OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining Veteran Victor Paolantonio and his wife were considering leaving their home recently because of the rising costs of energy bills. But thanks to donations from local contractors and a state energy audit program, the couple won’t have to leave the home they love.
On May 23, Ossining contractors and members of the Building Performance Contractors Association partnered with Westchester County and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to provide the Paoloantonios with a free energy audit. Following the audit, local contractors donated more than $25,000 in services to make those energy-efficient upgrades to cut the home’s heating bills in half.
The two were selected as part of a Memorial Day makeover organized in part by Vince Hannigan’s Bruni & Campisi in Elmsford.
“Victor and his wife were low income and his daughters had to help pay their oil bills because they were getting too high and they were thinking of moving because they couldn’t afford it,” Hannigan said. “With these upgrades we’ve not only reduced his oil bills by 50 percent but his utility bills by 20 percent. It’s going to have a great impact because now this hero and World War II veteran and his wife will be able to stay in their home.”
The makeover is also set to serve as an example of energy efficiency in Westchester County, Hannigan said.
“We did this to showcase the kind of work we can do,” Hannigan said. “But any resident can get the energy audit for free from NYSERDA.”
The audit provides a breakdown of costs and possible savings and can often mean a great return on an investment, Hannigan said. But the opportunity to provide an example of energy efficiency was only part of the contractors’ reasons for providing the free makeover.
“We did it as a donation to show people what they can do but we also really wanted to help a great veteran in need,” Hannigan said. “He is a great man with a wonderful family so obviously it made us feel good to do that too.”
More information on the energy audit program is available at NYSERDA's website.