May 25, 2021 7:00–8:15 pm •Online•Watch on YouTube
While collective action is crucial to solving the climate crisis, many of us also want to reduce our own reliance on fossil fuels. Measuring your home’s energy efficiency is not only a great first step toward lowering energy consumption, but it can also help New York State in the race to meet its climate goals.
To help more New Yorkers audit their homes, New York State has teamed up with NEEP (Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships) to offer a free, remote energy auditing service to homeowners. Our speakers will explain how the system works and get you started on your own audit.
This event is a collaboration of 350Brooklyn, Brooklyn Public Library and New Yorkers for Clean Power.
John Balfe works on the Buildings and Community Solutions Team at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) to help drive energy efficiency in new and retrofitted schools and public buildings and advance policies for high performance building standards throughout the region. Before joining NEEP in 2015, John interned at the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission. Eager to have a positive impact on the natural environment, John works to advance NEEP’s mission to improve our built environment, and ultimately all of our surroundings.
Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite is Vice President Customer Engagement at ClearlyEnergy, where she collaborates with stakeholders to develop cost-effective, cutting-edge solutions to tackle climate change. Previously, Carolyn directed NEEP’s program team. Among other roles, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative for High-Performance Schools (CHPS) and is past chair of Mass Governor Deval Patrick’s Net Zero Energy Task Force for Public Buildings. Carolyn has received several awards for advancing climate policy, including the CHPS Green Apple Award for public policy concerning, the US DOE Jeffrey A. Johnson Award for her participation in developing the nation’s first stretch energy code, and an EPA Children’s Environmental Health award.
Emme Luck, a Market Consultant at DNV, conducts market research on best practices and advises energy industry leaders on energy efficiency program design, implementation, and evaluation. She previously worked at NEEP, where she researched energy equity as it relates to building decarbonization and delivered technical assistance to states and communities pursuing residential energy labeling programs. She has also served on the executive board of the Climate Reality Project: Atlanta, GA Chapter and on the Board of Directors of Georgia Audubon. Emme has been a passionate environmentalist since her early days growing up in a small coastal town on Long Island already feeling the impacts of climate change.
Under the Climate Leadership and Communities Protection Act (CLCPA) of 2019, New York State has established some of the nation’s most ambitious climate goals, including an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.
As of 2019, buildings were the largest source of (GHG) emissions in New York State, about 30% of total emissions. In New York City, buildings are responsible for about 75% of GHG emissions. Cutting GHG emissions at the level mandated by the CLCPA will require massive statewide adoption of energy efficiency measures and a widespread transition to renewable heating and cooling technologies such as heat pumps. And all of this must happen as quickly as possible.
An essential first step in improving the energy efficiency of our homes is to conduct an audit to measure our current energy usage. So let’s get started!
To encourage more New Yorkers to conduct home energy audits, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) engaged partners in a pilot program to create virtual tools people can use to audit their own homes. Compared to in-person audits, virtual audits save time, legwork, and money, allowing more of us to take this step. And they’re especially useful in the era of COVID-19.
As one of the partners in this NYSERDA program, NEEP (a nonprofit organization) is launching a pilot for an app called Remotely. This is a free tool that allows you to gather information about your home’s energy performance and create an energy model showing how you might benefit from different energy upgrades. Through Remotely, you can also find local contractors and community organizations to help you explore these possibilities.
Join NYCP and Bedford2030 on June 29 for a conversation on green solutions for your apartment or home with local energy coaches. Register here. Learn how to:
NYCP’s personal energy coaches are a free resource for community members, whether they own or rent their homes. If you can’t attend the event, access NYCP’s free energy coaches on your own time! Our coaches can help you form a personalized plan to implement energy efficiency upgrades and transition off fossil fuels. Learn more and schedule a meeting here.
In addition to auditing your home’s energy usage, take action for climate progress!
New York’s landmark climate legislation (the CLCPA) created a Climate Action Council that’s working on an initial plan for meeting the goals of the new law. Late last year, the Climate Action Council released its draft plan, called the “Scoping Plan.” While there is much to commend in the plan, it needs to be strengthened.
You can submit a comment on the draft scoping plan through June 10. The New York Renews coalition has an easy-to-use tool for submitting comments. Also check out guidelines from 350Brooklyn and from New Yorkers for Clean Power for commenting on the part of the scoping plan that deals with building emissions.
Sign a petition to tell your state legislators to pass the All-Electric Buildings Act and make new construction gas-free throughout New York State. This law would require new buildings to use heating/cooling systems that run on electricity rather than gas, with some exceptions. (The law would take effect in 2023 for buildings less than seven stories and in mid-2027 for larger buildings.)
There are tons of ways to get involved with individual and collective action around the state and from your home. Check out NYCP’s Clean Energy Calendar to get informed and involved with New York’s climate movement.
As New York’s climate plan gets more attention, climate deniers and other opponents are getting their messages out there, using false information and scare tactics.
To counter this, write letters to the editor or op-eds in support of steps being taken to meet New York’s climate goals. Here are some tips on how to get your opinion out there as a member of the public.