ALBANY, NY (WROC) — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as part of Governor Hochul’s path to “decarbonize” New York State’s economy has a range of programs available to help on the residential level.

“NYSERDA runs the residential energy assessment program, and this is a program where any homeowner can get a free energy assessment of their home,” said Emily Dean the Director of Housing Decarbonization for NYSERDA.

Under this program, a licensed contractor will come out to your home, perform an inspection, and lay out what can or needs to be done to your home to boost efficiency for both heating and cooling. The benefits don’t stop there either, NYSERDA offers programs for low and moderate-income New Yorkers to subsidize costs for these upgrades.

“So for low-income New Yorkers we run the empower programs is a program NYSERDA has been running for decades and this provides fully subsidized energy upgrades in those homes up to a certain amount,” said Dean.

For moderate-income New Yorkers, they’ll cover up to 50% of the costs. Both of these programs include updating appliances, and infrastructure upgrades including insulation, and other repairs to the home. All of this is part of a larger goal set by the governor’s office as they work towards decarbonizing the economy. 

“New York is putting in place a plan to achieve 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030,” said Dean.

To make a home climate-friendly, the ultimate goal is to move away from heating and cooling systems run by onsite fossil fuels, such as oil and natural gas, and make the transition to an electrified system. One of the most popular options today is a heat pump. There are two types available, air source and ground source. 

“You can think of an air source heat pump and then come in many different forms but you can think of them kind of like an air conditioner a more efficient air conditioner that can actually run in reverse and make heat in the winter,” said Dean.

Ground source heat pumps, also known as geothermal, use the constant temperature of the earth to regulate the temperature in your home using a series of pipes that pump water, or another solution through the ground and then into the home to heat or cool it. The cost of these heat pumps is eligible to be paid for through NYSERDA’s subsidy programs as well.

To see if you qualify for the low or moderate income subsidies from NYSERDA you can take the New York Energy Advisor quiz