Go Green and Stay Safe
by Blaise Bryant
Capital Region residents learned how to save money and be safe at the monthly Pine Hills Neighborhood Association meeting held at the Lasalle School.
Homeowners who want to lower heating bills and question what they can do to lower the cost, can save $700 by installing improvements, said Eric Dahl, who works for the Affordable Housing Partnership. The Energy Star Program helps homeowners pay for something more economical to replace the inefficient furnace, wood stove, or coal stove, Dahl told a meeting of the Pine Hills Association Thursday night.
Dahl did a presentation on going green at and said at one time: ” My kitchen floor was too cold to stand on barefoot in the winter.” The Affordable Housing Partnership is part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
The Partnership serves seven counties in the Capital Region, Dahl said. The authority serves the entire state.
The presentation was on the Energy Star program, which makes life easier to pay for home efficiency needs. Properties must be one to four families, and supports all types of heating fuel.
Having an efficient home is more than just fuel reduction. Insulation better regulates the temperature in the house, reduces noise, and the Energy Star program will help pay for that too. Homeowners can receive a check for 10% of the improvement costs to a maximum of $5,000, which is based on an assessment from an authority approved independent contractor.
When the contractors come to a house to do an assessment, homeowners should follow them around and ask about the tools they use. They will explain what they do with the particular tools and the home owner gets to be there and see what they’re doing, said Dahl. That was not the only piece of advice residents got that less is more.
Crime has been slow this month, said University at Albany Ptl. Rick Acquaviva. With an increase in cell phone theft, he said that people need to stop walking and talking on a cell phone.
“If you need to take an important call, walk into a business.” Acquaviva said.
Students sometimes talk on phones right in front of the Albany Police Department in the neighborhood and would walk into the road because they’re distracted, said University at Albany Police Officer Tom Gebhardt. He said the university has been sending e-mails to students encouraging them to be more aware of their surroundings.
An upcoming meeting about a proposed street improvement project called “complete streets” will take place next week, said Virginia Hammer, vice president of the Pine Hills Neighborhood Association. The legislation is designed to make streets safer for motorists and pedestrians, Hammer said. That was not the only challenge discussed at the meeting.
“I wish more people would attend the meetings.” said Hammer.
The association does not have an active president which makes spreading the word more difficult, Hammer said. People need to tell other people what’s going on to encourage them to come to the meetings aside from when they have a problem, Hammer said.
For a copy of the meeting’s minutes- go to: www.pinehillsna.org