New York State Senators James Seward (R-51, in Greene County) and Stephen M. Saland (R-41 in Columbia County) both voted for the Green Jobs/Green NY bill last night. The vote was 52-8 (search for A8901) in favor if the bill which has now been returned to the NY State Assembly. The bill does the following:
1. The bill, (S.5888) is a Job Creation program that pays for itself through energy savings and revitalization of economically distressed communities.
2. The landmark program will create 14,000 permanent jobs while significantly reducing energy costs for an estimated 1 million homes and business, curtailing the dangerous effect of greenhouse emissions on the environment.
3. Green Jobs creates a program where middle-income home and business owners can make their property more energy efficient to save money on their heating and cooling bills.
4. The program will provide $112 million in capital funding for job creation and workforce training, energy audits, program administration and a credit enhancement for critical private sector capital investment. GJ/GNY will front the cost of the work, enabling property owners to afford energy efficient retrofits that will cut energy usage by 30-40% yielding immediate savings on their monthly energy bills. Owners will repay the cost over time through on-bill financing on their utility bills, but their overall bill total would still be lower than what they pay right now.
5. Local contractors, certified to perform the retrofits will be able to expand their crews, creating new and permanent jobs in green construction and additional jobs in local businesses and manufacturing that serve those new workers.
6. By targeting the bill to middle income homeowners, the program has a statewide impact. Green Jobs/Green NY serves homeowners who make too much to qualify for Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) money but don’t make enough to afford energy saving retrofits. Upstate, where the median income is lower, the cut-off for WAP is so low that most people can’t qualify, but they can for Green Jobs/Green NY.
7. Green Jobs/Green NY costs taxpayers NOTHING. The program doesn’t take any money out of the state budget; it save homeowners money on their utility bills and creates thousands of jobs that bring money into the local economy. Funding for the program comes from carbon auction funds which are required to fund energy efficiency. This program uses that available money to save millions of New Yorkers money on their utility bills while putting thousands back to work for good.
8. The greatest barrier to energy efficiency and green job creation is the ability of residential and business property owners to afford the work. The Green Jobs/ Green NY programs breaks down that barrier through the infusion of up-front capital with NO on-budget cost to the state.
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