When Annalisa and Anthony Olivas moved into their new home on Oriole Path in Liverpool, they discovered that it needed more than new curtains and a fresh coat of paint.
"When we had the home inspector come, the number one thing on his list was to upgrade the windows and the insulation," Annalisa said. "We took his advice."
The couple called GreenHomes by Entherm, a contractor in Syracuse affiliated with Home Performance by Energy Star. The program is designed to lower energy costs, reduce energy demands and protect the environment. It is sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. GreenHomes helped the Olivases install new windows, new insulation, a new furnace/boiler, a programmable thermostat and six energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.
It also helped Home Performance by Energy Star to pass an important milestone. Thanks to the improvements made by the Olivases, the statewide program has helped over 13,600 residents to invest more than $100 million in energy improvements.
Annalisa Olivas said that the cost of the improvements was very reasonable. "The price was about in the range we expected," she said. "We checked into a few different companies and we ended up going with [GreenHomes]."
The work was completed on the home in late October of last year.
Annalisa said that, since the couple and their three children moved into the home in July, they don't know how the heating bills have been affected, but they have seen a difference.
"When we moved in, the neighbors told us that we'd have such bad icicles that we wouldn't be able to even go on the patio in the winter," she said. "But we've had no icicles."
Saving the world, one home at a time
The improvements at the Olivas home are typical of those made through the Home Performance with Energy Star program. A release from Home Performance said that the improvements the Olivases made will save them $1,668 annually on their energy bills, an amount that will allow them to recoup their investment in energy improvements within five years.