Jeanne Darling, Extension Executive Director


Date of Release:      February 28, 2019

Provided by:              Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County



Most homes have lots of leaks that let cold air in during the winter. By sealing these leaks and adding insulation, you can significantly cut down on the energy used to heat and cool your home.  This reduces your energy costs and makes your home more comfortable.

There are programs that cover the cost of energy improvements to your home, for homeowners and renters. These include the Weatherization Assistance Program and Empower NY, free programs that together can provide over $10,000 of energy improvements for income eligible households (for example, a family of four making under $53,500 a year).  Another program, Assisted Home Performance, covers 50% of the costs up to $4,000.

These programs cover such improvements as: Insulation and air sealing; replacement of inefficient heating equipment; installation of high-efficiency lighting; replacement of refrigerators and inefficient appliances.



Heating with wood, wood pellets or heat pumps can save you money comparted to oil, propane or electricity, and there a number of incentives to help homes and businesses make the switch.

Wood & Pellet Incentives are available for high efficiency, low-emission wood heating systems for homeowners and businesses that don’t have access to natural gas.


  • Wood Pellet Stove – $1,500 or up to $2,500 for income eligible homeowners, off the cost of the installation of qualifying pellet stoves.
  • Wood Pellet Boilers with Thermal Storage- 45% of installed cost up to $35,000 based on system size, with an additional $5,000 for recycling of old wood boiler or $2,500 for recycling a wood furnace.
  • Advanced Wood Boilers with Thermal Storage – 25% of installed cost up to $5,000 per unit, with an additional $5,500 for recycling of old wood boiler or $2,500 for recycling a wood furnace.
  • Heat Pump Incentives for both air-source and ground-source (geothermal) systems.
  • Air-Source Heat Pumps – $500 rebate per outdoor unit for qualifying systems to participating installers.
  • Ground-Source Heat Pumps – $1,500 rebate per ton of system size, plus a 30% federal tax credit.




Solar power is here and available to everyone! Get clean, locally produced solar power to provide 100% of your home or business’s electricity, and save money while helping your community. There are three options for going solar, with options for homeowners and renters.

Onsite Solar -Purchase and install panels on your roof or property. State and federal incentives typically cover 65% of the cost, making it a great investment. Finance the rest, and your monthly loan payments will be similar or less than what you were paying the utility.

Community Solar Purchase – Purchase panels on a community solar farm. These are built in an optimal location with no shading.  Though often not as good as investment as Onsite Solar, Community Solar Purchase works well for households who don’t have a good location on their property, or for renters.

Subscription Solar – Subscription Solar allows you to buy electricity directly from a solar farm in our region without owning the panels. This can be a great option for renters or for those who are unable to purchase a solar system for other reasons.  Subscription models don’t tend to have upfront costs, are usually short-term contracts, and typically offer 5-10% discounts over utility rates.



There are a number of resources for small businesses, non-profits and multi-family building owners to help reduce energy use and carbon emissions and save money!


  • Lighting Upgrade – NYSEG offers a free lighting assessment and up to 70% of the cost of the upgrade for eligible businesses.
  • Renewable Heating – There are incentives for small businesses and non-profits for air-source and ground-source heat pumps, pellet boilers and combined heat & power.
  • Solar – There are state rebates for small and large commercial installations, along with a 30% federal tax credit.
  • Financing – NYSERDA provides subsidized loans for energy-related work to small businesses and non-profits, and some counties also offer PACE financing.


For further information contact Jeanne Darling at CCE-Delaware County at 607-865-6531 or We would like to know if you decide to install or make these Smart Energy improvements in your home or business.