© 2024 Innovation Trail

New program promotes local job creation and energy efficiency


A new program is expected to make some Western New York businesses more energy efficient. The community housing organization PUSH Buffalo is leading an effort that’s also expected to create local jobs.

The PUSH Green building retrofit program begins by linking non-profit organizations and small businesses with a registered architect who will act as their energy advocate. The advocate will work with the client on identifying what incentives are available to them from the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSERDA.

Clients are then connected with a contractor accredited by the Building Performance Institute or BPIwho’ll provide a free energy assessment of the building, and hire local workers to complete the refit.

PUSH Buffalo’s director of workforce initiatives Clarke Gocker says qualifying customers will receive a 50% grant subsidy to be used on energy-efficient improvements like roof replacement and foundation repair.

“Providing a turnkey energy advocate type service to a business can help them to navigate what can be confusing programs, and we can create jobs, that pay people decent wages, that put local business, local contractors back to work. Then there are clear benefits to the environment,” said Gocker.

Gocker says they identified the need for the program after meeting with a local business that believed their building was fitted out with energy efficient light bulbs. It turned out, it wasn’t.