Organizers working for People United For Sustainable Housing, also known as PUSH, took to the streets to launch a campaign aimed at reducing people's energy bills, creating jobs, and saving the environment.
Even though summer just began, PUSH organizers hit the streets in hopes of helping people all over Western New York reduce their heating bills. Saturday, they passed out signs to hundreds of home on Buffalo's westside.
"We've got about 350 families today who have committed to putting the signs in their lawns. We hope to build on that to create a higher visibility, higher profile for this idea that partnership is the only way to deal with this," said Eric Walker, an organizer with PUSH.
'This' being the fact that heating bills in Buffalo are among the highest in the nation.
"You're paying more for heating than you are for your rent and your mortgage that's too much, that's too much!" said Bob Cook, a volunteer with PUSH.
"We should be able to weatherize our homes, save energy overall, get our heating bills down so we don't have to ask for help to pay the bills," said Julie Boody, a PUSH volunteer.
PUSH organizers are urging National Fuel to partner with them and the state, but so far their attempts have gone unanswered.
"We're looking to National Fuel to match our commitment that we've made to this neighborhood and show that they are serious about thinking long term about the health of the neighborhood, the health of their customers, and the health of Buffalo," said Harrison Watkins, and organizer with PUSH.
One victory for PUSH, the state senate passed legislation allowing customers to pay for weatherizing their homes with the savings from their bills, as part of the Green Jobs/Green New York program. However, the legislation still has to pass the state assembly. Supporters say the new legislation could create 60,000 jobs and cut heating bills by $1 billion.