Monday, December 20, 2010

New Jersey Clean Energy Program® Announces 2011 Incentives

BrightHome Energy Solutions - Offers Energy Solutions to Meet Guidelines

RIDGEWOOD, N.J.--New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program® just released its annual program update. Participating contractors such as BrightHome Energy Solutions may offer their customers incentives for 2011 that include rebates up to $4,000 and 0% financing up to $10,000.

“This new program will allow homeowners in New Jersey to make affordable changes in their homes that will increase comfort and create life-long home energy savings,” said Ed Schwartz, general manager of BrightHome New Jersey.

BrightHome’s services such as energy efficient air-sealing, insulation, direct hot water heaters and heating and cooling solutions are eligible for rebates and financing under the new program. BrightHome Energy Consultants use state-of-the-art technology to assess a home’s energy usage. BrightHome then creates a custom plan within your budget to help homeowners achieve energy savings and eligibility for the New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program® incentives.

“Using our diagnostic equipment and analytical tools we are able to model your home’s energy usage, and the savings you can expect from each of our recommendations. In most cases our plan for your home pays for itself from day one!” stated Ed Schwartz.

Money Back & Zero Interest Financing

Program details are based on projected energy savings:

* $4,000 cash rebate and 0% interest financing up to $10,000 on energy savings greater than 25%.
* $3,000 cash rebate and 0% interest financing up to $10,000 on total energy savings between 20-25%.
* $1,000 cash rebate on energy savings between 10-20%.

Rebates and 0% financing begin Jan. 3, 2011. For more information on the New Jersey Clean Energy Program® and its customer incentives, contact Ed Schwartz at 201-447-8898.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Keep Your Family Safe with a $59.95 Brighthome Furnace Inspection

If your heating system if over five years old, it could be leaking dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide can leak through a cracked or faulty heat exchanger or plugged vent pipe. This odorless gas is responsible for dozens of deaths each year. Early detection can help prevent this situation.

The BrightHome 15-Point Furnace Inspection.... $59.95

1. Perform carbon monoxide leak test of heat exchanger/combustion chamber.

2. Check flue and venting for obstructions and carbon monoxide leaks.

3. Inspect heat exchanger for sooting, cracks and deformities.

4. Inspect gas valve for corrosion, leaks and restriction of gas flow and abnormal noise.

5. Inspect assembly/thermocouple/igniter.

6. Check for gas leaks.

7. Check high-limit control & safety circuit.

8. Check blower motor operation.

9. Inspect air-filtration system.

10. Inspect gas burners.

11. Check manifold gas pressure.

12. Service wiring assembly and tighten loose connections.

13. Check & adjust thermostat.

14. Check temperature rise across heat exchanger fr overheating and adjust.

15. Complete operation sequence check.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

BrightHome Offers Free Energy Audits With Green Jobs- Green New York

Leading Energy Efficiency Company to Provide Free Audits and 3.49% Interest Rate

Elmsford, New York, November 17, 2010—BrightHome Energy Solutions is pleased to announce its participation in the new Green Jobs-Green New York (GJGNY) program that provides free energy audits and low interest financing to New York homeowners seeking energy efficiency improvements.

“BrightHome is excited to offer homeowners free energy audits and interest rates as low as 3.49% creating an affordable way to lower their heating bills and be more comfortable,” said Mike Brown of BrightHome Energy Solutions. “We encourage homeowners to take advantage of this opportunity now for maximum savings this winter.”

Free energy audits by BrightHome through GJGNY are available to residential applicants with household incomes less than $209,000. Reduced-cost energy audits will be available to homeowners with incomes up to $418,000.

Highlighting the program is the new GJGNY Residential Loan. The loan program offers unsecured loans up to $13,000 per homeowner that will be available at 3.99% with repayment by check and 3.49% with automatic payment from a checking or savings account. Additionally, homeowners can still take advantage of the Home Performance with Energy Star 10% rebate on qualified energy saving measures up to $30,000.

The New York Home Performance with ENERGY STAR new Green Jobs-Green New York legislation was signed into law in October 2009. The new program requires New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to provide energy efficiency services to the State. NYSERDA delivers GJGNY services to owners of residential homes as well as1-4 unit residential buildings through the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program.

Contact Mike Brown at BrightHome Energy Solutions at 914.909.5300

Monday, November 15, 2010

Avoid Furnace Hazards, Cut Heating Expenses

Now is the time to ensure your furnace is safe and working correctly. A furnace should be cleaned and checked every year by a qualified heating contractor to avoid safety hazards.

“A clean, efficiently burning gas furnace produces minimal carbon monoxide, while a dirty, inefficiently burning one can produces deadly amounts,” said Charlie Simmons of BrightHome. “Plus, newer furnaces are equipped with features that shut off the furnace when a problem is detected.”

Signs that your heater needs to be replaced or serviced are scale-- or flakes of rust produced by the by-products of burning gas, grinding or chattering sounds from electrical relays, dusty smells when you turn on the system. Older furnaces don’t have as many safety features to let you know there is a problem.

“When we conduct a safety inspection, we’re making sure the carbon monoxide levels are normal and that your heating system has adequate ventilation,” said Charlie.

“Then, we inspect the heating system thoroughly for small cracks in the combustion chamber that may allow carbon monoxide to leak into the home. From there, we check the flue, thermostat, safety controls, gas pilot, heat exchanger, burners, piping, air-filter and blower operation. When dealing with a deadly gas like that, we don’t overlook anything.”

Safety measures you can take right now are making sure the area around your furnace is unobstructed and to change your filer regularly. Also, keep the burner area around the furnace clean. Remember, a yellow light is a sign you need your furnace checked out by a professional such as BrightHome.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How The World Feels About Green Brands

Today we share with you a cleverly designed info graphic on how the world feels about green brands.

The graph denotes that the US & the UK appreciate on the economy (as opposed to the environment) and good value when in green brands, while India and Brazil focus believe environmental conciseness (as opposed to the economy) and trustworthiness is most important when it comes go green brands.

Do you find this true in your culture & community?

Click on the image so you can view it in its full size and see all the interesting stats for yourself.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S. Energy Information Administration Projects Increase in Winter Bills

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projected today that energy bills will be higher in the winter for New Yorkers.

Those whole use heating oil and natural gas will see an increase, and those who use electric heating will see a decrease.

To lower your heating bills and asses your home's energy use, contact BrightHome about a comprehensive home energy audit or energy efficient appliances.

BrightHome customers are seeing as much as 40% decrease in their energy bills since last year. Click here to read BrightHome customer testimonies.

From the EIA:

Heating Oil.

EIA expects households heating primarily with heating oil to spend an average of about 12 percent more this winter than last winter. About 7 percent of U.S. households depend on heating oil for winter fuel. The Northeast accounts for 80 percent of U.S. heating oil consumption. The average Northeast household is projected to spend 13 percent more ($259) than last winter as a result of a 5-percent increase in consumption and regional prices 8 percent higher than last winter. EIA projects residential heating oil prices in the Northeast to average about $3.06 per gallon during the winter season, 22 cents per gallon more than last winter.

Natural Gas.

EIA expects households heating primarily with natural gas to spend an average of $27 (4 percent) more this winter. About 52 percent of all U.S. households depend on natural gas as their primary heating fuel. The 4-percent increase in natural gas expenditures reflects a 6-percent increase in prices and a 2-percent decrease in consumption.


Households heating primarily with electricity can expect to spend an average of $18 (2 percent) less this winter. Projected household electricity expenditures are 2 percent lower this winter because a 4-percent decline in consumption more than offsets a 2-percent increase in prices.

Meet Eco Ed at The EcoCare Green Market

The EY EcoCare Green Market is coming to the Meadowlands!

When: Wednesday, October 13 2010
Where: The Atrium at 200 Plaza Drive
Time: 10 AM to 9:30 PM

The Green Market offers an excellent opportunity to learn about how easily and economically you can switch to eco-friendly, sustainable options from regional sourced right here in our atrium.

All participating vendors will their own products and services that include solar energy, home energy consulting, lighting fixtures, clothing, gifts of all kinds, household cleaning products, personal items, local farm produce and delicious chocolates.

EcoCare will also raffle several donations from our vendors. Proceeds from the raffle will support The Nature conservancy's "Plant a Billion Trees" initiative.

An expert from the NJ Meadowlands Commission will be at the market to answer your questions one-on-one about environmental and green living issues.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

$5 Million In Appliance Rebate Money Still Available

Due to a large number of rebate reservations that were never claimed, there are still funds available under New York's Great Appliance Swap Out.

Replace those old appliances and save today! Call BrightHome Energy Solutions New York, a certified Home Performance with ENERGY STAR at 914.909.5300 to see how you can save today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

BrightHome Welcomes Charlie Simmons

Charlie Simmons, a heating and cooling specialists, joins the BrightHome New York Office. With more than 29 years in heating and cooling, Charlie values customer care, safety and energy efficiency. His professional experience with custom layout ductwork systems and proper airflow on existing homes, supports BrightHome's mission to make homes more comfortable and energy efficient.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Win FREE Tickets to Garden State Greenfest from BrightHome

BrightHome Energy Solutions and Eco Ed Schwartz will be at the Garden State Greenfest, this Friday – Sunday at the Somerset, NJ Garden State Exhibit Center.

The first 10 people to call Eco Ed at 201-390-4280 to get free passes into the Greenfest.

Speakers include:

Ed Begley, Jr., Environmentalist & Actor
Tom Chapin, Entertainer
Phil Radford, Greenpeace Executive Director
Elizabeth Royte, Bestselling Author
...and many more!

The free pass is for all three days and has something for everyone: kids and teens, students and adults, and community leaders.

Don't forget to call Eco Ed at 201-390-4280 can get your free pass!

For more information about Greenfest, visit here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BrightHome's Ed Schwartz Featured in Ridgewod Patch

A Visit to the Oldest, Greenest House in New Jersey
The South Orange Historical and Preservation Society
offers a look inside a landmark home

South Orange is home to the state's oldest house, but Ridgewood has what is probably the greenest 18th century house. On September 26, the South Orange Historical and Preservation Society (SOHPS) will offer a rare opportunity to tour that green phenomenon.

The private home of Ed Schwartz will be opened to SOHPS members and non-members as a follow-up to a 2009 lecture at the South Orange Public Library.

The Ridgewood residence was built in 1767 and was expanded in 1860. It has been restored a third time by Schwartz over the last three years, using guidelines for sustainability and the Green Building Council. The home was used in case study for green renovations by the State Sustainability Institute in Rutgers.

Located at 26 East Glen Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ 07450, the house is known as the most sustainable historical residence in New Jersey. Not only are electric bills a thing of the past, but on average, the solar panels for this house generate a positive cash flow of $2,000 per year.

As part of the tour, Schwartz will show the alterations he has made from a green perspective, as well as from a historical renovation/preservation perspective. He will walk guests through such key points as the solar panels, the efficient utilities, and heating and cooling, as well as what he has done to preserve the historical aspects of the house.

Schwartz is a partner of BrightHome Energy Solutions, the home performance, green home, and sustainable-business consulting group.

Source: by Marcia Worth

Monday, September 20, 2010

End of the Petroleum Era: Greening Existing Buildings with Stephen Tilly, Architect

Friday, September 24th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

What: Join us for a talk by Stephen Tilly, sustainability architect, inspiring speaker and designer of the innovative reuse of the Burnham Building in Irvington, which now houses the village Library and 22 units of Affordable Housing. A discussion of why the greenest, most energy efficient building (that helps to combat global climate change) is one you don't have to build will follow.

Delicious local and organic culinary treats provided by Chutney Masala.

Who Should Attend: A must for city planners, those who want to make their communities more sustainable and all interested in the relationship between existing buildings and the climate crisis

Location: The Irvington Village Public Library Meeting Room - across from the Irvington train Station

Tickets: $25 per person. One year membership to FCWC included. All proceeds to benefit FCWC and help support our work promoting a Sustainable Westchester.

Please register online, or by calling FCWC at (914) 422-4053

Register online: events

More About the Talk:
"The recent catastrophe in the Gulf has only too vividly brought home to us all the environmental consequences of our dependence on petroleum. As we look ahead to the end of the Petroleum Era, we have to deal with our own daily carbon "spills", the greatest part of which comes from our buildings. This illustrated talk will review the impact of our buildings and suggest that designing new green structures may be less important than (figuratively) getting out the booms and skimmers to clean up our existing buildings." - Steve Tilly, Architect

Bio: Stephen Tilly, AIA, LEED AP, principal of a 19 person urban design, landscape, architecture and preservation practice based in a former movie theater in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He graduated from M.I.T. in 1971 with a Master of Architecture. After doing research, planning and urban design work in Boston, Washington and New York, he became a partner in a firm based in New York's historic Soho district in the 1970s and 1980s. There he completed an award-winning solar house in South Carolina and numerous other projects. Mr. Tilly has worked since that time in his own firm on projects that reflect a broad range of interests from historic properties to urban design to sustainable planning and design to fine grain architectural design. He is a member of the International Association for Preservation Technology's Technical Committee on Sustainability. He lectures frequently in the US and Canada on architectural and planning issues, with a special emphasis on sustainability and preservation.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Westchester County Offers Free Energy Audits

BrightHome Energy Solutions Selected as Approved Contractor

Westchester launched a new program Tuesday Aug. 31, which offers free home energy assessments to homeowners who want to learn how they can make their homes more airtight and energy efficient, with the added benefit of saving money.

The Home Energy Assessment Program, sponsored by the Workforce Investment Board and the Business Council of Westchester, will be offering free home energy assessments for 2,000 county residents on a first-come first-serve basis.

As a partner and certified selected contractor, BrightHome Energy Solutions will participate in the free assessments and the homeowner can decide whether or not to go complete more comprehensive testing and repairs if needed.

“These assessments will not only be free, but they will save homeowners money in the long run,” said county executive Robert P. Astorino. “Once you get the facts and know how efficient your heating and cooling systems are, you can figure out what improvements are needed to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy bills.”

Starting today, homeowners can call 211 to set up an appointment with an authorized contractor such as BrightHome. A representative will screen the caller to determine whether they call for a free assessment and answer any questions. An authorized contractor will then call the homeowner directly within 24 hours to schedule an appointment.

The homeowner will get the results of the complimentary assessment immediately after the contractor’s visit. At that point, they would decide whether they should follow-up (at their expense) by hiring that contractor, or another, for a more comprehensive assessment, which usually involved several diagnostic tools and specialized computer software. If additional repairs are needed, the homeowner would need to arrange for those independently.

Call takers at the 211 call center can also help homeowners learn about federal grants or state incentive programs that could help with any needed repairs.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High Summer Bills Shock NY Residents

Westchester Homeowner Finds Efficient Solution to Costly Bill

“I felt like I got punched in the stomach,” recalled one New York resident when he received the first bill of the summer. “The record heat resulted in a record bill. I already knew I had a problem due to my winter bills and I decided it was time to solve it once and for all.”

He called BrightHome for a whole house energy audit to see why his two-story, 1940 home performed poorly in the heat of summer and cold of winter. During the first phone call, he learned that he qualified for $4,500 in federal tax credits and state cash incentives.

That week, BrightHome energy savings consultant Tom Brown arrived at his home and performed a 75-point interior and exterior energy audit which took over four hours to complete. As a Building Performance Institute certified specialist, he began using BrightHome’s state-of-the-art energy efficiency diagnostic equipment.

Mr. Brown walked around the home with the resident, room-by-room, using a thermal imaging camera while running the blower door in order to discover the cause of the problems.

“To see the hot and cold spots on the thermal camera is amazing. It makes total sense where the problems are,” said the resident. “These are the same areas that my family avoids when temperatures are extreme.”

Mr. Brown then examined the home’s walls, basement, crawl spaces, attics, windows and ducts -- everywhere air leakage could occur. With the blower door test, he calculated exactly how much energy is being wasted by excessive airflow.

“It’s common for older homes to have excessive air leakage, this home had what is the equivalent of a two-by-three-foot open window year-round,” said Mr. Brown. “It overworks heating and cooling systems which increases utility bills and makes the house uncomfortable.”

“During the summer, our daughter’s bedroom is the hottest room in the house,” said the resident. “BrightHome’s energy audit revealed there was no insulation in the walls and the poor duct work was causing 30 percent of her room’s cool air to leak outside.”

In addition to checking for efficiency, Mr. Brown performed health and safety tests on all combustion equipment for gas leakage and carbon monoxide levels in the home.

“After Tom performed the energy audit, we received a detailed and comprehensive report on our home’s energy usage. He walked us through a room-by-room evaluation of our home’s energy usage and potential solutions. At first we were overwhelmed but he helped us identify our priorities and worked within our budget to reduce our energy costs and make us more comfortable,” said the resident.

BrightHome guarantees quality and energy savings because most work is completed by its team members. All BrightHome team members are required to pass a background check and drug test.

Insulation and air sealing were among the various solutions selected by the resident. Those measures that may cut his energy bill up to thirty percent annually.

“When the work was completed, we felt the difference. The cooling system isn’t on as much and the rooms stay comfortable. For the first time, I’m looking forward to our next energy bill!”

For more information on how to reduce your home’s energy usage, call BrightHome at 914-909-5300 or visit us at

BrightHome is an approved NYSERDA contractor, BPI accredited and a founding member of Efficiency first.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

7 Savvy Ways to Go Green At School

It's back to school time! Whether your child is starting their very first year of school or inching closer to graduation, these seven savvy tips will reduce their daily impact on the environment and make them the smartest kids in the class.

7. Trash Free Lunches. Pack a trash free lunch by using reusable lunch boxes and containers. Fresh foods and fruit are great healthy alternatives to prepackaged snacks. Instead of packing a napkin, pack a washcloth for the student to wipe their hands and face.

6. Green Transportation.
On days that the weather is nice, encourage your kids to bike or walk to school with friends. On rainy or snowy days, be sure to have a neighborhood carpool plan in place to reduce traffic and minimize carbon emissions.

5. Reusable water bottles.
Ditch the plastic water bottles and stick with a reusable canteen that can be refilled all year long.

4. The Write Stuff.
Mechanical pencils are handy tools that will last your child all year long with its refillable lead. For younger kids, try recycled newspaper pencils.

3. Create Recycled Textbook Covers. Most schools require their students to cover their textbooks to prevent wear and tear throughout the year. Use the sturdy brown paper bags from the grocery store or funny comics from the newspaper.

2. Clear the Air. Make sure your child’s school air is safe. Petition the school board to do so through the EPA’s Healthy School Environment Resources. HSER is your gateway to on-line resources to help facility managers, school administrators, architects, design engineers, school nurses, parents, teachers and staff address environmental health issues in schools.

1. Start a Recycling Program. Use HSER's resources to petition the school board to go green by implementing recycling and composting programs.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BrightHome Helps Westchester Residents Reduce Home Energy Bills, Stay Cool

Unique Approach is Saving Homeowners up to 40% Every Month

One year ago, BrightHome Energy Solutions opened its doors with the goal of offering Westchester County homeowners a “single source” option for an unbiased and comprehensive evaluation of their homes’ energy usage.

In addition to a comprehensive whole home energy audit, BrightHome recommends the appropriate solutions and is able to implement these solutions.

“I was impressed with how thorough the BrightHome technicians were,” explains a Rye resident and BrightHome customer. “They did a whole house audit, top to bottom and explained how I could save money and be more comfortable. I was surprised that it cost less than I anticipated. They guaranteed a specific percentage of energy savings and they delivered.”

Another BrightHome customer in White Plains says, “The positive results of their work were immediate. Our house is less drafty and feels much more comfortable…and the financial proof is in the pudding – our energy use year-on-year decreased right away.”

Tom Brown, an Energy Savings Consultant at BrightHome explains the concept, “We adopt a whole house approach, meaning we analyze every aspect of your home and how it works or doesn’t work in unison. Is your home too leaky? Is it properly insulated? Is your heating and cooling system properly sized? Are the windows and doors properly sealed? Is the air you breathe safe and healthy?”

“We're able to guarantee energy savings because of our in-depth audit and analysis of your home. We evaluate each home individually and design custom solutions to fix your homes problems. We can guarantee the quality and the energy savings because BrightHome team members do all the work. If you need insulation, we install it. Replacement windows and doors, we install them. The same for high efficiency air conditioning and furnace systems,” said Brown.

Right now, there are state cash back incentives that help homeowners pay for improvements that reduce energy usage. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA, offers cash back incentives up to $3,000 and zero or low-interest financing with the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Program. $1,500 in federal tax credits is available until Dec. 31, 2010.

In order to qualify for these incentives, work must be completed by a BPI certified contractor like BrightHome. BPI is a national resource for building science technology that sets standards for assessing and improving the energy performance, as well as the health and safety of homes. Each participating contractor undergoes rigorous training to become certified.

Many BrightHome customers are able to pay for the improvements with these incentives and realize enough savings from lower energy bills for a good return on their investment.

“This is a real win-win-win situation,” said Tom Brown. “Homeowners are saving on monthly bills, living in a more comfortable and healthier home- plus lowering carbon emissions and reducing harm to the environment.”

Homeowners are encouraged to have their home evaluated by a trained energy expert. The comprehensive home energy assessment, or energy audit, costs only a few hundred dollars, but the data can be worth thousands.

If you want to save on your energy bills, reduce your energy consumption and be more comfortable contact Tom Brown at 914-909-5300 or visit the BrightHome website at for more information.

BrightHome is an approved NYSERDA contractor, BPI accredited and a founding member of Efficiency First.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's the HomeStar Bill?

You may have heard about the HomeStar Bill in the news... Its the bill that also goes by the name of Cash for Caulkers. Here’s the basics of whats proposed in the bill and what it means to you as a homeowner:

Rebates delivered directly to consumers: Like the Cash for Clunkers program, consumers would be eligible for direct HOMESTAR rebates at the point of sale for a variety of energy-saving investments in their homes. A broad array of vendors, from small independent building material dealers, large national home improvement chains, energy efficiency installation professionals like BrightHome and utility energy efficiency programs (including rural utilities) would provide the directly to consumers and then be reimbursed by the federal government.

$1,000 - $1,500 Silver Star Rebates: Consumers looking to have simple upgrades performed in their homes would be eligible for 50% rebates up to $1,000 - $1,500 for doing any of a straightforward set of upgrades, including: insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors. Under Silver Star, consumers can chose a combination of upgrades for rebates up to a maximum of $3,000 per home. Rebates would be limited to the most energy efficient categories of upgrades—focusing on products made primarily in the United States and installed by certified contractors. Go to BrightHome's services here.

$3000 Gold Star Rebates: Consumers interested in more comprehensive energy retrofits would be eligible for a $3,000 rebate for a whole home energy audit and subsequent retrofit from a company like BrightHome, tailored to achieve a 20% energy savings in their homes. Consumers could receive additional rebate amounts for energy savings in excess of 20%. Gold Star would build on existing whole home retrofit programs, like EPA’s successful Home Performance with Energy Star program.

Oversight to Ensure Quality Installations: The program would require that contractors be certified to perform efficiency installations. Independent quality assurance providers would conduct field audits after work is completed to ensure proper installation so consumers receive energy savings from their upgrades. States would oversee the implementation of quality assurance to ensure that the program was moving the industry toward more robust standards and comprehensive energy retrofit practices. Go to BrightHome's certifications here.

Support for financing: The program would include support to State and local governments to provide financing options for consumers seeking to make efficiency investments in their homes. This will help ensure that consumers can afford to make these investments. Go to BrightHome's tax incentive information here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mike Brown in DC, BrightHome Certified Lead-Safe firm

Mike Brown here-- last week I visited my daughters, who are both in the great city of Washington DC for the summer!

This is my daughter Claire, a Senior this year at Texas A&M, who is interning at the EPA this summer as the Special Assistant to Carl Mazza, Science Advisor Office of Air and Radiation, EPA.

This is my daughter Megan, a second year law student at New York University and graduate of the University of Texas, who is working this summer at the United States Attorney’s Office for Washington DC.

Just after my visit to the EPA, BrightHome received its certification from the EPA as Lead-Safe Firm. This means our consultants and contractors will take the appropriate steps to keep you and your family safe.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

$3,000 of Rebates Expires Today!

Have you made the switch to a natural gas-fired heating system?

Con Edison customers residing in one to four family homes, who both convert to a natural gas-fired heating system and have a participating contractor such as BrightHome to install eligible high-efficiency gas-fired heating equipment, may be eligible to receive both a conversion rebate of $2,000 and an equipment rebate of up to $1,000.

Health & Environmental Benefits of Natural Gas:

• Gas-powered hot-water heaters provide precise temperature control and quick recovery time for hot showers and baths

• Natural gas produces less particulates when it is burned, so fewer harmful particles will enter your lungs

• Natural gas has lower emission levels of the criteria pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act, and carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas.

• Carbon dioxide emissions are about 42% lower for gas-heated residences than those heated with oil.

• The use of natural gas in your home can help you conserve natural resources because it reduces energy production.

The deadline for this program is July 15, 2010! BrightHome will provide the applications, proposals and work requests required to complete the program.

Just give us a call at 914.909.5300 and we will get started the natural gas-fired heating system that will cut your energy costs!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Beat The Heat

It's pretty hot right now in New York City. With temperatures reaching 100+ degrees, we've come up with 10 easy ways to cool off. Most of them can be done right now!

1. Start with yourself. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, which are dehydrating.

2. Dress for the heat. Weather you’re indoors or outdoors, wear loose, comfortable clothing that breathes easily and dries fast.

3. Sweep your system. Clean or replace the filter in room and central air conditioners once a month during the summer. If you have central air-conditioning, have the ducts checked for leaks, which can reduce a system's efficiency by as much as 15 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Seal any cracks between a window unit and the frame with caulking or a sealant strip. These steps help ensure good airflow and keep the coils cleaner, which means more efficient and more effective cooling.

4. Sun block. Closing curtains and blinds reduces the amount of heat that passes into your home by as much as 45 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

5. Invest in efficiency. Consider updating your Air Conditioning system, if it is older than 15 years, or minimally efficient. Newer systems will save you money and more properly handle your cooling load.

6. Insulate & ventilate.
Be sure that your home is properly insulated, and your attic is properly ventilated. An energy audit will help you assess the home accurately. Proper insulation will also help you’re A/C to cool more efficiently.

7. The fan trick. Ceiling fans provide air movement that leads to lower perceived temperature on your skin. Be sure to turn them off when you’re out of the house, as they do not cool down air.

8. Shut it down. Set your computer or laptop to go into low-power "sleep" mode if you are away from it for more than 10 minutes and it will give off less heat. When you're finished for the day, shut the machine down completely.

9. Give your dishwasher a vacation. Instead, leave the door open to let the dishes dry. And put off using the dishwasher until evening, when the air is cooler. Or simply wash your dishes the old-fashioned way: by hand.

10. Ditto to the clothes-drying machine. Try line-drying your clothes. You will save tons of energy, and eliminate any heat normally caused by the inevitable energy monster.

Friday, July 2, 2010

BrightHome's Eco-Ed for

Schwartz: Will any good come from Gulf oil spill?


As I have received so many questions regarding the Gulf oil spill, it was difficult to choose one that best captured the sentiment of all of your concerns. Therefore, I have scrapped the usual format and will seek to address those questions and concerns.

The situation in the Gulf of Mexico is truly disastrous. Estimates vary wildly on the amount of oil unleashed into our waters, but the consensus is the same: This is an accident of epic proportions. We see the visible impact, with tar balls, bands of sludge and birds covered in oil, but what is unseen could hold far greater reaching consequences.

The impact will not be fully realized for years, as marshes, estuaries, spawning grounds, etc. try in vain to escape the damage. Devastation of sensitive coral reefs and less visible life forms could conceivably permanently impact the entire food chain in this region. That is not even considering if the oil makes its way up the Gulf Stream, impacting the entire Atlantic Seaboard.

Among the rhetoric and comments I have received, people seem to be in two camps. The first seeks to blame BP. It is now clear that they consciously took steps to put profits over safety on many occasions, and we will bear the brunt of their risk-taking. The second speaks about our government's slow responsiveness, or holds the Obama administration in particular, as the Pariah. They based many of their early assumptions on the estimates provided by BP, and clearly misjudged the potential impact of the early explosion of the oil rig. Once more accurate data was available, it was clear that it was too late. There are limited actions for slowing the leak, and the damage has already been done.

I am not choosing sides here. Believe me, there is enough blame to go around. The awareness that I am proposing is that we are all to blame. Our insatiable appetite for oil and other fossil fuels is at the core of what makes this situation possible in the first place. We enjoy vehicles that are larger, on average, than those used in other countries. Every time we choose a vehicle and put looks, status, performance, etc. over consideration for the mileage and emissions, we are supporting this behavior. Every time we drive into town or school, instead of walking or riding a bicycle, we are implicitly condoning it. Our homes are estimated to waste an average of 40 percent of the energy used, but we choose to turn a blind eye. We continue to leave lights on, leave computers on overnight, not focus attention on making sure our homes are efficiently sealed and insulated, and that the heating/cooling systems are efficient and performing properly.

If there is one positive that can come from this unfortunate "accident," it would be that we, as a society, take a deep look within ourselves and our behavior. There is a way that we can feel less helpless to avoid an event like this in the future.

We can:

* Support more renewable energy sources for both homes and vehicles.

* Consider available options besides using fossil fuels.

* Drive less and with more efficient vehicles.

* Have a home energy audit done, and develop a plan to target reducing wasted energy use.

* Support our local farmer's market, where products are grown locally, and not shipped in from around the world.

* Support local stores and businesses, which require less travel.

* Use our power as consumers to purchase products that use less packaging or use resources more efficiently.

Together we can all make a difference. In the meantime, enjoy the summer and be thankful that our beaches (and our own Graydon Pond) are cleaner then they have been in years.

Ed Schwartz is the chairperson of the Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee, the coordinator of Sustainable Energy for the North Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club, Certified Energy and Sustainability Consultant, and co-founder of Green Living Solutions in New Jersey. He is a partner in BrightHome Energy Solutions, NJ, and has restored his own historical home in Ridgewood, using energy saving and sustainable practices. Eco-Ed can be reached at


Friday, June 25, 2010

BrightHome Urges New Jersey Residents to Act Fast on Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives

Ridgewood, NJ. June 23, 2010— “The window to qualify for funds is limited," said "Eco Ed" Schwartz, "the 2010 budget appropriation may not last to the end of the year. Rebate levels have already been lowered. Consumers should apply immediately."

In the wake of budget cuts, the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy announced new energy reduction financing and tax incentives to homeowners in New Jersey. The new program is expected to begin July 21 and expire Dec. 31, 2010 or when the funds are depleted.

“Homeowners may qualify for up to $3,000 in cash back rebates and up to $10,000 in low or no interest loans,” said Mr. Schwartz.

The program is an extension of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. The combination of financing and cash rebates is intended to reduce energy usage and help lower utility bills. Details of the new incentive include:

Money Back for Energy Saving Solutions
• Homeowners may qualify for a maximum rebate of 50% of eligible measures with a maximum of $3,000 for customers that reach over a 25% estimated energy savings level. Eligible measures include air sealing, insulation, high efficiency hot water heaters, and HVAC systems.
• Homeowners that fall into the 5% and 25% estimated energy savings level may qualify for a 10% rebate and receive up to $1300 in cash back incentives.

Low-Interest Financing

• 0% financing up to 50% of eligible measures with a $10,000 maximum for customers with estimated energy savings above 25%.
• 5.99% financing available for customers with estimated energy savings of 5%-25%. Also up to $10,000.

Mr. Schwartz is a green activist and certified sustainability expert. He has appeared on CNBC and “This Old House”. He is the Coordinator of Sustainable Energy for The Sierra Club of Northern Jersey, Chair Person of Ridgewood’s Environmental Advisory Committee and is certified by the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and the Building Performance Institute. His pre-revolutionary home in Ridgewood, New Jersey gained national recognition for its green renovation.

"Eco Ed" Schwartz and BrightHome offer a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home, while protecting the environment. BrightHome conducts energy audits and implements energy-saving solutions while helping New Jersey homeowners take advantage of these incentives.
Ed Schwartz is available for comment at 877-861-1818.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finance Your Energy Efficient Home

With today's financing options, cash back incentives and tax credits, Energy Audits and home energy solutions are more affordable than ever.

By implementing the proper measures, you could be cutting your home energy bills by 40%—savings that start paying dividends the very first month.

Our finance options include a low-interest New York Energy Star loan, NYSERDA Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star® loan, and both secured and unsecured FHA Title-One Home Improvement Loans. Some of these state-funded opportunities may not be available next year, so take advantage of them now! For a detailed look at these options, click here.

Call BrightHome today at 914-909-5300 to find out what you can do to start saving money on your energy bills.

You'll feel better and pay less with a Bright Home!

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BrightHome & Sustainable South Bronx

Remember when BrightHome announced 23 new green-collar jobs? One of our new hires, Felix, is featured is this CCN Money video highlighting Sustainable South Bronx's program to address policy and planning issues like land use, energy, transportation, water, waste, education, and, most recently, design and manufacturing.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Heat Is On!

We've created a several videos to address energy issues that arise during summer, and things you can do to have complete comfort during those hot summer days. Some of these solutions not only cut energy costs, but will add value and curb appeal to your home.

Ed Schwarts talks about efficient cooling systems and why you should do more than just change your filters. Heating and cooling your home can account for as much as 50% of your energy bill and your decisions can significantly reduce these costs.

Tom Brown discusses the benefits of efficient windows. BrightHome doesn't simply replace your windows, we ensure that all of your windows and doors are installed air tight and insulated properly to maximize the benefit of your investment and tightness of your home.

Tom also talks about how replacement doors with Energy Star rated U-Values, or how well a building element conducts heat, and low-emittance glass coatings will support your house as an energy-efficient system.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ACI Convention 2010

BrightHome is in Austin, TX this week for the Affordable Comfort Institute Convention - Home Energy Retro Fit Summit.

The ACI Home Performance Conference creates a forum where forward-thinking people meet to explore building science know-how and high growth career prospects. This year, our program will address both hot and cold climate issues, with a focus on energy retrofit for whole house solutions.

BrightHome fully supports the whole house approach and looks forward to learning more about this concept and meeting the people in the industry who are developing new ideas and techniques to make home comfort more affordable.

Mike Brown and Tom Brown visiting Austin's famous HEY CUPCAKE food trailer.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Efficient Heating & Cooling

This week we talked Ed Schwartz about efficient heating & cooling for the home. As Summer approaches and homeowners start turning on their cooling systems, energy gets wasted through cracks in sealing and ducts throughout the home. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.

Also, something you can do RIGHT NOW is check your filter every month, especially during the summer. If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. Dirty filters slow down air flow and makes your system work harder to keep cool. Clean filters prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance or early system failure.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Customer Satisfaction

New York experienced a record-breaking winter this pasted year. Some residents stayed cozy and saved money on their energy bills throughout the season with BrightHome's energy efficient solutions.

We love the way the house is actually warm now. If we turn off the heat overnight, the place is still comfortable the next morning.

- Limarie, Harrison, New York

See what else our customers are saying about BrightHome's Energy Solutions.

View the BrightHome customer comments page.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Earth Hour

On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii.

BrightHome just pledged to turn off its lights for World Wildlife Fund's Earth Hour - largest climate action ever. Thanks to the committed people working in our state government, New York is an official Earth Hour State.

Vote with BrightHome at

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

BrightHome Launches New Jersey Venture

New York Energy Solutions Company Partners with Green Living Solutions

BrightHome Energy Solutions and Green Living Solutions of New Jersey, have formed a joint venture to serve Northern New Jersey.

The new partnership enables BrightHome to expand its energy-reduction services and solutions to the New Jersey market. BrightHome's services help alleviate the problems that many homeowner's experience: High energy bills, inconsistent room temperatures, drafty floors, musty smells and uncomfortable hot and cold areas of the home.

Edward Schwartz, co-founder of Green Living Solutions, will continue his role as leader of the New Jersey offices. As a Certified Energy Professional and Sustainability Consultant Ed serves residential, business and municipal communities. “Eco-Ed” works with homeowners, builders and architects to provide services such as energy audits, green/sustainability analyses, and selection and implementation of sustainable building materials and technologies during renovations and new construction.

“Ed brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to the team,” said Joe Kaplan, the president of BrightHome. “His expertise with green technologies and renewable energy makes him an incredible resource for BrightHome’s customers.”

Ed’s activism includes educating schools and communities about home energy efficiency, eco-friendly landscaping and healthier cleaning products that lowers people’s carbon footprint along with their impact on global warming.

Ed currently serves as the Coordinator of Sustainable Energy for the North Jersey Chapter of the Sierra Club, and is certified by the New Jersey Clean Energy Program and the Building Performance Institute.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BrightHome on Green Job Spider Blog

BrightHome Chief Operating Officer Mike Brown sits down with C.M. Russel to discuss BrightHome's company history and development of green jobs in today's market on the Green Job Spider Blog.

Mike describes what he looks for in potential and employees, explains the benefits of energy audits, and talks about how the stimulus package has affected BrightHome.

According to it's site, Green Job Spider is the only job search engine for finding jobs in the green job market.

Listen to the podcast at Green Job Spider Blog.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BrightHome Hires Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer joined BrightHome in 2010, and is a BPI Certified Building
Analyst that holds a BPI Completion Certificate for Shell and Heating. He
has performed more than 180 Energy Audits. His dedication to energy
efficiency education makes him a huge asset to BrightHome.

Andrew has been trained and certified by Apricus, Sunda and Enerworks for
solar thermal water heating, Uni-solar Ovanics for solar power installation,
American Lung Association for health house inspection, National Comfort
Institute for air balancing & diagnostics, Field Controls for combustion air
diagnostics, RESNET for training and testing HERS Rating and ASHRAE/NYSERDA
for designing energy efficient data centers.

He belongs to the Building Performance Contractors Association and the
Association of Energy Engineers and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. You
may have seen him on the TV show “Take Charge,” educating viewers about the
benefits of energy efficient green homes.

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Monday, February 15, 2010


BrightHome Energy Solutions is participating in New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's (NYSERDA) Great Appliance Swap Out, a program designed to save you money for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified appliances now through February 21, 2010. Rebates are offered on a first come, first served basis, so it's important for you to act now!

For more information, go to BrightHome's Great Appliance Swap Out Info Page.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010


BrightHome Energy Solutions has hired 23 employees since its kick off in August 2009; 17 of whom were previously unemployed.

The company’s fast paced growth in the home weatherization sector has resulted in 23 new "green-collar" jobs for positions such as energy savings consultants, contractors, carpenters, caulkers, insulators and sales associates.

“It's fantastic to see growth in our community and to provide jobs when the unemployment picture is so bleak. Especially in an industry that promotes energy efficiency and clean energy solutions for the environment,” said chief operating officer, Mike Brown.

BrightHome's workforce helps homeowners in Westchester County reduce energy consumption and save money on energy bills. Using state-of-the-art thermal detection equipment and highly effective insulating and sealing techniques, homeowners report up to 40% lower energy bills and are enjoying a warmer, more comfortable home during winter months.

“Our employees couldn’t be happier. They really enjoy implementing our energy-saving solutions,” said Brown. "They're helping families live better by reducing energy costs and making informed decisions to help the environment."

BrightHome's comprehensive home energy assessment, also known as energy audit, is the first step in BrightHome’s diagnostic process. A BrightHome energy consultant inspects the home inside and out, checking each room's efficiency and safety. The exterior is checked for structural deficiencies and leakage points. The detailed assessment covers more than 75 inspection points.

BrightHome offers a wide range of services including comprehensive home assessments (also known as energy audits), air sealing, HVAC installation and repair, insulation, ENERGY STAR® products and energy-efficient windows and doors.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Home Energy Assessment With Tom Brown

What should you expect when you get a Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment with BrightHome Energy Solutions?

BrightHome's energy savings consultant Tom Brown walks you through a typical energy audit and explains how to rid your home of cold, drafty rooms and reduce your energy costs.

For more information on an energy audit, go to energy audits.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Green Jobs Available at BrightHome

We're hiring!

BrightHome is looking for talented and experienced carpenters, general laborers, general managers, heating & cooling installers, insulators and auditor/sales people.

To view and apply for new positions, go to BrightHome Green Jobs.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wishing You and Yours a Prosperous & Green New Year from BrightHome Energy Solutions

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