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Cash In on Carbon: State Announces Incentives for Low Carbon Multifamily Retrofits

The New York State government recently announced that it has budgeted funding towards incentives for its Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings program.

With New York City planning to cap building carbon emissions under the Climate Mobilization Act, and considering limiting the use of gas heat, owners of multifamily buildings may consider using this program to help lower their building emissions and get paid for doing it.

Here’s what you should know.

What does the Low Carbon Pathways program do?

Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings is a program that makes it easier for owners of market-rate or affordable multifamily buildings in New York State to implement low carbon solutions.

It provides resources for step-by-step retrofits that can be executed over time as part of the regular lifecycle of building improvements, such as equipment end-of-life or tenant turnover.

Developed by NYSERDA with real estate partners’ input and actual building data, their playbooks cover the five most common types of multifamily buildings: garden style (1-3 stories), pre-war (4-7 stories), post-war (4-7 stories), post-war (8+ stories), and post-1980 (8+ stories).

What is eligible for Low Carbon Pathways?

Building Criteria

Existing affordable or market-rate multifamily buildings that are New York State electricity customers who pay into the System Benefits Charge (SBC)/NYSERDA Clean Energy Fund on their electric utility bill are the only ones eligible for incentives. This includes:

  • New or substantially renovated multifamily buildings in operation for at least one year prior to applying to this program.
  • Buildings with 5+ units where at least 50% of the building’s gross heated footage is residential space.

Eligible Owners and Property Management Firms

Eligible owners and firms must meet at least one of the following:

  • Own or manage at least 10 existing multifamily buildings.
  • • Are a current member in at least one building owner or property management organization that meets semi-regularly or shares information among members. (For full list of organizations, contact NYSERDA.)

Which options and incentives are available?

The following upgrade packages are available through this program, if followed to the letter:

  • Envelope
    Install building envelope upgrades to meet specified area weighted U-value target, based on climate zone and building typology, and provide code-compliant ventilation for each bathroom and kitchen.
    $3,750 per dwelling unit (+ $1,250 per unit if this package is implemented first without any of the other upgrades below).
  • Ventilation
    Provide balanced ventilation with heat/energy recovery to each apartment.
    $750 per dwelling unit.
  • Heating & Cooling
    Install heat pump technology for in-unit heating and cooling.
    $750 per dwelling unit (In addition to any applicable NYS Clean Heat incentives)
  • Domestic Hot Water
    Install heat pumps to provide 30-100% of DHW load, dependent on the existing systems.
    $700-750 per dwelling unit (In addition to any applicable NYS Clean Heat incentives)

Please note that all required upgrades within a package must be implemented and must adhere to measurement, verification, and quality control protocols to qualify for the incentives.

In addition, multiple packages can be implemented at the same time if you so choose.

Add-on incentives for recommended upgrades, such as air sealing, are also available for each package.

How to Get Started?

Incentives will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with project applications accepted through 3PM EST on December 31st, 2025 (or until funds are fully committed).

NYSERDA requires owners talk to one of their qualified Multifamily Building Solutions Providers or FlexTech Consultants before applying in order to be eligible for incentives.

In addition, feel free to reach out to Outsource Consultants for more assistance on navigating New York’s green construction and energy codes.



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