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Everything listed under: energy efficiency

  • Demos & Sierra Club Presidents Op Ed for Climate Justice


    Demos & Sierra Club Presidents Op Ed for Climate Justice


    Heather McGhee, president of Demos, and Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club, teamed up recently to pen an opposition editorial  in favor of climate justice which was published in the Albany Times Union. We have re-posted the piece here for those who are not paid subscribers to that news outlet. 

    Power on to generate cleaner N.Y.

    State leaders have taken great strides on the path toward creating a sustainable, clean energy economy for the people of New York. In 2014, Gov. Andrew Cuomo withstood a multimillion-dollar lobbying and public relations onslaught by fossil fuel interests and banned fracking across the state, preventing what would have been a huge step backward for New Yorkers' health and safety and for our environment and economy.

    In 2016, the state Assembly struck a blow for climate justice and true economic revitalization by passing the Climate and Community Protection Act, the strongest legislation of its kind in the United States. In 2017, there should be no looking back.

    We know this won't be easy, for one big reason: Fossil fuel interests have a lot at stake in trying to stop our state's clean energy momentum. As a new report from the Public Accountability Initiative shows, dozens of fossil fuel corporations, associations and related interests are pursuing their agenda through the Business Council of New York State. The council has already made its extreme and unpopular position clear in opposing the CCPA when it was introduced last spring, going so far as to attack the legislation as "the end of manufacturing, farming, buses, trucks, cars and finally people."

    But as we saw in the grass-roots driven fracking fight, people power can win the fight for clean power. And the CCPA is backed by NY Renews, a 90-member, statewide coalition of labor, environmental justice, social justice, good government and environmental groups (our organizations, Demos and the Sierra Club, are both members).

    The bill codifies into law the goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 and is designed to meet Cuomo's own hugely popular Clean Energy Standard of getting to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030.

    The CCPA's real strength, however, lies in its emphasis on achieving climate goals in an equitable and inclusive way. The CCPA mandates that a substantial share of the new investment we will need to achieve a zero-carbon energy system must be targeted for low-income communities (currently the share is set at 40 percent).

    With this targeted approach, the CCPA goes on the offensive for the health and prosperity of working class New Yorkers, especially low-wage workers in communities of color. Communities of color have disproportionately borne the harms of fossil fuel pollution, while gaining few of the benefits of the economic growth that, increasingly, only the richest New Yorkers enjoy. We need a clean energy policy that remedies such injustice and disadvantage in a big way.

    With targeted investment in energy efficiency upgrades for low-income households, equitable access to renewable energy, public transit and other equitable, low-carbon transit solutions, and health programs and infrastructure investments to enhance the resiliency of climate-vulnerable communities, New Yorkers struggling to get by in today's anti-worker, highly segregated economy will benefit from a surge of new, high-quality jobs.

    But the CCPA's win-win logic of marrying climate, equity and job-creation goals does have one big loser: the fossil fuel industry and its political and ideological allies in many of our country's elected bodies. On behalf of its big-money members, the Business Council of New York will be tasked with trying to stop the momentum on clean energy.

    Thankfully, Cuomo and the state Assembly have made it quite clear that New York state cannot be bought or bullied by the fossil fuel interests. Instead, the state is putting people first by forging the job-creating clean energy economy we need to secure a better future. Let's hope that further strong leadership in Albany, and legislative victory, turn 2017 into a breakthrough year for clean energy and economic opportunity across the state.

    Heather McGhee is president of Demos. Aaron Mair is president of the Sierra Club.

    #NYRENEWS #ClimateChange #EnergyDemocrcay 

    Posted on Fri, October 28, 2016 by PUSH Buffalo

  • 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

    .


  • Energy Efficiency Solutions

    This weekend PUSH Green is teaming up with New Buffalo Impact at the PUSH 271 Grant Street location to talk about weatherization and other energy saving solutions as we near the winter months. It's unseasonably warm to start the month off - but we all know that winter is coming! 

    Saturday November 7, 2015

    271 Grant Street

    12 - 4 PM

    Light Refreshments Served!

    Please click here to learn more about what PUSH Green and New Buffalo Impact can do for you. Note there is a Spanish version of our flier attached. 

    Learn what YOU can do at home to save energy and how we can help with professional services to make your home safer, more comfortable and energy efficient this winter!

    • Discover how you’re losing heat & what to do about it
    • Learn about weatherization assistance for homeowners and renters
    • Apply for a FREE energy audit & take control of your energy use!

     


  • 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 pushgreen@pushbuffalo.org 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….)


  • 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?

  • Why we’re hosting an Ambassador Event on May 15th

    We've traveled to Albany more times than we can count to advocate for legislation that helps to promote energy efficiency. With help from our partners across the state, that legislation – Green Jobs Green New York – became a reality in 2009.

    Since then, we've knocked on hundreds of doors.

    We've tabled at community events and presented at churches and neighborhood association groups.

    And we've convened over a dozen energy efficiency contractors in our community to form our program.

    We’re in year three and we’re looking to expand. We started out in Erie County and now we’re looking to connect with home and small business owners in Niagara and Cattaraugus Counties too.

    So we’re having an ambassador event to kick things off.

    In 2008, Erie County Homeowners with income at or below 80% of the annual median income paid $267,516,827 more than they could afford for their energy bills." 

    The above is a statement from the 2011 LIFE Energy Affordability Gap report. Energy bills continue to rise and our beautiful housing stock continues to age – the need for energy efficiency in our region will only increase from here.

    In the past, we've partnered with trusted allies like NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Village of Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang and Buffalo Common Council Member Michael J. LoCurto to help us get the word out about our program. We're so grateful for these partnership and know this is only the beginning.

    Why are we having an ambassador’s event on May 15, 5:30 PM at Coco Bistro & Bar?

    Because our friends and neighbors continue to deal with rising energy costs.

    Because we need jobs in our community and we believe they can be created through the weatherization sector.

    Do you have a friend or neighbor who endured this harsh winter without proper insulation or a proper furnace in their home?

    Want to help drive real job creation in our community?

    If so, the ambassador event is for you.

    Join us! 

  • PUSH Green releases 2012 - 2013 progress report to mark two year anniversary

    It’s hard to believe that PUSH Green is two years old. Our six person team has been hard at work recruiting home and business owners, contractors and job seekers to participate in energy efficiency programs that benefit our community. 

    Over the last two years, we’ve assisted over 472 homeowners get a comprehensive energy audit on their home. Over 132 of those homeowners went on to have energy saving upgrades performed on their home like getting new insulation blown into their walls or having a high energy efficiency furnace installed. Our region has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation – much of which was built before insulation was the norm. It’s a great feeling to take back some control over your energy bills!

    In 2013, our program was extended to small businesses and nonprofits organizations. In just under a year, we’ve helped 38 such owners get audits on their buildings.  Check Sheila out with the owner of C&R Housing who just signed up for a retrofit on his building.  We love this work! Being able to connect homeowners and business owners in our community to energy efficiency services that helps them

    1. Save on their energy bills
    2. Creates local jobs
    3. Reduces our regions carbon footprint

    Is a no brainer!

    Check out the full two year journey by downloading our progress report and call our team at 716-886-1780 for info on our program!

  • 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........................................................       


  • 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

  • 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.