Picente: ‘Green’ Window Replacement Partnership With GroWest Will Reduce Lead, Save Energy

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced a window replacement project that will partner the county’s Lead Primary Prevention Pilot Program and Utica-based GroWest, Inc., targeting designated areas of Cornhill and West Utica that are at ‘high risk’ for lead poisoning. 

According to Picente, this green initiative will teach homeowners in high risk designated areas of the City of Utica how to replace old lead-based painted, single pane windows using lead safe work practices with new energy efficient replacement windows that can be purchased at cost through GroWest, Inc. 

“This strategic public-private ‘green partnership’ is designed to reduce the environmental hazards of lead-based paints in our homes while reducing energy usage and saving HEAP dollars because the energy efficient replacement windows can reduce heating costs up to 25%,” Picente said.   

Additionally, the program supports the state’s economy because the Energy Star windows being made available are manufactured in New YorkState, Picente said.

As much as 60-70% of lead-laden dust found in houses built before 1978 can be traced to single pane windows that create friction when opened and closed grinding down the lead-based painted surfaces.  This dust is then blown into the home when the windows are opened or a fan is placed in them.  As little lead dust as it would take to fill a sugar packet can contaminate an entire home.  Children who inhale or ingest the dust can become lead poisoned.

A series of free ‘hands on’ instructional classes will be conducted beginning in March and continuing through June, according to Debra Richardson, Executive Director of GroWest, Inc.  “The Instruction will take the homeowner step by step through the process of measuring, removing the old window and then replacing it with the new energy efficient vinyl replacement window,” Richardson said.  She continued, “Completion of the three-hour class by homeowners will allow them to purchase as few as one or as many as it would take to replace all the windows in any homes they own in the ‘high risk designated areas at cost.”

The classes will be limited to eight per session and provide window replacement training for 96 homeowners over 12 class sessions.  To register for the classes, call the Oneida County Health Department at 266-6147 and ask for Window Replacement Class Registration.