Today’s news:

Con Edison rebate program pitched to contractors

Bronx Times

Contractors from around the borough learned how they can take part in a Con Edison rebate program that rewards landlords and tenants who agree to make energy saving upgrades to multi-family apartment buildings. Approximately 10 borough contractors took part in an information session and two-hour workshop where they learned how they could take part in Con Edison’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency Incentives Program for buildings with five to 75 units.

The latest workshop occurring recently at the Pelham Bay Diner, which is located at 1920 E. Gun Hill Road, had approximately 10 contractors that were learning how they could take part in the program through Con Edison’s partner for outreach on this program, the Association for Energy Afford ability, said Bob Bieder, a program participant with Westchester Square Plumbing Supply.

“This is a great way to cut fuel consumption for about 20 percent for all of these building owners, and save energy and reduce emissions,” Bieder stated. “There has not been a lot of work for contractors lately, and this can create work. For instance, if you have a 50-unit building and install 200 thermostatic valves as part of this program, that can create one or two days work for a contractor.”

So far, about 400 buildings owners in the Bronx have taken part in the program, which has been in existence since July 2009, said Con Edison’s manager of multi-family energy efficiency programs Greg Elcock. The program covers upgrades to both gas and electric in multi-family buildings that make them more energy efficient, Elcock said.

The program includes both upgrades to common areas, and to apartments, Elcock stated. Contractors need to take a two-hour workshop, Elcock said, like the one offered at the Pelham Bay Diner, and show that they are licensed and have insurance in order to take part in the Con Edison program.

“It is a fairly simple process: the contractors need to be licensed and insured in a particular trade,” Elcock said. “The contractors have to undergo a two hour workshop and it contains what we are expecting them. They go through the mechanics of the Con Edison program. It explains who can participate and who cannot participate, and what the incentives are in this common-sense program, explains that it is gas and electric program, and explains that there is no charge for the residents of the building.”

The rebates offered are something that the building owners should take advantage of, because they might not always be available, Bieder said.

“It is up to the contractors to inform their clients of this program,” Bieder said. “It is usually such a small fee for these landlords, so if they don’t take advantage of it now, they are going to pay a lot more for it later. We don’t how long this money is going to be on the table.”

The multi-family program will sunset on December 31, 2015, Elcock said. Tenants can also receive energy saving upgrades free of charge, Elcock said.

Qualified contractors for the program can be found at www.aeanyc.org, Elcock said.

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