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Climate Week: City Launches ElectrifyNYC - A New Free Program to Help Homeowners Install Solar and High-Efficiency Electric Heating and Cooling

September 20, 2021

ElectrifyNYC will provide free services for owners of one-to-four unit family homes, particularly low- and moderate-income families in Queens and Staten Island, to reduce energy costs, improve comfort and air quality, and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Part of New York City’s ambitious goals to reach 1,000 MW of solar by 2030 - currently 285 MW installed citywide, 12 times the amount in 2013

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the launch of ElectrifyNYC, a program run by the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability, in partnership with Kinetic Communities, and Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens and Staten Island, to help New Yorkers adopt solar panels and air source heat pump technologies in order to accelerate the City’s path toward carbon neutrality and curb the impacts of climate change. The program is designed to create equitable access to green technologies through no-cost technical assistance for property owners and promote just workforce development for contractors with a focus on Minority & Women-Owned Businesses (MWBEs) and priority population organizations. New York City homeowners with one-to-four units can get free assistance with finding tailored energy solutions for their buildings, financial incentives, and professional contractors by contacting ElectrifyNYC at and (718) 500-0172.

“New York City is on the frontline of the climate crisis, and our response must empower New Yorkers to take action today while setting a clear path for an equitable and sustainable future,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “ElectrifyNYC is ready to support Queens and Staten Island homeworkers in joining the fight against climate change and prioritize minority and women-owned businesses — the backbone of our economy — in the City’s just recovery.”

“To confront the climate crisis and deliver a just transition to a green economy, we have to deploy and quickly scale the best energy efficient technologies for buildings of all sizes,” said Ben Furnas, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability. “The ElectrifyNYC program is one more piece of the puzzle for how we are building a healthy, safe, and inclusive New York City.” 

ElectrifyNYC is the first program from the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability that exclusively supports one-to-four unit family homes and contractors as part of the City’s decarbonization strategy. This building stock is particularly well suited for electrification using air source heat pumps - rather than continuing to rely on fossil fuel gas or oil for heating, and they also have high potential to lower energy costs through solar panel installations. The emissions generated from heating, cooling, and powering one-to-four family homes account for 20% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions from buildings.

This year, the program will partner with Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens and Staten Island and Kinetic Communities to target low- to moderate-income homeowners and tenants in Queens and on Staten Island to improve indoor and local air quality, increase tenants’ comfort, reduce maintenance costs, and increase homeownership and housing affordability, though free services and assistance are available to any owner or resident of a one-to-four unit family home across all five boroughs.

To bolster the creation of green jobs, ElectrifyNYC is employing a three-pronged workforce development strategy of providing training, leads, and business development resources — especially for Minority and Women-owned Businesses (M/WBEs), priority population businesses, and contractors who are not yet skilled or qualified for utility and state incentives. This approach to capacity building is aimed to build wealth within the community and address disparities in green technology adoption due to structural inequities among people of color and people with low-income. 

This program is part of New York City’s efforts to install 1,000 MW of solar in the five boroughs by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Since 2013, the de Blasio administration has overseen a 10-fold increase in solar, from 25 MW in 2013 to more than 285 MW installed citywide today. 

Nearly $700,000 in support is also provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as ElectrifyNYC is one of 20 HeatSmart Community Campaigns throughout the state, which conduct community outreach and education efforts to inform residents about the benefits of heat pumps, home energy efficiency improvements, and other clean energy technologies.

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Implementing local resources for increasing access to clean energy, heat pump, and solar technologies for homeowners and businesses are critical to achieving New York’s nation-leading climate goals and NYSERDA congratulates New York City on the launch of ElectrifyNYC which is a strong complement to the State’s own NYS Clean Heat and Community Solar programs. By working together, we can help all New Yorker’s lower their energy bills, create more comfortable places to live and work, and shrink their own carbon footprint to fight climate change and build more resilient communities.”

"After the tumultuous year Queens residents and all New Yorkers have had, we are looking for any and all resources to aid homeowners and small businesses as our city continues to recover," said Senator Leroy Comrie.  "I commend Mayor de Blasio, the Office of Climate and Sustainability, NYSERDA and their local CBO partners on the launch of ElectrifyNYC which will bring much needed financial relief through investment and no-cost technical assistance for property owners. The initiative also making green jobs available to MWBE's to help boost our local economy while also helping to shrink our carbon footprint, makes it a win-win for our neighborhoods."

“As we continue to tackle the challenges associated with transitioning New York City to clean and sustainable energy it is imperative that we invest in decarbonizing New York’s buildings. The ElectrifyNYC program is a significant step in transitioning our city’s residences to clean and sustainable energy and it will provide crucial resources to make clean and sustainable energy options accessible for all New Yorkers,” said Assembly Member Michael Cusick, Chair of the Energy Committee.

"We are excited about the city program to help homeowners in Queens transition to solar and other more efficient means of energy. It is clear that we are in a climate crisis and we must work to do all that we can to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Assembly Member Clyde Vanel, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Internet & New Technologies.

“Our community is resilient. ElectrifyNYC is a great opportunity for Staten Island to lead a sustainable revolution for a sustainable city and world,” said Alfred Gill, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Staten Island. 

“We are ready to support our community partners NHS of Staten Island and NHS of Queens, BIPOC led non-profits, with the necessary resources to uplift New Yorkers into the clean energy future. We look forward to tackling clean energy technology ownership through ElectrifyNYC, ensuring our communities can have a safe sustainable home; a home that is resilient against natural disasters like Hurricane Ida and Superstorm Sandy,” said Daphany Rose Sanchez, Executive Director, Kinetic Communities Consulting.

“It is refreshing for Staten Island to receive this much needed resource, and to be recognized as a priority area. As the borough with the highest rate of homeownership, it will be exciting to see our residents actively engage in the shift towards green energy. The ElectrifyNYC program is the first step of many in terms of community-focused, energy and workforce development initiatives,” said Christina Williams, Coordinator, Youth Workforce Initiative Network of Staten Island.

“Hurricane Ida reminds us of the critical need for investment in our neighborhoods and the infrastructure for low- and moderate-income households. ElectrifyNYC is an opportunity to ensure our communities have access to solar readiness and energy efficiency. We look forward to collaboration with the team, providing climate solutions for New Yorkers with the highest needs. We commend NYSERDA for investing in where we live and providing much-needed resources to our devastated communities in Queens,” said Yoselin Genao Estrella, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens CDC.

“The ElectrifyNYC initiative is a great way to help homeowners understand the benefits and opportunities of having solar on their roofs. Steven Winter Associates is proud to have participated in such a collaborative and inspiring effort, and we look forward to seeing the positive results it will bring to NYC,” said Giulia Luci, Sustainability Consultant, Steven Winter Associates.

​​“Through ElectrifyNYC, we are looking forward to welcoming New York City-based community lenders to join the Inclusiv/University of New Hampshire Solar Lending Professional Training and Certificate Program where we will provide the practical application skills and tools needed to design and implement solar lending programs. With their deep community relationships and the underwriting experience, we believe these community lenders will be well-positioned to provide NYC homeowners with affordable financing for solar power systems that will help lower their utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Neda Arabshahi, Director of the Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy at Inclusiv.

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