EmPower NY

Improve energy efficiency to save money — without spending a dime.

Your household may be eligible to receive energy efficient light bulbs and an Energy Star refrigerator, lowering your energy, bill thanks to the NYSERDA EmPower NY Program.

How It Works

  • Step 1: Speak with a GCF Illuminator over the phone to set up a free 30-60 minute home energy assessment.
  • Step 2: Have a GCF energy auditor visit your home to evaluate your electricity and gas usage, including:
    • Measuring the energy use of your refrigerators and freezers;
    • Assessing the need for high efficiency showerheads and light bulbs; and
    • Checking for carbon monoxide and gas leaks (if natural gas or propane are used in your home).
  • Step 3: Receive energy upgrades at no cost, if applicable. Upgrades include:
    • New ENERGY STAR refrigerators and freezers;
    • 16 high efficiency LED light bulbs;
    • Water-saving showerheads; and
    • CO and smoke detectors.

For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).


Whether you are a homeowner or renter, you must meet the following requirements to qualify for EmPowerNY under the GCF partnership. You must:

  • Live in a home or building with 100 units or fewer;
  • Have a household income below 60 percent of the state median income (see the chart below to see if your income fits EmPowerNY guidelines); and
  • Be an electricity customer of Con Edison.


Nearly 135,000 of New Yorkers have saved energy and money with the EmPowerNY program – at no charge!

By conducting around 500 audits each year, since 2016 the GCF EmPowerNY team has helped thousands of families install:

  • 13,000+ energy efficient light bulbs
  • 1,000+ smoke detectors
  • 1,000+ carbon monoxide detectors
  • 1000+ low-flow showerheads
  • 800+ LED candelabras

Continued Training

In addition to assisting low-income New York families, the GCF EmPower program builds on professional and technical skills gained in the GCF AmeriCorps term. GCF’s EmPower program is an alumni-run initiative that provides GCF graduates with additional work experience and technical training to successfully compete for and advance in careers related to the sustainable building sector.


The GCF EmPower program has been recognized with multiple awards for our high-quality service

  • 2017 Energy Star Home Performance Award
  • 2018 Energy Star Home Performance Award
  • 2018 NYSERDA “Exceptional Service” Award for its NY Residential Existing Homes Program

To see GCF’s full list of awards across programs visit our Awards and Recognition page.

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