Program EmPower New York
Category Financial Incentive
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State New York
Administrator New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Sectors Residential

The primary focus of EmPower+ New York program is to help low- and moderate-income households save energy and money towards energy improvements made to their property. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) currently contracts with CLEAResult to implement the EmPower+ New York Program.


Applicants must meet income requirements to qualify for the program. In order to qualify, the customer must live in a 1-4 family home, and either participate in a utility payment assistance program; reside in a single family home located in a geographically eligible territory; or have an income below 80% of the State/Area Median Income. For both low and moderate-income 2-4 family homes, if 50% or more of the units are income-eligible for EmPower+, then the entire building is considered eligible.

Both homeowners and renters are eligible to participate. Rental properties must have approval from the landlord/building owner for work to proceed. Landlords with income-eligible tenants are encouraged to talk to their residents to apply for the program.  

Program Description

Through EmPower+ New York, homeowners and renters can receive a no cost comprehensive home energy assessment to pinpoint where energy and dollars are being wasted and receive a customized plan to lower energy usage, no-cost direct install improvements identified during the assessment can be installed by participating program contractors, and households can receive financial discounts on the cost of energy efficiency improvements. Prioritized core energy efficiency improvements include air sealing, insulation, replacement of inefficient refrigerators and freezers, and health and safety items. Homes that have had air sealing and insulation completed, contractors can make recommendations to upgrade other equipment including cold climate air source heat pump, heat pump hot water tank, and high efficiency gas heating upgrades.

In order to participate, the applicant must submit an application available on the NYSERDA website or call 1-877-NYSMART. As part of the application process, applicants will select a participating contractor. After the application is approved, the chosen contractor will reach out to schedule an energy assessment. Within two weeks of the assessment, the contractor will present a report of findings to the household, identifying ways to save energy. Based on this report, the contractor will develop a work-scope to provide to the EmPower+ for approval. Once approved, the contractor will review the work-scope with the applicant, discuss out of pocket expenses (if any), and install the approved energy efficiency improvements. 

Low-income, single family households are eligible for no-cost energy efficiency improvements capped at $10,000 per project. While moderate-income, single-family households are eligible for a discount of up to 50% of the cost of eligible work capped at $5,000 per project. For low-income family rentals with 2-4 units, project funding caps are based upon $10,000 for the initial unit and $5,000 for each additional unit. Moderate-income family rentals with 2-4 units have project funding caps based upon $5,000 for the initial unit and $2,500 for each additional unit.

EmPower vs. EmPower+

Previously, EmPower provided no-cost energy improvements for households earning 60% or less than the State Median Income. Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star provided a 50% cost-share towards energy efficiency measures for households earning between 60-80% of the Area/State Median Income. NYSERDA has combined these separate offerings into one program, EmPower+. In addition to the low income tier previously served by EmPower, EmPower+ also serves the moderate-income households who historically participated in Assisted Home Performance.

Inflation Reduction Act Update

In May 2024, New York became the first state in the nation to launch their Home Energy Rebate program, created by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The first phase of the Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates (HEAR) program will be run through the state’s existing EmPower+ program.

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