NYSERDA Announces Cash Incentive Program to Spur Building and Certification of New Green Homes in New York State, Major Green Renovations to Existing Homes

Single-Family Homes Qualify for $5,125, Higher Incentives for 2- to 11-Family Residential Buildings


With consumer interest in environmentally sustainable homes remaining strong despite the economic downturn, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is formally announcing a program to spur the building and certification of more green homes across the state.

The Green Residential Building Program offers incentives to owners of certain new or substantially renovated residential or residential mixed-use buildings that incorporate practices and technologies that lower energy costs, reduce waste and water use, and improve indoor air quality.

Incentives will be paid to owners who demonstrate that their building will use at least 30 percent less energy than conventionally built homes and has utilized the following green principles:

  • Green design principles, such as building siting and window positioning to take advantage of solar heat gain, minimize heat loss, utilize daylight and reduce energy use;
  • Green construction techniques, such as proper phasing of construction and use of processes to keep materials clean and dry to reduce potential for mold growth; and
  • Green construction materials, such as recycled-content, reclaimed, rapidly-renewable and locally produced building materials.

“The Green Residential Building Program will benefit the growing numbers of businesses and consumers who recognize the economic and environmental value of going green,” said Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA, “Through this program, NYSERDA is working to transform the residential construction marketplace as a means of developing New York’s clean energy economy.”
Early adopters who have already built or renovated residences to Green Residential Building Program requirements include developers of:

  • An affordable-housing development in Rochester;
  • Student housing at Sullivan County Community College;
  • A townhouse on the upper East Side of Manhattan.

Incentives start at $5,125 for a single-family home and increase to $13,375 for an 11-unit building.  The program’s guidelines include the following:

  • Types of Buildings:  Incentives are available to owners of new residential or mixed-use buildings (some residential space and some commercial space) or substantially renovated existing residential buildings with 11 units or fewer, including manufactured and modular housing units that are permanently sited in New York State.
  • Completion Date:  To be eligible, buildings must receive their Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion between Jan. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2013.
  • Performance Requirements:  Eligible buildings must be certified at the Silver level or higher using either the National Green Building Standard™, LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes or LEED® for New Construction, and meet other program energy efficiency requirements. These rating systems and standards provide nationally recognized, comprehensive, third-party-verified systems for measuring green building performance for residential buildings.
  • Specifications for Renovations:  Substantially renovated homes are required to meet the same green certification requirements as newly constructed homes.

Based on national trends, the green homes market in New York State is poised for growth. McGraw-Hill Construction estimates that activity in the green building sector will more than double between 2009 and 2013, even under challenging market conditions.

In a recent McGraw Hill survey, green home owners said that the top five benefits of a green home are that it is a healthier place to live, has lower operating costs, is part of a more sustainable lifestyle, and has lower energy and water bills during the first year. They also said they believe the resale value of their home is improved because it is green.

The Green Residential Building Program builds upon NYSERDA’s New York ENERGY STAR® Homes program, which has encouraged the construction of new homes that will use approximately 30 percent less energy than conventionally built homes since 2001. From the program’s inception, more than 16,000 ENERGY STAR Homes have been built. The program has saved residents over $12 million a year on energy bills, cut electricity by 18.7 million kilowatt-hours (enough to power 3,100 homes for a year) and saved 898,590 MMBTUs of fossil fuel to date.

Despite the recent economic downturn and decline in new home construction in the State, the demand for energy-efficient homes remains strong. The market share for 1- to 4-family homes meeting New York ENERGY STAR® Homes standards almost doubled from 2007 (prior to the recession) through September 2010.

In addition, consumer interest in energy efficient homes has grown substantially over the last decade. While New York ENERGY STAR® Homes made up 0.4 percent of the new single-family residential market in the State in 2001, they comprise 25.7 percent in 2010 (estimated through September). The percent of new 1- to 4-family homes participating in the program increased from 0.3 percent of the market in 2001 to 20.7 percent in 2010 (estimated through September).


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. A public benefit corporation, NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

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