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Everything listed under: weatherization

  • Post Featured Image

    Meet the Andujar Family!

    Mom Iris and her son Nathaniel have lived on the West Side of Buffalo for decades. Two years ago, they were able to purchase a home that they had rented years earlier. The first winter revealed a leaking roof which they were unable to afford to repair. Too many of our neighbors have similar issues, structural repair needs that are beyond their budget, and that sadly keep them from accessing energy efficiency programs. The folks that could benefit most from energy efficiency are left out. So, we created the Warm & Dry on the West Side Initiative!

    For the Andujar's, we were able to use our funding to repair the roof and other structural issues, and then we worked with them to access weatherization, appliance upgrades and insulation through NYSERDA. Now cold rooms and drafts are a thing of the past, and they are living greener, healthier and more sustainably. Not only that, helping homeowners stay in their homes makes our community stable and healthy. When you factor in the value of reducing our carbon footprint and creating good paying green jobs - it's a win-win-win!



  • Benefits of an Energy Advocate

        

    (Marty and Natalie, Residential Energy Advocates; Sheila, Commercial EA with Minh Tran of 99 Fast Food)

    Ever have an experience when the task of talking to a state agency seems daunting? Here at PUSH Green, we talk a lot about working with NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Agency) and we know that it can make people feel uneasy about applying for grants to get energy efficiency work done.

    That’s why we have two dedicated Residential Energy Advocates and a Commercial Energy Advocates on staff to help you navigate the process with ease and confidence. Our EA’s are on hand to help you from the earliest phase through completion, advocating for the homeowner or business owner with state agencies, financial entities, and contractors, making sure that your project is as streamlined as possible.

    Their BPI (Building Performance Institute) certification means that they’re qualified to also access building structures and confirm necessary work done suggested by our high road contractors. They meet regularly with contractors to determine where in the process a home is and keep projected completion dates on track.

    Not sure which document is needed to get funding? Ask your energy advocate.

    Concerns about your contractor? Call your energy advocate.

    Receive a letter that you’re confused about? Talk to your energy advocate.

    Energy advocates are readily available to talk about all your options, review any issues you may have, and walk you through the process.

    They’re here to connect you to energy and power

    .


  • Green Development Zone

     

    Energy sustainability is exemplified in PUSH Buffalo's Green Development Zone

    PUSH Green brings homeowners weatherization services that ultimately make homes warmer and utility bills down. And while we’re proud of this work that brings comfort to individuals on a micro basis, PUSH Green is part of a much bigger story and has greater aspirations.

    Net-zero housing is when your house and the tools connected to it produce 100% of the energy required to heat and power your home without any help from the electric and gas utility companies. That’s right – some initial investments can leave those with a completely outfitted house, without a utility bill.

    PUSH Buffalo has spent the last couple of years working on multiple houses and lots all around the West Side of Buffalo, creating affordable and sustainable housing in the community for the community.

    Projects like these are all part of what is known as the Green Development Zone (GDZ). The GDZ is a 25-block square radius on the West Side extending from Richmond Avenue to Niagara Street, all along Massachusetts Avenue. The GDZ is a shining example of what the green economy can accomplish and describes how energy efficiency and energy democracy is changing the way a community can access power and how it empowers.

    PUSH Green’s mission is to bring this proven benefit of energy retrofitted homes to communities beyond the Green Development Zone. We’re providing people with free energy audits which can help determine where there might be gaps in the home that allow heat to escape. We help identify where walls lack insulation. We’re trained to see what’s missing.

    We invite you to come to the beautiful West Side and take a Green Development Zone tour where the details of our work will be shared and there will be time for any questions you might have. There are a few GDZ tours coming up in the winter months for you to check out living, breathing examples of energy efficiency, and sustainable and affordable housing:

    December 2nd, 2015
    December 18th, 2015
    January 20th, 2016
    February 17th, 2016

    Afterward, should you want to know about how to get your house energy efficient to model what’s being done on the West Side? You know who you can call.

    (Us.)

    For more information about the GDZ tours or to RSVP, please contact Julia White at Juliawhite@pushbuffalo.org. There is also more information at GDZ website.


  • My Business Made Better - Tomasik Optical Case Study

     

    Mike Tomasik is getting his retrofit this fall. For a sneak peak of the work he'll have done, check out this case study........................................................       


  • Sean Ryan & PUSH team up for Energy Efficiency

    BUFFALO – On Saturday, July 20, 2013, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo) will host a community forum regarding the PUSH Green Energy Efficiency Program. PUSH Green is a community-based, energy efficiency program created by PUSH Buffalo and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), that is part of a statewide effort to make homes more comfortable and efficient, make communities more sustainable, reduce energy burdens, and create local jobs. PUSH Green helps Erie County homeowners of any income save money on their energy bills, while working to reduce our county’s carbon footprint and expand local economic opportunities in the green energy industry.

                                                                                                                                                                                               

    Attendees will be able to sign-up for a free comprehensive home energy assessment. A comprehensive home energy assessment is the only way to get a full and detailed report of all energy upgrade needs. The assessment also provides important health and safety checks, like carbon monoxide back drafting and mold detection. The assessment will help to determine what energy efficient upgrades are needed, and will qualify future energy upgrade work for cash rebates from the State. The assessment is free for homes with a household income of $132,200 or less. Attendees will be able to meet with a PUSH Green Community Energy Advocate and learn how to make their homes more energy efficient. Lower utility bills and a safer, more comfortable home are two of the big benefits to getting an energy upgrade. On average, 30 percent of the money we spend heating and cooling our homes is wasted.

    Assemblyman Sean Ryan said: “The free home energy assessment will help people to identify necessary upgrades, and the PUSH Green program will provide information on ways homeowners can pay for these upgrades. I thank PUSH Buffalo for partnering with New York State to create this great program that will help to improve homes in Erie County and create greener communities.”

    Kate Howard, PUSH Green Program Manager said: "Anyone who is interested in saving money on their utility bills, learning about energy efficiency or how to weatherize their home should attend this event on June 20th to hear what PUSH Green is doing. We're thrilled to team up with Assemblyman Sean Ryan to spread the word about how to make our neighborhoods stronger."

    For more information, please visit www.pushgreenwny.org

    WHAT: Assemblyman Sean Ryan's PUSH Green Community Forum

    DATE: Saturday, July 20, 2013
    TIME: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    LOCATION: D’Youville College
    Madonna Hall
    320 Porter Avenue
    Buffalo, NY 14201

  • Green & Healthy Homes Program

    Interested in getting a new high energy efficiency furnace, a hot water tank installed, and attic insulation installed? Need basement rim joist insulation installed? You might want to check into the PUSH Green & Healthy Homes program.

    PUSH Green + Healthy Homes is PUSH Green's FREE weatherization program for eligible homeowners in the city of Buffalo. To find out more call 716.886.1780 and talk to one of Community Energy Advocates!

  • Elmwood Village Freinds & Neighbors Open House

    PUSH Buffalo is bringing its community-based energy efficiency program to the Elmwood Village and
    beyond. Homeowners can work with PUSH to make their homes more comfortable and their bills more
    affordable, while helping build a sustainable economy that values family-sustaining wages and local
    workers.

    You can join with your friends and neighbors to deepen the impact we make on our economy and
    environment, while creating bigger discounts for your home’s improvements.

    Folks in your neighborhood have already gotten started.



    On Monday May 13, three homes on Highland Avenue are having energy efficient upgrades installed in
    their home. Stop by 72 Highland Ave anytime from 11:30am to 12:30pm or from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. You’ll be
    able to see the homes getting upgrades and meet Alex Kuttesch, the Community Energy Advocate who
    worked with the block club members to get six homes ready for energy efficiency.

    He’ll be talking with neighborhood homeowners about the importance of energy efficiency for their
    homes, community, and environment, and giving you the tools you need to get started!

    Questions: Email alex@pushbuffalo.org or call Alex at 886-1780

  • Green Building Retrofit Program Info Session

     

    Today at 4PM PUSH Buffalo, PUSH Green and the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company (BNSC), are excited to announce the launch of a Green Building Retrofit program for small businesses and non-profit organizations in communities across Erie, Chautauqua, and Niagara counties.

    This new program was created with the help of New York State Empire State Development (ESD). “The mission of Empire State Development is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, Empire State Development strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State” says the EDC.

    PUSH Green is PUSH Buffalo’s energy efficiency division, and this program enhances PUSH Green’s ability to provide Western New York with progressive energy efficiency options. In addition to serving as a trusted program source for homeowners, PUSH Green now has the ability to help small business owners and non-profits through the new Green Building Retrofit Program. Qualifying customers receive: a free comprehensive energy audit, access to low-interest financing, including On Bill Recovery,which allows customers to pay back work on their utility bill, and a 50% grant subsidy for energy efficiency related improvements such as roof work, foundation repair, moisture management, or the removal of lead, asbestos, and mold.

    “I am thrilled that PUSH Buffalo is continuing to lead the way in improving energy efficiency in Western New York. The PUSH Greeninitiative, funded through NYSERDA, is an exciting program that is a win-win for both business owners and not-for-profits. This program will mean lower costs to small businesses and a better future for the environment, something all Western New Yorkers will benefit from. New York State should continue to fund vital programs like the PUSH Green initiative" says NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

    The Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation (BNSC), PUSH’s building development organization is a partner in this new program. “The BNSC was started to be a non-profit, development corporation with the specific mission of creating green, affordable housing and redeveloping vacant land in our community. This new program corroborates well with our mission. Small businesses and not-for-profits are not only the backbone of this community, they are the backbone of America” said Jen Kaminsky of the BNSC.

    We will gather at Room 418 inside Cleveland Hall (# 37 on map below) @ Buffalo State College – 1300 Elmwood Avenue on March 27, 2013 at 4PM.

    Please RSVP to Kate Howard – Program Manager PUSH Green 716.886.1780 kate@pushbuffalo.org

    WHAT: Green Building Retrofit Program Info Session with PUSH Buffalo, PUSH Green, and the BNSC
    WHEN: Today Wednesday March 27, 2013 @ 4PM
    WHERE: Room 418 inside Cleveland Hall @ Buffalo State College – 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14222. Parking is free; use Lot W (see map below).

     

  • Contest Winners & 2nd Round Begins

    We can’t thank everyone who participated in this contest enough. PUSH Green is an important part of bringing Buffalo and Western New York into the new age of energy efficiency reform. Without your support we are nothing, we’re all in this together.

    Tell a friend, tell a friend of a friend – The Share the Savings Contest Round 2 begins! Share the Savings was such a SUCCESS that we are extending it into a second round! Anyone who was not a winner in the first round can build off of their previous number of referrals and will be in the running, along with any new participants who want to join. Round 2 of Share the Savings will go through May 1, 2013. We will announce the winner in mid-May. The top prize for this round will be a gift certificate to the Lexington Co-op. 

     

    This round will run exactly like round 1 see here for info. The link to the online referral form is here.

    A special thanks goes out to the Buffalo Chop House, the Allen St Hardware Cafe, the Lexington Co-op, and Black Rock Kitchen & Bar. Once again we thank each and every one of you for your participation.

    And, remember it’s cold outside, share the savings.


    1st round top winners

    Maureen Bartley -- 50 new referrals
    Aminah Johnson -- 45 new referrals
    Anna Kaplan -- 40 new referrals
    Sara Gordon -- 24 new referrals

    1st round honorable mentions

    Rebecca Ballard
    Carole Bellenca
    Frank & Lorraine Gaik
    Gretchen Gonzalez
    Gail & Phillip Gottlieb
    David Herzberg
    George Johnson
    Mary Beth Karr
    Jen Kaminsky
    Bob Ludwig
    Jamie Perry
    Lydia Langer
    Suzanne Montalalou
    Evan Bussiere
    Anna Falicov
    LonnieBarlow
    Lou Dejesus
    Tamar Rothaus
    Aaron Bartley
    Chris Ollinick
    TamaraHorstman-Riphahn
    Mary Beth Karr
    Bob Cook
    Arlene Kaukus
    Alana Weeks
    Holly Baum
    Darlene Grey
    Terry Richard
    Chris Schaffer
    Greg Horn
    Justin & Lily Booth
    Bart Roberts
    Cynthia Workman
    Rod McCallum
    Jessie Ratner
    Carrie Marcotte
    Jen Mecozzi

     

    #ShareTheSavings

  • Jenny Bruce Testimonial

     

  • Share the Savings Referral Contest Begins

    Tell a friend, tell a friend of a friend. The Share the Savings Referral contest has begun!

    "The community benefits by partnering with groups like PUSH Green. As the districts' representative, I applaud the program and its staff. Home improvements and energy efficiencies help homeowners, neighborhoods, and our next generation."

    - Erie County Legislator Lynn Marinelli

     

    As some may, or may not know PUSH Green, a newly formed arm of PUSH Buffalo, has been created to:

    1. Expand access to weatherization services across Erie County for all residents, regardless of income.
    2. Work with homeowners who are interested in lowering their utility bills and making their home more comfortable through energy efficiency improvements like insulation and high-efficiency furnaces that help to reduce our region’s energy usage
    3. Offers free comprehensive energy assessments of your home. If you choose to proceed with home improvements, we can help you access a new NYSERDA program that will allow you to finance improvements right on to your utility bill, eliminating the need to pay up-front.

    We need your help in spreading the word about our Share the Savings program! You can help in two simple ways:

    1. Improve Your Own Home. Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive home energy assessment, today! Call (716) 886-1780 and ask to speak with a PUSH Green Energy Advocate to get the process started!
    2. Serving as an advocate for homeowners who are interested inlowering their utility bills and making their home more comfortable through energy efficiency improvements like insulation and high-efficiency furnacesthat help to reduce our region’s energy usage. Your PUSH Green Energy Advocate is only a phone call away throughout the upgrade process.

    The link to the online referral form is HERE

    We’ll be tallying up the referrals and announcing the winners of Share the Savings the first week of March.

    Prizes for those who refer the largest number of homeowners interested in learning about PUSH Green are as follows:

    First Prize: $200 Gift Certificate for Buffalo Chophouse
    Three Runners Up:
    $50 Gift Certificate for Allen Street Hardware
    $50 Gift Certificate for Lexington Co-Op
    $50 Gift Certificate for Black Rock Kitchen & Bar

    Have questions? Contact PUSH Green Program Manager at Kate@pushbuffalo.org or 716-886-1780

    Let’s work to green our community while creating quality jobs in the process through Share the Savings.

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends #ShareTheSavings!

     

     

  • Free Low-Income Weatherization Update, MLK Day of Service

     

    We made an announcement not too long ago about funding available for a pilot program to weatherize more than 80 low-income homes in Buffalo, for free. The outreach work has been going pretty well – according to Lou DeJesus, and Clarke Gocker of PUSH Buffalo/PUSH Green (PG). They also want to tell us about the tag team effort between PUSH, and the WNYSC – or the Western New York Service Collaborative (local Americorps) that will be coming up this MLK holiday – this Monday January 22, 2013.

    “We’ve been knocking door to door, and we’ve been able to set up quite a few low-income families with free weatherization for the entire home” says Lou DeJesus a worker who is involved in the outreach work. “It’s going quite well considering going door to door in the cold” she jokes. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Empower NY, and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) have come together to help make this funding available. “So this is really the first time that this is happening in a comprehensive way in a low – income community, and PUSH Buffalo with our partner New Buffalo Impact made it happen” says Gocker.

     

    Americorps chapters all over the country have National Days of Service. The WNYSC will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by partnering with PUSH Buffalo in the community. They have gathered some volunteers to assist in the canvassing and outreach of this program in, and near the Green Development Zone in Buffalo. Volunteers will meet at 460 Massachusetts Avenue in Buffalo (at 11am, Mon. Jan 22nd, 2013). This location will serve as a headquarters, information, and warming center for the day. From here volunteers will deploy in teams to canvass the neighborhood letting people know, and signing people up for the program. There will be refreshments, coffee, and doughnuts served throughout the day.

    The Day of Service will begin at 11am, and last until roughly 3pm on Monday January 22, 2013. The meeting place is 460 Massachusetts Avenue (in the heart of the Green Development Zone) in Buffalo NY. For more information about this pilot program or any other PG program please call 716.886.1780, or stop by on Monday.

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends!


  • Hurricane Sandy, The State of New York State 2013, and EE

    She was so seductive, so beautiful, but yet so deadly at the same time. She came in, got what she wanted, but ended up destroying the apartment in the process. She crept in for a one night stand that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. Her name was Sandy, and may we never forget it.

    So Hurricane Sandy has come and gone. Or, at least the hurricane is gone, but she ransacked our homes, and our communities. It’s almost like she went through our pockets, and stole all our TVs and appliances while we were asleep. When we awoke our stuff was gone, our pockets were rabbit ears, and we had no cash to live off of.

    New York State governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address (SOS) has roared through, and dissipated – like Hurricane Sandy. But, understandably being drowned out by all of that loud noise there is one thing to consider – sustainable democracy.

    A big storm hits, and housing is destroyed on a mass scale. A huge grid is knocked out, thousands (if not millions) of people lose their utility service at the same time. The never ending story of two communities begins again. One community (the one with the more expensive housing) gets services restored in a timely manner, while the other is still waiting. Service isn’t restored for many for months afterward, and worse still these same people go without proper shelter for this same amount of time. These are the types of things that can happen when regular folks are completely left out of the decision making process.

    We have an opportunity here albeit out of a natural tragedy to build energy efficient, and a smart green sustainable development infrastructure that works well for all members of our community. Good things are happening. Take for example PUSH Buffalo and PUSH Green’s (PUSH Buffalo’s energy efficiency arm) recent announcement that funding has been secured to weatherize more than 80 homes in lower income parts of Buffalo. PUSH Green also has money, and energy saving programs available for people with incomes both above, and below HEAP eligibility.

    The State has been working with community based groups statewide in a few different capacities to lay the foundation for this work. People know what they need where they live, and they know they need access to power to better direct what happens in their local communities. This won’t happen unless we get the powers that be to see the big picture. The big picture includes eliminating the political absurdity and gamesmanship being played out over disaster relief, and sustainability efforts.

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends! 

  • How Green Works For Me: Meet Johnnie

     

    Who’s Johnnie you said? We’ll if you’re talking about Johnnie Fenderson – of PUSH Green (PG), then he’s your Workforce Development Organizer.

    Johnnie grew up in Mobile Alabama, this state’s 3rd largest city. Growing up there, Johnnie wasn’t a stranger to hard work, and the plight of the regular working American. Mobile has sizable fishing, shipping, docking, steel working, and ship making industries. He moved to Buffalo in 2003 where some members of his family migrated to previous years earlier.

    Johnnie who spent some time in the US Army (working with the MP, or the Military Police) said that the army prepared him for his current role. “You have to have leadership qualities in the military to become a leader, and you have to have leadership qualities in organizing, you have to be organized”. In his last few years in service, he served as a Community Police NCOIC. In this capacity he worked hands on with social, and crime prevention programs within the community he was stationed at. This included supervising a group of youth doing neighborhood patrols, and being the first line of contact for soldiers who were struggling financially. “It was fun, I got run and gun, and interact with kids, …………….but most importantly, I got to build leadership qualities, and look for leadership qualities in other people” he says.

    What many may know up to this point is that PG is involved in Energy Efficiency, or EE. What may be new information to some folks is that PG works to create living wage working opportunities for people in the neighborhood (Western New York). This is where the majority of Johnnie’s focus is when he’s doing his job. He works to recruit potential weatherization workers into LIUNA Local 161 (Laborer’s International Union of North America). Through this union Johnnie works to find opportunities for local workers on EE projects. “My focus is to connect people to placement opportunities to get them up to speed, and get them trained” he said.

    As PG outreach people like Alex, Lin, and Rachelle (you’ll meet her in our next post) do their jobs – creating money saving EE opportunities for local home owners/renters, people like Johnnie work hard on the back end to make available more local living wage working opportunities for Western New Yorkers who desperately need them.

    He loves working with his hands, with people, and creating living wage job opportunities for an area that needs it. He’s Johnnie Fenderson, he’s your Workforce Development Organizer, and he wants to meet you!

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends!

  • How Green Works For Me: Meet Alex

     

    So proving that PUSH Green (PG) is a family thing, meaning that we are a team of individuals working towards the same goal, but with different perspectives, we caught up with Community Energy Advocate Alex Kuttesch. Alex gave us a few minutes of his time to discuss why the work that we do is worthwhile.

    Like Lin, his job is to connect with Western New Yorkers and get them involved with PG. For those who don't know Buffalo, and Western New York has some of the coldest winters on record. Home weatherization, and energy efficiency (EE) are a must. "We are doing a good thing, a pretty progressive thing for Western New York, and you know we need it, we need the work that we're doing" says Alex.

    In Alex's opinion community outreach on the West side of Buffalo differs from that in other parts of Erie County in that programing metrics plays a large role. So, for example there is a new WAP funded program being implemented by PUSH Buffalo and PG. It was designed to help people who are HEAP eligible (more on this in a later post). This program would make sense for a demographic such as the West side, a primarily lower income neighborhood. On the other hand, On Bill Recovery, or On Bill Financing "is a way to pay for your home upgrade where your utility bill is attached to your loan payment. You (the home owner) pay for your (energy) upgrade with the savings that you keep. When they (the home owner) see how much they save, and they see how much they spend on it" they know that the program works for them says Alex. And, this program, because of funding guidelines, would make sense for homeowners who are not HEAP eligible.

    Based on demographics not all pocketbooks are created equal, and so the EE solution isn't easy. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try though.

    Alex is a Western New York native who fittingly graduated from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry which is located in Syracuse NY. He's young, bright, at home, and committed to changing the game - the EE game that is. And, he wants to meet you!

    To learn more about how Push Green can work for you give Alex and the gang a call today @ 716.886.1780.

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends!