• info@bedford2030.org
  • 914-620-2411

Save Energy, Spend Less

Written by Bedford 2030 Buildings and Transportation Intern, Liam Condon. Read more about all our interns HERE.

Home and transportation energy costs can often feel unpredictable and volatile. With gas prices at an all-time high –– over $5/gallon in Westchester in June according to AAA records- total amounts spent on energy at home and on the road are as high as 13% of the typical family’s monthly budget. This guide is a resource for Bedford residents to take advantage of money-saving programs, tips and tricks while contributing to Bedford 2030’s goal to reduce emissions 80% by 2030, and go carbon neutral by 2040. Although gas prices may not remain this high, these ideas will remain valuable.

We encourage you to advocate for the rapid development and deployment of renewable energy technologies to reducing energy costs more quickly and reduce the strain we are placing on the earth’s systems. 

Click here to stay up to date on pending climate legislation in New York State.

Click here to see how the United States is doing on climate policy.

And click here to track current federal energy policy legislation.

Completely Free Home Energy Efficiency Resources

Free Personal / Home Energy Consultations: 

Bedford 2030’s energy coach offers free virtual personal energy consultations available in English and Spanish! Our free energy coach, Bob Fischman, will work with you to guide you through all your energy efficiency questions, and help you navigate the other programs discussed below including solar, EV’s, insulation and heat pumps. 

Free Home Energy Efficiency Assessment:

Through NYSERDA’s Home Energy Efficiency Programs, all Bedford homeowners and renters are eligible for a free home energy efficiency assessment. A trained professional will complete an energy assessment of your home and give you a detailed report outlining the results and recommendations. All homeowners are potentially eligible for incentives and rebates to reduce, or even completely cover the cost of improvements recommended by the assessor. 

  • Income under 60% of the state median income? All improvements will be 100% free!
  • Income under 80% of the state median income? Improvements will be subsidized 50%
  • Those of any income level are eligible for rebates ranging from $500-$4,000 for home energy efficiency improvements recommended by the energy assessor.

Partially Subsidized Resources to Reduce Home Energy Costs

Solar Programs:

Going solar will always save money in the long run, but converting can be expensive. Thankfully, Bedford renters and homeowners are eligible for a number of different financing and incentive options that can make solar affordable, and even profitable in the short term.

  • NY-Sun offers a step-by-step guide for home and business owners who are looking to go solar, and will let you know which incentives you qualify for.  Here is a guide for solar financing in New York State.
  • There are a number of state and federal Tax Credits that you may be eligible for if you install solar panels at your home, which can lead to big savings. (for example, NYS and federal tax credits when combined in 2022 would net a savings of $8,119 off of an $18,000 solar installation project).
  • Community Solar is a great option for renters, or homeowners who can’t, or don’t want to install solar panels at their house to save money on their monthly utility bills while supporting the development of renewable energy and the local economy. There are a number of options to join and can be customized to fit your unique economic needs.
  • Solar For All is a completely free community solar program that can save eligible residents up to $180 per year.

Heat Pumps: 

NYS Clean Heat offers a number of financial incentives to make the more energy-efficient heat pumps affordable for people of all income levels (click here to find out which rebates you are eligible for). Heat pumps serve as both air conditioning and heating for the whole house without burning any greenhouse gasses, saving you money while keeping you comfortable. 

Resources to Reduce Transportation Energy Costs 

Electric Vehicles:

Just like going solar, switching to an electric vehicle saves money in the long run (saving about 4 cents per mile in maintenance costs, and up to $14,500 over 15 years in fuel costs). Although cheaper to own, electric cars are expensive to buy, preventing many residents from making the switch. Thankfully there are a number of resources to ease the transition.

Tips & Tricks to Reduce Energy Use and Save Money

Aside from taking advantage of the local, state, and federal programs that offer assistance and incentives to reduce energy use and transition to renewable energy, there are a number of small changes you can make to save money and reduce your carbon footprint. Here is a list of some of our top ideas:

On the Go:

  • Use public transportation
    • Westchester’s bus system, The Bee Line, is offering free fares until Labor Day. This can be a great way to get all around Westchester county, and has stops in Bedford Hills and Katonah.
    • The Metro North Harlem line also has stops in Bedford Hills and Katonah, and can be one of the quickest, most reliable, and most fuel-efficient ways to get into the city, or farther upstate. The mta-etix app is the easiest way to track train schedules and get tickets

  • Carpool

  • Walk/Bike
    • Although not practical for longer trips, walking or biking on shorter trips can save you money, reduce emissions, and contribute to physical and mental health. To integrate biking into larger trips, consider biking to the train station where bike racks are available. More options for bike parking are available in downtown Bedford as well. 

  • While Driving
    • Plan your errands
      • Planning out which trips you will need to make every day/week and running multiple errands in one trip can save you time and money.
    • Maintain your car
      • Keeping your car healthy by routinely checking tire pressure, using the right grade of fuel, and keeping your air filter clean can improve fuel efficiency and save money on fuel and repairs.
    • Drive Smoothly
      • Driving smoothly by accelerating and decelerating gently, avoiding unnecessary breaking, and staying as close as possible to 50 mph on the highway can save fuel –– and makes you a safer driver!

 At Home:

As always, feel free to reach out to us at info@bedford2030.org with questions or recommendations!