap. Germans pay a tax to support the transition. This makes it unpopular in some areas, but the public generally supports the energiewende because of their consciousness about climate change.  

    4. Clear and transparent standards are important. Practically everyone in the country knows the goals for renewable energy production and carbon reduction for 2020 and 2040.

    Co-sponsored by the research institute EcoLogic and the German government, Aaron and nine others drawn from the world of think tanks, policy advocacy, and philanthropy also attended the tri-city tour of Berlin, Hamburg, and Feldheim.

    This trip is particularly exciting for those of us at PUSH Buffalo and PUSH Green. We believe in giving people as much autonomy in their consumption of energy, an idea encapsulated by the Energy Democracy work we’re actively engaged in. That’s why we’re taking our necessary steps with our weatherization and energy efficiency work – to keep less dollars in your pocket, not in corporations.

    While we work on this, want to get started in your own way? Call us for a free energy assessment and we’ll figure out where we can help make your home warmer and your wallet fuller.

    In solidarity,

    PUSH Green


    Feldheim, Germany - 100% of renewable energy produced locally



  • Giving Thanks at PUSH Green

    Happy Thanksgiving! 

    It’s that time of year when people take some time to reflect on what they’re thankful for. Good health, good company, and good food is a central focus of thankfulness because of what we surrounded by this week.

    Here at PUSH Green, we’re thankful for quite a few other things. So we sat down as a team and discussed what we’re thankful for in our work and our daily lives here at PUSH Buffalo.

    · Creating Green Jobs. We can’t express our gratitude for the good fortune to create green jobs in our neighborhoods for the members of our communities. Through our training programs, our contractors, and by way of in-house staff, we’re keeping people working for a more sustainable green economy while earning a living wage. Our Workforce Development team enjoys working directly with the community and giving them access to training – ultimately, seeing the results of a job well done first.

    · Helping People Know the Process. Our Energy Advocates do a lot of the necessary paperwork for our Energy Efficiency home and business owners. It’s not in our nature to leave anyone alone with paperwork that might seem overwhelming and confusing.

    · Keeping People Warm. The end result is what we’re really after. After the initial meeting, the audit, and the contactor’s work is done, we look forward to hear from the people working or living where the energy efficiency work was done. We like knowing you’re warmer and more comfortable, without outrageous utility bills! We keep track of when winter’s coming so that we can best help you!

    Of course with every passing year and gaining a larger contingent of supporters, we’re constantly finding new ways to be thankful for this life we’ve developed at PUSH Green. But the basic principles of what we do keep us motivated and thankful all year round!

    It’s easy to see why we’re thankful for our work in energy efficiency. We’re just here to help!

    And we’ll be honest. We all said we’re thankful for the day off to enjoy with our loved ones. And pie. The promise of pie is always something to look forward to.

    What are you thankful for?

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