Elected officials and community leaders from across the region gathered last night to take the Lead by Example pledge in support of Energize New York’s residential energy efficiency program.
Ossining, N.Y. – The Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (NWEAC) last night hosted the 2012 Regional Leadership Summit, bringing together an influential group of more than 200 municipal and community leaders for an evening dedicated to advancing regional sustainability initiatives.
One event highlight was the commitment of 66 local leaders who signed the Lead by Example pledge to look at their own home energy use. Energize New York is a community based program that helps homeowners reap the benefits of energy efficiency in a time of record energy costs. The program has the potential to save Westchester homeowners $52 million annually if one in three pursue upgrades that eliminate energy waste.
Mayors and supervisors cited the potential to reinvest millions of saved dollars in the local economy as one powerful reason to get behind residential energy efficiency and Energize New York’s program. By signing the pledge, officials agreed to participate in a free comprehensive home energy assessment that makes recommendations for reducing home energy waste, cutting both greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills.
“Moving people towards home energy efficiency isn’t just about money; it’s about the environment too,” said Bedford Supervisor Lee Roberts, who has already completed a home energy assessment along with the recommended upgrades. “Bedford’s climate action plan identified that 53 percent of local greenhouse gas emissions come from homes. This is one way to substantially reduce that number.”
Other officials cited personal rewards as reason for moving forward with the assessment.
“I just completed the assessment of my home and I was amazed to learn how much energy was leaking through cracks in the walls and through the attic,” said John Codman, Village of Ossining Trustee. “Adding insulation, along with a few other upgrades, is going to save me thousands of dollars and make my home more comfortable.”
Elected officials who have yet to complete an assessment still recognize the program’s potential, especially when they consider that the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the region come from homes. By signing up for home assessments and following through with the recommended upgrades, homeowners can significantly reduce home emissions and energy costs by $1,000 a year or more.
“It’s shocking to imagine we are wasting so much of the energy we use,” said Amy Rosmarin, North Salem Councilwoman. “Keeping that money in homeowner’s pockets is our goal. That’s why I decided to show leadership by getting my house an energy assessment and learning where my own home could do better.”
Energize New York, currently available in 13 towns in Northern Westchester, will expand its reach to communities in Southern Westchester and six additional mid-Hudson Valley counties in 2012 with funding from a NYSERDA grant.