People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), a local membership-based community organization, has launched its new energy efficiency program, PUSH Green. The program, which began on Jan. 16, is part of a statewide initiative designed to create jobs and help homeowners reduce their energy usage through Green Jobs – Green New York and On-Bill financing programs. PUSH Green began its canvassing efforts in Kenmore late last week.

“Kenmore is a great location to begin our outreach efforts,” said Kate Howard, PUSH Green program manager. “Kenmore is a close-knit community with residents who are invested in making their homes the best they can be and we’re excited to bring the benefits of our program to the area. We’ve been knocking on doors and talking to homeowners and received some great responses. We’re looking forward to connecting with community groups and businesses in the area, as well.”

“Only PUSH Green has the power to deliver community benefits like more comfortable and affordable homes and local jobs that pay family-sustaining wages and benefits,” continued Howard. “It’s that important. Why else would we be out in the cold, knocking on your doors three nights a week?”

PUSH Green is open to anyone residing in Erie County and will provide residents with access to comprehensive home energy assessments, whole house installation services by certified Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® contractors, affordable financing, and pathways to clean energy training and work. For the first time, homeowners can pay for their energy upgrades through the state’s new On-Bill Recovery loan program, which lets homeowners pay for their energy efficiency upgrades the same way they pay for energy – right on their utility bill. The energy savings will pay for the work, so that there are no extra costs and no extra bill each month. Plus, the obligation to repay the loan stays with the house, not with the borrower.

So, how exactly does PUSH Green work?

Over the next few months, you will see our Community Energy Advocates, certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI), building awareness of our new program in neighborhoods throughout the County. Interested homeowners can call our offices to set up a time to meet with one of our Advocates to further discuss the process. As a first step, our Advocates will work with homeowners to see if they qualify for a free (and, we do mean free) home energy assessment.

“Almost all homeowners in Kenmore already qualify to receive a free or reduced-cost energy assessment,” said Howard. “What makes PUSH Green so unique is that we offer homeowners concierge-style support throughout the entire process. Going green has never been so easy.”

PUSH Green will hold a large community event on March 13 at the American Legion Post 205 (3354 Delaware Avenue) in which Kenmore residents will be able to learn more about the program and On-Bill financing.

If your home is cold and drafty in the winter and you would like to save money on your energy bills, contact PUSH Green, immediately, at 716-886-1780 so that we can help you make your home more comfortable today. For additional information about PUSH Green, e-mail Shayla Merritt, communications specialist, at shayla@pushbuffalo.org.