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Bronx Officials Promote Green Program To Reduce Home Energy Costs

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Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation Tuesday to launch the Green Jobs - Green New York outreach program, which is designed to help home and building owners reduce energy costs and usage. NY1’s Roger Clark filed the following report.

Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene says even when the heat was turned way up, the winters were chilly in her Teller Avenue home, where the insulation had deteriorated over time.

"As the years progressed, I came to realize that I was getting colder and colder," says Greene.

Greene is one of the residents taking part in the Green Jobs - Green New York Bronx outreach program. The goal is to reduce energy use and lower energy costs for Bronx home and building owners.

"We're trying to save them money, save energy, so that the power plants have to produce less energy and have less greenhouse emissions, but also improve the environment within the home," says Kate Shackford of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation.

The state gave the BOEDC more than half a million dollars to implement the two-year program, which pays for inspections of residential buildings with one to four units and small businesses to see how they might benefit from improving their energy efficiency.

"Everyone will receive at least a 10 percent grant, and if they make 60 to 80 percent of the state median income, they can get up to 50 percent of a grant towards the cost of doing energy upgrades, but the assessment is free and there's no obligation to go forward with any upgrades,” says Shackford.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is also touting the initiative.

"In the long term, you can save money on heating bills whether you're a homeowner or a small business owner. As an individual, in essence, that's a salary increase. That's money that you put in your pocket," says Diaz Jr.

In Greene's case, she had roof and wall insulation work done and got new thermostats. She says she is already seeing a big difference.

"When I retire, I don't want to have the problem of trying to figure out how to heat this place. I want to be able to be very comfortable in my home and now I can be,” says Greene.

For information on how to get an energy assessment, call (718)590-3498.

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