On October 9, 2009, the New York State Legislature enacted the Green Jobs-Green New York Act of 2009 (“Green Jobs Act”) as P.L. 2009, ch. 487, amending the Public Authorities Law, to create the Green Jobs-Green New York Energy Conservation and Community Sustainability Program (“Green Jobs-Green New York Program”). Under this new program, the New York State Energy and Development Authority (“Authority”) is empowered to award financial assistance from the Green Jobs-Green New York Revolving Loan Fund to applicants for the conduct of energy audits and the performance of qualified energy efficiency services on non-residential, residential and multi-family structures. The Green Jobs Act defines “applicant” broadly to include any “person who owns, leases or manages a structure and who has the authority to contract for the provision of qualified energy efficiency services to such structure.” NY PUB AUTH § 1891. However, loans for “qualified energy efficiency services,” which are also defined under the Green Jobs Act and include such building improvements as thermostat upgrades and the installation of thermal solar heat or hot water systems, are limited. For example, loans for approved qualified energy efficiency services may not exceed $26,000.00 per applicant for non-residential structures. Applicants applying for financial assistance relating to residential structures may only receive up to half that amount. The cost of the energy audit may be added to the amount of the loan. Interest rates shall lie within the Authority’s discretion, but may “be no higher than necessary to make the provision of the qualified energy efficiency services feasible.” NY PUB AUTH § 1896.
In addition to the provision of loans for energy audits and qualified energy efficiency services, the Green Jobs-Green New York Program requires the Authority to award grants for certain purposes and to promote employment and training services. In the way of funding, the New York State Legislature has appropriated $112,000,000 to finance the aforesaid loan program and the Authority’s other activities. The Authority is not expected to begin implementing the Green Jobs-Green New York Program until the spring of 2010.