Tag Archives: NYSERDA

A more comfortable home? It’s a resolution you can keep.

We all go through it: January rolls around, and we make lists of resolutions that we struggle to keep past the first week of the year. But good intentions aside, a new year is a perfect time to say sayonara to the holiday craziness, to recover from parties and gift-wrapping, and to regroup back to a more peaceful pace.

Plus, now that schedules have returned to a somewhat manageable level, it may be time to hit “play” on the home tasks that have been paused from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Maybe it’s planning that addition that will finally give you space to host the holidays next year, or rethinking the attic’s lack of insulation that makes your home heating bills go – literally – through the roof.

For Brenda Sramek, Hyde Park homeowner since 1999, 2014 was the final New Years that she decided to live with flaws that made her home and budget uncomfortable. “Since I purchased my house, it has always been chilly in the winter,” she said. “I got used to wearing layers of clothing in the winter and dealing with it. I was tired of living like that.”

Sramek’s solution? Call in the experts: Malcarne Contracting. “I agreed to have an energy audit with Malcarne and was not surprised at the results,” she said. “It took me a year to decide to have the work done, for no other reason than wondering if the scope of the work would really work.”

According to owner Joseph Malcarne, that’s a great question to ask: Do these energy-saving changes actually save money and make your home more comfortable to live in? The answer’s absolutely yes – if they’re done correctly. With a professionally done energy audit, not only does Malcarne let you know up-front how much the job will cost, but how much you’re projected to pocket each year once energy-saving changes are made.

In October of 2014, Sramek’s home was specially insulated and caulked from attic to basement, and advanced energy panels were installed on her basement windows. “After each work item was completed, I noticed a difference in how often the heat would come on and how long it stayed warm in the house,” she said. “Once the wood tongue-and-groove cathedral ceiling was insulated, it made a huge difference. The room was much quieter – a nice surprise – and so much warmer.”

But Sramek’s love of her home is more than a feeling: It also boils down to black-and-white savings. In 2014-2015, she used 28.5 percent less fuel to heat her home – better than the 25 percent that Malcarne calculated she’d save – and that winter was colder than the previous one. “With all the work being done in the basement, especially sealing up the ductwork, I wondered if the basement would be cold since the leaky ducts were heating the basement,” she said. “It is now toasty and warm – and the basement is heated only by the heat radiating from the exhaust pipe from the furnace.”

Now that the blur of holiday concerts, shopping and gatherings is through, it’s a great time to start 2016 on the right foot. For your home, there’s no better way to do that than with a makeover that can actually help you fulfill your resolution to save more of your hard-earned cash – without pressure from someone who’s looking to make a quick buck.

“I would absolutely recommend Malcarne for the energy-saving work,” said Sramek. “When I had questions, they were answered promptly and professionally. If I had concerns or minor issues, they were resolved quickly, no questions asked. Everyone I had contact with at Malcarne is down-to-earth and a pleasure to work with. Most importantly, I trusted them.”

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Award-winning Expertise – From Us To You

When we at Malcarne Contracting work on projects, our goal is to get things right – 100 percent – every time. And we don’t simply want to follow what other companies are doing in our field: We want to make sure you’re getting top-of-the-line, cutting-edge service when you hire us.

Maybe that’s why we were so thrilled last month to have received the Deep Energy Retrofit Award in the multi-family program from NYSERDA, The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. When compared to all the energy-efficient buildings in the Empire State, Malcarne was able to build a structure with the most energy savings in its class – a building with a 55 percent energy reduction.  

Like many awards of this kind, the challenge starts with building a model showing how the structure would be energy efficient. In some cases, accolades are given to companies based on these models, but proving that a building may be energy efficient from a prototype doesn’t always pan out in reality – and this challenge demanded more evidence. More than four years ago, Malcarne sent in plans for our building and, after they were approved by NYSERDA, we put the blueprints into action and completed the building in 2012.

The results? An award-winning, energy-efficient, five-unit structure, located on 55 Garden Street in Poughkeepsie. Every nook and cranny was designed with savings in mind, including water-conserving fixtures, solar panels to reduce electricity usage, Green Label Certified flooring, and Energy Star appliances. In fact, by using natural gas, the fees for heating and cooling the building for an entire year, including our harsh New York winters, was only $1,200 – and that’s for all five units!

With a full year of energy data from the building – and real tenants calling the place “home” – Malcarne proved why our talented employees deserved to beat out the competition for the prestigious NYSERDA award: According to the newest state energy codes that dictate what it means to be “energy efficient,” a “deep” energy retrofit means that the home must go above and beyond the average energy savings, and Malcarne’s Garden Street home uses 55 percent less energy than what New York labels as an “energy efficient home”!

But while we’re proud of the building that won us an accolade, our true goal is to also make your home into a great example of an energy-efficient structure. Whether you’re looking into a brand-new build or want to convert your already-standing home into something that can save both the environment and your bank account, Malcarne Contracting has the skillset to make it happen.

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