Utica, NY (WIBX) - National Grid is announcing a new program for homeowners that aims to lower their energy costs. Officials say The Enhanced Home Sealing Incentives Program will also improve health and safety concerns.

National Grid Program Analyst for the new Residential Energy Efficiency Program, Caroline King said, "This new program is offering a comprehensive home assessment to National Grid gas heating and electric heating customers throughout our service territory and Upstate, New York. For a fee of $50 a customer may receive a comprehensive home assessment, which includes a health and safety check and 2 hours of air sealing. And by participating through this program we'll be able to assist customers in identifying what sort of energy efficiency measures would best fit their home and increase its comfort, and lower their utility usage."

King said the program will provide Certified Building Performance Institute Technicians to homeowners who apply and qualify. She said technicians will check for health and safety concerns such as, carbon monoxide, natural gas leaks, and check on combustion appliances such as, hot water heaters, stoves and furnaces.

King said, "In New York State all homes have to have carbon monoxide censors now after the law that was passed in February of 2010." King is referring to the new carbon monoxide law also known as "Amanda's Law." According to the Department of State, "Amanda’s Law was named in honor of Buffalo resident Amanda Hansen, a teenage girl who lost her life to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from a defective boiler when sleeping over at a friend’s house in January 2009."

The new Residential Energy Efficiency Program is open to National Grid customers who are homeowners and reside in a 1 - 4 family unit dwelling. To apply call the toll free number 877-741-4330 to speak to a customer service representative or email National Grid at EnhancedHomeSealing@csgrp.com. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2011.

The new program has a $1.4 million budget, which comes from fees collected through the Systems Benefit Charge on National Grid customers energy bills. King said the company hopes to assist up to 4000 homeowners throughout the state. King added, "One of the nice things about this program is the funding that's been set aside allows us to offer this audit for a $50 participation fee--the balance is paid for through those funds. And also, we do offer an incentive for customers when they receive their comprehensive home report to install insulation if its recommended, and National Grid will pay 50% -- up to $3,000 -- for those programs."

National Grid offers other programs for energy efficiency such as a refrigerator recycling program, and recently the company also received funding to continue its  High Efficiency Heating Equipment Program. For more information about the new Residential Energy Efficiency Program, and other programs, go on line at www.thepowerofaction.com.