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Think of a large Thermos, large enough to put a family in. That’s a passive house. Passive houses are buildings that rely on their construction, insulation, and the environment to heat them in winter and cool them in summer.

They’re popular in Europe, but there are only a handful of them in the U.S. and one of them belongs to a family in upstate New York, who are getting ready to take on their first winter in their passive home.


In the past 12 years, 50,000 homes across the state have gone through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) energy star home performance program.

The 50,000th project was completed in Rochester in western New York, and NYSERDA officials say the number of energy-saving projects in the upstate region are expected to rise as winter approaches.

Solid Cell

The state’s energy research and development authority (NYSERDA) has awarded $200,000 to upstate fuel cell company Solid Cell.

The funding is earmarked for commercialization of the company’s unique interconnect material, an important mechanical part of fuel cell systems. The product could cut costs for fuel cell manufacturers around the world.

Interconnects are the components that connect the layers of a solid oxide fuel cell, enabling it to convert fuel to energy through a reaction between oxygen and fuels like hydrogen or natural gas.

Kate O'Connell

The commercialization of a new industrial process in upstate New York could lead to cheaper, greener solar systems.

Nanotech company Intrinsiq Materials has been awarded $887,000 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to take their idea forward.


A new program is expected to make some Western New York businesses more energy efficient. The community housing organization PUSH Buffalo is leading an effort that’s also expected to create local jobs.

The PUSH Green building retrofit program begins by linking non-profit organizations and small businesses with a registered architect who will act as their energy advocate. The advocate will work with the client on identifying what incentives are available to them from the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority, NYSERDA.