Rochester ENergy Efficiency and Weatherization

Rochester ENergy Efficiency & Weatherization (RENEW) is a collective impact initiative established in 2015.

By braiding resources and working cooperatively, RENEW and our community partners have invested over $10.3 million into the homes of hundreds of income-qualified homeowners, making them more energy-efficient, healthier, and safer from environmental hazards. These energy-efficiency improvements will keep more than 8,173 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere. Clients are experiencing 20 percent average savings on fuel costs and better physical and mental health outcomes. Follow-up conversations with RENEW clients find that 100 percent of those with self-reported, pre-existing respiratory conditions — such as asthma and COPD — report significantly reduced symptoms.

This collective impact model provides multiple co-benefits, including transforming neighborhoods, building wealth, preventing home foreclosure, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating improved health outcomes for income-qualified families. Investing in home “health” is an essential cornerstone and unmet need to combat poverty and build community-wide economic stability.

How You Can Support RENEW

Donations to the RENEW Climate Fund will help make Rochester area homes more energy-efficient, healthier, and safer.

How RENEW Works

RENEW’s community partners/service providers offer a variety of home energy-efficiency grant programs for income-eligible homeowners. The majority of RENEW grants are projects in need of “gap” funding to meet program eligibility requirements. While many programs provide safety nets, RENEW serves as a bridge. We remove obstacles to assist families so they can receive desperately needed weatherization and health and safety work — families that would otherwise be ineligible.

Grants to community partners working with income-qualified homeowners help them make improvements that include insulation, furnaces, hot water heaters, or emergency health and safety repairs including sewer lines and electrical panels. We are proud of our efforts to increase the number of installations of high-efficiency clean heating and cooling technologies like heat pump hot water heaters and furnaces, tankless hot water heaters, and air source heat pump systems.

RENEW collaborates with multiple community partners to accomplish this collective impact work. Partners include Action for a Better Community, AMPED, City of Rochester, Climate Solutions Accelerator, Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, Common Ground Health, Greater Rochester Housing Partnership, Ibero-American Development Corp., Monroe County Department of Public Health, Monroe County Office on Aging, PathStone Corp., Rochester Institute of Technology, Sheen Housing, Town of Greece GRIP, Town of Irondequoit IHIP, and University of Rochester.

We have a proven public/private operations model and funding mechanism to combine federal, state, and local resources to facilitate comprehensive energy efficiency and weatherization improvements to reduce the energy burden on income-eligible homeowners and the environment and increase residential safety and comfort.

Started with settlement funds from the NYS Attorney General, RENEW’s work is possible through the generosity of grants from ESL Charitable Foundation, Monroe County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding, Congressional Community Project Funding FY 2023, NYS Legislative Initiative Funding, City of Rochester, and Rochester Area Community Foundation, along with family foundations and individual donations. This project is supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP0206 awarded to Monroe County, New York by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Am I Eligible?

Homeowners can see if they qualify by calling one of RENEW’s community partners. Depending upon where you live, contact one of the following agencies to learn more about saving money on utility costs, making necessary repairs, and making your home a healthier, safer place to live.

Currently, we are working on a pilot program to make rental properties more energy-efficient, healthier, and safer. If you are a tenant or a landlord, please fill out the Rental Property Improvement Program form and call Action for a Better Community or PathStone at the numbers listed on the back of the form.

How You Can Help

Carbon offset donations allow individuals, businesses, institutions, and municipalities to reduce carbon footprints associated with everyday activities. Any online carbon footprint calculator will help you calculate your footprint and tell you the amount to donate to “offset” your carbon emissions. Your tax-deductible donation to the RENEW Climate Fund will directly benefit income-qualified homeowners in our region and reduce carbon emissions in our community. Your donation will stay local and clean the air we ALL breathe.

Stay Connected

Learn more about RENEW and our efforts to make homes more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by connecting with us on Facebook and Instagram, and LinkedIn.

For more information, contact RENEW Program Director Elizabeth McDade. Email Elizabeth or call her at 585.341.4362.