Rochester ENergy Efficiency and Weatherization (RENEW)
In 2015, the New York State Attorney General's office allotted $1 million to help City of Rochester homeowners live in safer, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes. That was the beginning of the Rochester Safe and Efficient Homes Initiative. In July 2019, a grant from the ESL Charitable Foundation ensured that this work would continue under the new name of RENEW (Rochester ENergy Efficiency and Weatherization).
Grants or loans are made to qualified homeowners for improvements that include insulation, furnaces, hot water heaters, removal of lead paint hazards, or emergency repairs. This collective impact effort, which involves many community partners, has resulted in better physical and mental health outcomes, health- and wealth-building, reduced healthcare costs, foreclosure prevention, and neighborhood stabilization.
So far, we have helped make the homes of 200-plus low-income homeowners in the City of Rochester healthier and more energy efficient, participated in the first deep energy retrofit rehab project in Rochester, and are currently working with Sustainable Homes Rochester to make clean heating and cooling technologies accessible to low-income homeowners.
On average, clients who have received this assistance are seeing a 24 percent reduction in energy costs. These updates have helped keep an estimated 3,200-plus tons of carbon (greenhouse gas emissions) from entering the atmosphere.
Follow-up conversations with RENEW clients also find that 100 percent of those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD, report significantly reduced symptoms.
RENEW collaborates with community partners to accomplish this collective impact work. These partners include: Action for a Better Community, City of Rochester, Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, Common Ground Health, Ibero-American Development Corp., Monroe County Department of Public Health, Monroe County Office on Aging, Neighborworks Rochester, PathStone Corp., Rochester Housing Authority, Rochester People's Climate Coalition, Town of Irondequoit, and University of Rochester.
Am I Eligible?
Homeowners can check to see if they qualify by scheduling a free energy audit with one of RENEW's program partners and learning more about saving money on heating and cooling bills. Contact one of the following to schedule the energy audit:
How You Can Help
Anyone can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by calculating your carbon footprint using any of the carbon offset calculators available on-line. Once you have figured out the amount of money you need to “offset” or donate, you can make a tax-deductible donation to the RENEW Climate Fund. Your donation will help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in our community and assist low-income neighbors to live in safe and energy-efficient housing. Click here to make a secure online contribution.