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Binghamton Energy Leadership Programs receives grants

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Binghamton Energy Leadership Programs receives grants
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What better time than this current cold snap to talk about greater energy efficiency for businesses and homeowners. Everyone wants new ways to save money. The City of Binghamton hopes to help people through their Energy Leadership Program. Our Melissa Kakareka tells us about new funding to the program that could have many benefits for the community.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- If you are turning up your heat to make it through the cold winter nights or turning on your lights, you could be spending a lot of money on your utility bill. But the Binghamton Energy Leadership Program is trying to help people make their homes and businesses more energy efficient.

"This is really a great program because it helps people who have properties make their properties more energy efficient and makes it more affordable for people to live in a northeastern climate," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

City officials announced Thursday that they've received $100,000 to keep the Energy Leadership Program going for a third year. A total of $50,000 comes from a local award from the Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation. The city and the foundation sent an application to the Local Sustainability Matching Fund and received a national grant for an additional $50,000. Binghamton is one of only six communities across the country that received an award.

"I think it again shows that Binghamton really is positioning itself as a lead in regards to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability," said Director of Planning, Housing, Community Development Tarik Abdelazim.

The money helps fund community outreach efforts around energy-efficiency by informing people about the benefits and available state programs and financial incentives.

In addition to benefits for home and business owners, the program also promotes economic development and environmental health.

"This initiative starts from one premise: How do we create jobs? How do we restore economic vitality? And in the meantime, how do we help homeowners and make them more economically sufficient? How do we in the long term improve our environment? That's what home energy efficiency is all about," said Abdelazim.

"We hired seven people in the last three years. They are all green jobs. All young guys working entry level jobs and we were able to give them a career path," said Foam It Insulation owner Jonny Norton.

Officials say they hope to continue the program for even longer than three years.

To find out how to take advantage of the Binghamton Energy Leadership Program, you can call (607) 772-8953 for more information.

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