Energy efficiency upgrades and new heating and cooling systems are major financial investments in your home or building, but they are good investments, reducing your energy usage and keeping you and your family more comfortable! Here are incentives and financing to help you afford them.
Note: many incentives are given "per ton" of the heating and cooling system, an oldfangled but still widely used term defined as the amount of energy it takes to melt a ton of ice. It is a conventional measurement for a home's heating or cooling needs. Don't worry, you do not need to figure out this number yourself! Installers are experts at determining this number. Most homes are three to five tons.
HeatSmart CNY Affordability Grant
This is available only through the HeatSmart CNY campaign. We are offering $7500 per home for geothermal or $2000 per home for air source heat pumps to households with gross incomes below 80% of the area median income (AMI).
Statewide, homes with this also qualify for up to $4000 in matching funds through Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star. Qualified 2-4 unit multifamily residences qualify for up to $8000. Our partner installers will help you access these.
If your income is below 60% AMI, you qualify for NYSERDA's Empower program, which pays for up to $8000 of energy efficiency improvements including insulation at no cost to the homeowner or renter. An easy way to know if you qualify for this is whether you get HEAP assistance.
What's the area median income? Compare your gross income (before tax deductions) against these charts to determine which AMI bracket you fall into. (These are 2019 numbers)
Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the renewable energy tax credits for fuel cells, small wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps now feature a gradual step down in the credit value, the same as those for solar energy systems.
- 30% for systems placed in service by 12/31/2019
- 26% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
- 22% for systems placed in service after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
Expires: December 31, 2021
Details: Existing homes and new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify.
For Rural Farms and Small Businesses: USDA Funding
- Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency - Grant/Loan for farms and small businesses. You must apply PRIOR to construction starting. Deadline March 31, 2020. Read the FAQ
New York State / NYSERDA
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has two major incentives for heat pumps and two programs to help with affording insulation and air sealing.
$1500/ton. This incentive is expected to last through the end of March 2020, after which the utilities are expected to run the incentive programs.
As of April 2019, NYSERDA is offering $1000/ton for "whole home" cold climate systems that meet 90-120% of a home's heating needs. Ask your installers about this incentive!
EmPower will cover 100% of the costs for energy efficiency upgrades like air sealing and insulation, up to $8000, for households that are at 60% or less of the state median income. If you qualify for HEAP, you qualify for this!
Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star pays for 50% of the costs of energy efficiency upgrades, up to $4000, for households that are at 80% or less of the area median income.
Property Tax Exemption
National Grid's rebates are per ton, and NYSEG / RG&E have flat rebate amounts. Most homes are 3-5 tons.
National Grid incentivizes geothermal and air source heat pumps, and heat pump water heaters for electric-only customers who do not have natural gas. These rebates range from $200-400/ton with a maximum of $1500, based on the energy efficiency of the specific equipment. Visit their incentive page or download their application.
NYSEG and RG&E provide incentives up to $1050 for cold climate air source heat pumps and $500 for heat pump water heaters. Visit their incentive page or download their application. A couple of details to note: 1) this is retroactive to the beginning of 2019, and 2) if you have multiple single-zone systems installed, according to NYSEG's energy efficiency hotline, simply submit an application for each one.
With proper financing, households on oil, propane, and resistance electric can realize significant out-of-pocket savings on their annual energy costs from day one. It is always cheaper overall to pay up front, but not everyone has the luxury of doing so. Here are options to consider:
Green Jobs Green New York: On-Bill Recovery and Smart Energy Loans
New York State offers two loans for energy efficiency (including heat pumps) and renewable energy projects through their Green Jobs Green New York program. On Bill Recovery includes the cost of the upgrades right on your energy bill and requires a cost-effectiveness test to be passed. On-Bill Recovery can be passed on to the next homeowner if it is not paid off by the time you sell your home. Smart Energy loans have their own billing. Lower interest rates are accessed through enrolling in autopay. Get more details and check qualification for interest rates. Talk to your installers about these, they will help you apply. All loans must be paid back within 15 years.
|Area Median Income||On-Bill Recovery or Smart Energy auto-pay||Smart Energy direct billing (in the mail)|
|Up to 120%||3.49%||3.99%|
Good credit? Those with credit scores of 780 or above do not have to meet cost-effectiveness or debt-to-income ratio tests and income documentation is not required (unless applying for under 120% AMI interest rates). This is a new change to the program as of 2019.
Low credit score? This financing is available for credit scores down to 540.
What's the area median income? Compare your gross income (before tax deductions) against these charts to determine which AMI bracket you fall into.
Many installers offer financing options through EnerBank USA. The GeoSmart loan finances up to $85,000 with terms up to 20 years at 4.99%. They also offer a 12-month 0% interest same-as-cash loan to cover the amount of the expected federal tax credit.
- Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency®
- Live in a rural area? Check out the USDA Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants
- Live in southern Onondaga County? Southern Hills Preservation Corporation provides up to $30,000* to help eligible homeowners make needed repairs on their homes.