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Kevin Rooney
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Heating Oil Customers Take Advantage of Energy Efficiency Incentives…Saving Money, Helping to Improve Our Environment!

Long Island, NY, August 16, 2012 –There is a lot of buzz, and a lot of confusion, surrounding energy efficiency and “being green”. But the truth is that ALL consumers, regardless of what fuel they use, can be “green”. And it doesn't have to come at a premium.

Today, it’s easier than ever for consumers to save money while at the same time being kind to the environment. Many programs now exist that enable heating oil consumers to upgrade to more efficient, environment-friendly heating equipment while at the same time, saving money.

“All of the Energy Communications Council* member states have programs that offer incentives to help consumers upgrade their oil heating systems and improve the overall energy efficiency of their homes in a cost-efficient manner,” said Kevin Rooney, ECC Chairman and CEO at the Oil Heat Comfort Corp. “The heating oil industry is consistently putting out more efficient equipment and cleaner fuels. Customers can access those innovations by taking advantage of the many incentive programs out there.”

New York State
In Rooney’s state of New York, the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (commonly known as “NYSERDA”) offers several programs to residents, including the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program which offers free home efficiency assessments and low-interest financing to qualified customers, and the Green Residential Building Program that offers incentives to the owners of residential dwellings to build or upgrade existing homes to be more environmentally-friendly.

And that’s not all. “On Long Island, we also have our own Energy Smart program,” said Rooney. “This is a partnership between the Oil Heat Comfort Corp, Long Island Green and the Collaborative Energy Group; it is specifically designed for heating oil consumers interested in retrofitting their home to use less energy.”

New York, like many other states across the country, also has specific energy efficiency and upgrade programs geared towards low-to-moderate income consumers, most of which are offered through programs similar to the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Consumers may explore these programs by contacting their local Community Action Plan agency.

In Massachusetts, an initiative aptly named MassSave, aims to provide interested consumers with free home energy assessments, reduced-cost weatherization measures, zero-interest financing and more. “Two of the Commonwealth’s biggest utilities have extended an “Early Boiler Replacement Rebate” program to eligible customers who want to proactively upgrade an aging boiler,” said Michael Ferrante, President of the Massachusetts Oilheat Council and ECC Member. “And heating oil customers have been taking full advantage.”

Legislative Intervention
State governments have been weighing in as well, attempting to enact legislation that ensures equality among homeowners seeking to increase their home’s efficiency. States aware that heating oil consumers may be less apt to procure utility-based incentives have begun to consider legislative measures that would ensure access to the same benefits as other fuel source consumers. Rooney is supportive of such measures: “Such considerations are a definite step in the right direction. It helps to ensure that all consumers are treated equally; we’d like to see more of that.”

All States
ECC reminds consumers that, although most efficiency programs are offered either directly through or in cooperation with the local utilities, they are not only for natural gas and electric heat consumers. “Today – whether their house uses oil, natural gas, propane or solar – everyone can use a little help when it comes to saving energy. We should do our best to ensure that financial incentives to improve energy efficiency are available to those who wish to take advantage,” Rooney said.

*For the purposes of this release, the ECC is comprised of the Massachusetts Oilheat Council and the Oil Heat Comfort Corp, and is funded by NORA.

National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.