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Everything listed under: green

  • Small Business & Non-Profit program UPDATE

    The Green Building Retrofit Program is up and running. Small businesses and non-profits located in economically distressed communities across Western New York have historically lacked access to the benefits of energy efficiency assessments and building improvements. Small businesses and non-profit organizations often operate out of older buildings that are victims of commercial district disinvestment, deferred building maintenance, and the legacy costs of environmental contamination. These building related challenges increase the costs of doing business for small commercial firms and non-profit agencies.

    This Incentive Grant program aims to leverage energy efficiency related investments to drive economic development priorities, including local job creation, within distressed communities. 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 program.

    Small business owners and operators of non-profits Sheila will be your guide through this process. Below is a sample of how the process works.

    You can contact her at sheila.pushbuffalo@gmail.com or call our office at 716.884.0356

  • How Green Works For Me: Meet Sheila

     

    She’s originally from Steel Town – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Meet Sheila Richards–Perez, she's the newest member of the PUSH Green team and is working specifically in our Green Building Retrofit Program. This program targets small businesses and non-profits to implement energy efficient upgrades and capital improvements to their buildings. When asked about the importance of the new Green Building Retrofit Program, this is what she had to say; “the building stock (of Buffalo) is of an age where you need to make interventions and if you don’t keep up with those interventions things can get out of control.” This retrofit part of the program is a perfect opportunity to invest in building improvements.

    Sheila’s work with PUSH Green is a great use of her time. As a registered architect, “I feel that with my qualifications I can help people better understand their buildings. I’m looking to be a liaison between the knowledge of what it may mean to take care of a building and what they (the owner) already know about their building” she says.

     

    She has an undergraduate degree in Architectural Studies and a Masters in Architecture. Sheila appreciates the historical heritage of Buffalo but recognizes the importance of building upgrades to maintain buildings properly. Her Name is Sheila, a Rust Belt native, who knows what we’re facing in Buffalo and she wants to meet you!

    PS: Small businesses/non-profits get started today. Here's a link to the info form.

  • 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).

     

  • 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!


  • 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!

  • Free Energy Audits & Other Stuff

     

    "Many hands make light work", so goes that old proverb. In the case of the PUSH Green Friends & Neighbors Program...."Many neighbors make affordable energy efficiency upgrades". Among many other services we conduct free energy audits. Call 716.886.1780 today to find out if you, and your neighbors qualify for savings in energy efficiency upgrades to your homes!

    #staygreen and #LIVEBetter friends!

  • Friends and Neighbors for Sustainability

     

    For those who missed the piece on our Friends and Neighbors program on Buffalo Rising here is a link to the post.