How the BPI Energy Program Works
What to expedt from Home Performance with ENERGY STARĀ®



 

 

Say goodbye to moisture problems, drafty rooms and high utility bills. You can improve the comfort of your home, use less energy and save up to $700 annually on your energy costs by participating in the New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program*.

Let us guide you through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program, from the initial visit, to installation of energy efficiency improvement, through to project completion. When you participate in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program you will be working with CNY Home Tech Services, a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Accredited Home Performance Contractor. BPI is a leading developer of technical standards for home performance and weatherization retrofit work that are recognized across North America. BPI Contractors have been trained in taking a ‘whole-house’ approach when testing your home and identifying where energy efficiency upgrades can be made.

 

 

 

1. Finding a Participating Contractor

To qualify for any incentives or financing through Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, you must use a participating BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractor. CNY Home Tech Services is a participating BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractor serving Central New York, including Verona, Rome, Oneida, Camden, Clinton, Canastota, Sylvan Beach, Westernville, Utica, Sangerfield, Munnsville, Bridgeport and more. Call us today to see if we can help you get started. 

BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractors use advanced, diagnostic equipment to test your home and identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.

2. The Comprehensive Home Assessment (Energy Audit)

CNY Home Tech Services is required to perform a comprehensive assessment of your home and its energy-using systems, which generally lasts one to three hours. The comprehensive home assessment, also referred to as an energy audit, provides homeowners with valuable information regarding the existing condition of their home and identifies areas where energy efficiency, comfort and safety upgrades can be made.

Most New Yorkers qualify for a free or reduced-cost home assessment.

During the assessment, CNY Home Tech completes a visual inspection of the living space, attic, basement (or crawl spaces), and performs a number of tests using special diagnostic equipment such as a blower door. The blower door test measures how much air is leaking out of your home. CNY Home Tech will also perform required health and safety tests to ensure that the major combustion appliances (furnace, boiler, hot water tank, stove) are operating properly. If these tests identify any potential threats in the home, BPI health and safety standards require the health and safety-related repairs to be addressed in order for any other Home Performance work to proceed. During the home assessment, you are encouraged to accompany us and share any concerns such as drafts, hot spots, cold spots, evidence of moisture or mold, strange smells, even physical symptoms such as persistent headaches or flu-like symptoms.

After the home assessment, CNY Home Tech Services will prepare a report to identify areas where energy efficiency improvements can be made and develop a detailed project proposal and an estimate of project costs. Because we are an independent contractor, we will subcontract work to other specialty companies in order to offer a more comprehensive set of energy efficiency and health and safety upgrades.

3. Paying for the Work

By using a participating BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractor, attractive financing is available to help pay for the cost of the energy efficiency upgrades. Homeowners can take advantage of cash-back incentives and low interest rates**. Interest rates are subject to change without notice.

For income-qualified households, subsidies are available through Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.

4. The Customer Contract

When you have decided on the energy efficiency improvements you want, you will be presented with a written contract to review and sign. Check this contract carefully.

  • Make sure that all the work you want done is detailed, that everything you want to have installed is in the contract, and that there is nothing that you do not want, or do not understand, in the contract.
  • In general, the price offered should be a fixed price that cannot be changed without your written permission (see section on “Change Orders”). Make sure the contract clearly states if it's a fixed-price contract or estimate.
  • The contract should cover payment terms, such as a down payment, installment payments and when the final payment is due.
  • The Program recognizes only contracts between a customer and a participating, BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractor. If other contractors are called in to complete a part of the comprehensive work scope, they must be subcontractors to your participating BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractor (unless they are also participating BPI Home Performance Contractors). BPI Accredited Home Performance Contractors typically carry their credentials with them; or you can verify their current status by calling the Program at 1-877-NY-SMART.

Do not sign a contract with a contractor who does not perform a home assessment. Never sign a contract that does not include a detailed work scope and the cost of the proposed work. Prior to signing a contract, you should also discuss the expected project start and completion dates with your contractor.

5. Signing the Contract

Once you have signed the contract and the Home Performance Customer Information Form, be sure your participating contractor provides you with a copy of both documents. Your participating contractor will be responsible for submitting copies of the contract and Customer Information Form to the Program. No work can begin until both you and the participating contractor have signed these documents.

6. Change Orders

The work scope may change during the course of the job. Some causes of these changes include the following:

  • The customer decides to add or remove something from the work scope.
  • The contractor discovers a problem.
  • An opportunity for additional improvements presents itself during construction or installation.

For example, your insulation contractor may discover a potential fire hazard or an open chimney chase while insulating and air sealing an attic. The heating contractor may locate a pipe leak while replacing your boiler. If there are changes in the work scope, known as “Change Orders,” the contractor will give you a signed copy of the change order. Be sure you fully understand the impacts before you agree to the change. The Program requires that, unless warranted by special circumstances such as health and safety or lack of heat during winter, you should sign, date, and your contractor should submit to the Program all change orders before your contractor installs the new measures – and before you receive any financing or incentives.

7. Installation of Your Energy Efficiency Improvements

It is recommended you meet with the participating contractor in the morning and again at the end of the day to review completed work. Be aware that as the work is being performed, the normal routine of your household may be disrupted

8. Final Tests

The energy efficiency work performed on your home will often result in your home being more airtight. As a Program requirement, the participating contractor must do a ‘test-out’ after work is complete to ensure that the increased air tightness does not cause air quality or combustion health and safety problems. The participating contractor will repeat the tests performed during the home assessment. It is recommended that you be present during the ‘test-out’. On rare occasions, this test process reveals conditions that do not meet the Program's health, safety, and technical requirements. In that case, the participating contractor will recommend modifications to bring your home into compliance with Program standards before a Certificate of Completion can be signed.

9. Closing Out the Job

The Certificate of Completion– Accepting the job as completed
When all of the work in the original work scope and change orders is substantially complete and the final tests are completed, CNY Home Tech will prepare a Certificate of Completion for your review and signature. By signing the certificate, you are agreeing that the work on your project has been substantially completed. DO NOT sign the Certificate of Completion until the work (original work scope and change orders) is substantially completed. You should notate on the “punch list” section of the completion certificate any remaining minor items that need completion. Once you sign the Certificate of Completion, your final payment becomes due. Financing and incentives will be processed once we submit the signed Certificate of Completion to the Program.

10. Follow-up work and return business

If you can't make all the recommended modifications at one time, you can continue to access incentives and financing up to the lifetime caps. CNY Home Tech can provide you with more information on the current lifetime caps for Program incentives and financing.

Neither NYSERDA, nor the Program Implementer, warrants the products and/or services of participating contractors; nor are they responsible or liable for any work performed by participating contractors or their suppliers. Participating contractors are responsible for dealing directly with any customer concerns about quality and workmanship.

The Office of the Attorney General provides New Yorkers the tools they need to make informed decisions when it comes to hiring a home improvement contractor. Do your homework and hire a qualified home improvement contractor. For more information visit New York Know Your ContractorLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

To obtain information on BPI's customer dispute resolution policies, contact BPILink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

*Actual savings may vary based upon efficiency measures selected, age of home, appliances, equipment and other factors. A participating contractor can help evaluate potential savings.

**Financing, energy audits, and workforce development opportunities made available through the Green Jobs 

©2009 CNY Home Tech Services, 5524 West Main Street, Verona, NY 13478

Tel: 315-363-4043  •  Email: thomasurtz@gmail.com