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NY Fund Would Make Energy-Saving Home Loans

Middle-class New Yorkers may soon be able to hire contractors to do $13,000 worth of home improvements like adding insulation and buying new furnaces, storm windows and water heaters - and never cut a check to the contractor. The innovative bill awaiting action by Gov. David Paterson would create a revolving loan fund that allows consumers to pay off the project costs over time through their residential and business utility bills, benefiting at the same time from savings from the energy efficiencies. Contractors would be paid from the loan fund, which the Legislature wants to prime with $112 million of state proceeds from selling carbon emission permits to businesses that pollute.  It won't start this winter. Passed recently by the Senate 50-8, the bill gives the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority six months to start the program.  09/20 AP