New York Governor Kathy Hochul is rolling out a brand new initiative to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in neighborhoods statewide. According to the Rochester Beacon, the $30 million initiative will help to build market capacity and a greater demand for decarbonized neighborhoods and homes. The initiative, dubbed Building Better Homes – Emissions Free and Healthier Communities, will provide marketing, training, and technical support for developers and builders committed to creating carbon-neutral, single-family homes for New Yorkers.
Hochul says single-family homes have been often overlooked as sources of carbon emissions. It’s important, she says, that the state of New York works with homebuyers and developers alike to provide incentives for greater sustainability.
How to Create Sustainable Energy in Your Home
For existing homes in New York, it’s important for homeowners to take initiatives of their own to help reduce their carbon footprint. Reducing your carbon footprint at home is easier than you think and it can even help to reduce energy costs. For instance, upgrading your HVAC unit to an EnergyStar unit can help to improve your energy use by 50% for electricity and 10% for gas. That means you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint but you’re also reducing your own energy costs and lowering your utility bills.
Another key way you can create a more sustainable home is by being strategic with your gardening. If you have a yard, consider using plants that are native to the area. Native plants are lower-maintenance and don’t require as much gardening equipment and upkeep to sustain them. Additionally, strategically planted trees can even help to reduce your home’s energy costs by up to 25%.
Other great ways you can help to lower your energy use at home include:
- Using LED lights: LED lights have been around for several years, but halogen lights are still occasionally used throughout New York homes. If you haven’t yet made the switch over to LED lights, consider making the switch today. LEDs come in a wide variety of colors so you can still enjoy the warmer tones that halogen lights have to offer while still reducing your energy use.
- Installing solar panels: Not every home has the ability to install solar panels, but if your home is capable of doing so, solar panels have a lot to offer. Not only do they completely eliminate your need for electricity and gas depending on your appliances but they also help to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. What’s more, solar panels are becoming increasingly affordable, and they can boost your home’s resale value.
- Unplug your tech and appliances: Consider unplugging your computers, phones, lamps, and appliances when they’re not in use. Electronic devices around your home can sometimes be energy vampires and suck up electricity that isn’t needed. Once your device is charged, be sure to remove it from the wall to reduce energy costs and unnecessary energy usage.
To help lower your energy costs at home while also taking the initiative and helping to reduce your carbon footprint, consider trying some of the tips above. According to the Rochester Beacon, the Building Better Homes – Emissions Free and Healthier Communities initiative in addition to New Yorkers’ efforts to reduce their carbon footprints will help the state of New York achieve its goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040. This goal includes a 70% renewable energy generation initiative by 2030.