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Save Money and Energy in Your Home Through Pratt Pilot Program

By Camille Bautista | March 16, 2016 10:00am
 The Pratt Center for Community Development is seeking homeowners of one-to-two family masonry houses to participate in EnergyFit NYC, a pilot program aimed at simplifying the process for homeowners who want to increase energy savings.
The Pratt Center for Community Development is seeking homeowners of one-to-two family masonry houses to participate in EnergyFit NYC, a pilot program aimed at simplifying the process for homeowners who want to increase energy savings.
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Pratt Center for Community Development.

BROOKLYN — If you’re looking for ways to save money — and the planet — the Pratt Center for Community Development is ready to help.

The community planning organization launched a pilot program in January, aiming to increase energy savings and reduce carbon emissions in family homes across the city.

EnergyFit NYC aims to make it easier and cheaper for homeowners to save money, as well as improve their health and safety, by offering a package of energy-saving measures like air sealing and weather-stripping, according to Rebekah Morris, residential retrofits program manager at the Pratt Center.

“The biggest thing is to simplify the process for homeowners who want to participate in available programs from the city and state,” Morris said. “And of course, reduce utility bills and in the larger picture, fight climate change.”

Pratt Center is looking for homeowners of one-to-two family masonry houses — brick, brownstone, and limestone — that are gas-heated and attached to homes on either side.

Through their initial study, the group estimated about 13 percent savings in utility bills, Morris said.

Home improvement packages are worth between $5,200 and $5,600, and participants would pay only up to $250 for the upgrades.

The improvements include air sealing and weather stripping throughout the home, insulation in the attic, as well as health and safety testing and the installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

Homes throughout the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn may be eligible, Morris said, with a large number of the buildings in Brooklyn fitting their housing stock criteria.

Analyzing the results of home energy assessments can be complicated and burdensome for homeowners, Morris added, prompting a call for a more basic approach.

In a study from the Pratt Center, the organization found that buildings constructed during a similar time period with similar materials can use the same types of upgrades to maximize their energy efficiency.

The group decided to test the theory that by eliminating costly and time-consuming audits of each individual building and instead offering standard energy efficiency packages that community-based organizations can use to help retrofit homes in the neighborhood.

“We’re looking to test this idea so we can simplify the process, so some organization or agency can take it and promote it citywide,” she added.

“We really want to see people be able to access help and support to ease the process in improving their homes.”

To see if your home is eligible, visit the EnergyFit NYC website here or email EnergyFitNYC@prattcenter.net.