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Everything listed under: heap eligible

  • 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 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!