The City of Rochester encourages all residents and property owners to use energy more efficiently and to consider beneficial electrification, which means switching from using greenhouse gas generating fossil fuels (natural gas, gasoline, fuel oil, or propane) to electricity as our primary fuel source whenever possible. Since electricity in our region is generated from mostly clean (non-fossil fuel) resources, beneficial electrification will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and all of the associated negative impacts on our health, economy and environment.

Energy Smart Rochester provides tips, actions and resources to increase energy efficiency in buildings and to promote beneficial electrification in our community. Sign-up for a no-cost energy assessment and improve home insulation; learn how you can switch to high efficiency, electric powered heat pumps for building heating, cooling and water heating; upgrade to energy efficient electric appliances and equipment; and if possible, consider driving an electric vehicle or installing solar panels to generate renewable energy for your home.
Together, all of us can take steps to help Rochester meet the goals of its Climate Action Plan and Rochester 2034 Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

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Residential Energy Efficiency and Beneficial Electrification

You can help build a better, healthier community by improving the energy efficiency of your home or building and reducing your use of fossil fuels for heating and cooling. 

Get started with these tips to reduce energy use, improve comfort, and save money on energy costs at home.

Increasing energy efficiency is a great first step. Find out how to reduce energy use, save money, and improve the comfort of your home by getting an energy assessment. An energy assessment will show you how to best improve insulation and seal air leaks, upgrade your heating and cooling system and water heater, and replace light bulbs and old appliances.

 EnergySmart_icon-apartmentGet a free home energy assessment to identify your main sources of heat loss and to learn
the most cost-effective options for energy-efficiency improvements in your home, apartment, or rental property. Energy-efficiency improvements for your home may include insulating walls and attics and caulking around windows to stop air leaks and reduce heat loss. These improvements will make your home more comfortable during the cold winter and hot summer months. Reach out to us to sign up for an energy assessment and be sure to ask if you qualify for financial incentives and loans for energy improvements

Check out this How Do I know If My Household Is Income-Eligible? Fact Sheet to learn more!

Simple steps can make a big difference!

EnergySmart_icon-lightbulbA 12W LED lightbulb emits the same amount of light as a traditional 60W traditional incandescent light bulb. An LED light bulb uses 75% less electricity and will last 25,000 hours, compared to 1,000 hours for an incandescent light bulb.

 EnergySmart_icon-fridge Looking to save $200 or more a year? Reduce your electricity costs by replacing your old appliance with a new energy-efficient model! Replacing an old refrigerator, freezer, or room air conditioner with a newer EnergyStar model could “pay for itself” through lower electricity costs within five years.

 EnergySmart_icon-stove When you need to replace appliances or equipment (including a gas cooking range or
dryer, a gasoline powered lawn mower or leaf blower), consider purchasing an energy
efficient electric version.

How much could I save by replacing an old appliance?

Check out this calculator to see just how much you could be saving! In addition to saving money on electricity costs, RG&E may recycle your old refrigerator. Learn more here.

Improve the comfort of your home and reduce fossil fuel use with clean heating and cooling!

 EnergySmart_icon-thermometerTake a big step and replace your natural gas, oil, or electric resistance heating system with a heat pump water heater and an air-source or ground-source heat pump that provides heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Make your home more comfortable while helping Rochester reduce fossil fuel use.

Before taking this step, be sure that you have completed an energy assessment and completed energy efficiency upgrades such as air sealing and insulation. This will ensure that your home is ready and will receive the maximum benefits from clean heating and cooling with heat pumps.

Contact us to learn how you can make the switch to clean heating and cooling through the SHR program. Note: your installer may need to apply for a permit depending on the type of work done. Learn more here or call 585-428-6520.

Check out this Energy Efficiency/Clean Heating & Cooling Fact Sheet to learn more! 


Are solar panels right for your home?

Generating electricity from the sun is a great way to reduce fossil fuel use. If your house is suitable, solar panels on your roof could replace energy purchased from grid and lower your electric bill.

EnergySmart_icon-solarFind your “Sun Number” and contact an installer for a free estimate. If your roof is less than five years old and isn’t shaded by trees, solar panels could replace some of the electricity you consume and pay for with electricity made by the sun. NYSERDA incentives and state and federal tax credits are available to reduce the upfront cost. Note: your Solar installer will need to apply for a Unified Solar Permit. Learn more here or call 585-428-6526.

Check out these resources to learn more:

What’s your Sun Number?
Project Sunroof
NY-SUN Website
Check out this Generate Electricity From The Sun Fact Sheet to learn more!

 EnergySmart_Banner-03Electric Vehicles

EnergySmart_icon-electric carNow is a great time to consider purchasing an electric vehicle. State incentives and federal tax credits reduce the upfront cost, in addition to saving money on fuel and operating costs. Electric vehicles are quieter, operate more smoothly, and accelerate more quickly than internal combustion vehicles. You can charge at home or one of the many public charging stations in and around Rochester.

Use NYSERDA’s calculator to compare the costs of buying and operating an electric vehicle with a gasoline vehicle of your choice.

Electric Vehicle and NYSERDA Incentives

Charge NY – Drive Clean Rebate
• Rebate up to $2,000 of the cost to purchase or lease an electric car. This program is available to both individuals and fleet operators.

RG&E Residential Electric Vehicle Charging Rate
• Residential electric vehicle drivers are eligible for a time-of-use rate that provides lower electricity costs during overnight hours.
RG&E info on electric vehicle time-of-use rate

EV Tax Credit
• Businesses that install a public or workplace charging station may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $5,000 or 50% of the cost of the installation.
• Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available to reduce the up-front cost of certain EVs

Check out this Consider An Electric Vehicle Fact Sheet to learn more! 


Community Partners

 The City of Rochester is working with the following organizations to promote energy efficiency, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and make the switch to clean energy. Click on each organization below to learn about their effort to reduce energy and better our community.

The Climate Solutions Accelerator's mission is tEnergySmart_Parnters-CSAo create a healthier, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable community by catalyzing local efforts to  eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and address the effects of climate change. The Energy Smart Expert is a member of Climate Solutions Accelerator and has partnered with the Energy Smart Rochester program to guide residents and building owners through the process of improving energy efficiency and beneficial electrification.

EnergySmart_Parnters-ABCAction for a Better Community administers the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), focuses on energy efficiency improvements including insulation and lighting as well as health and safety issues in the home.

EnergySmart_Parnters-PathStonePathStone’s Home Rehabilitation and Energy Service programs create and preserve assets for low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and communities through coordinated housing rehabilitation, energy services, and community-based revitalization programs.

EnergySmart_Parnters-NieghborWorksNeighborWorks conducts free home energy audits for income-eligible households through EmPower and Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® programs.


Rochester ENergy Efficiency and Weatherization (RENEW) was created to help income-qualified Rochester homeowners live in safer, healthier,RENEW logo and more energy-efficient homes.


EnergySmart_Parnters-GRCCGreater Rochester Clean Cities supports a transition from conventional, petroleum-fueled vehicles to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) including propane, natural gas, electricity, hydrogen, methanol, biodiesel, and ethanol.

EnergySmart_Parnters-ReConnectWhether by bus, by rail, on bike, or on foot, Reconnect Rochester champions transportation choices that enable a more vibrant and equitable community.


Resources and Fact Sheets

For more details and information on any of the available resources and programs, please refer to our fact sheets below.
Generate Electricity From The Sun
Be Smart Take These Steps Today
Energy Smart Resources for Renters
Energy Smart Resources for Landlords
How Do I know If My Household Is Income-Eligible?
Energy Smart Resources for Homeowners
Financial Incentives and Loans for Energy Improvements
Energy Efficiency/Clean Heating & Cooling
Consider An Electric Vehicle