MINEOLOA, Long Island (WABC) -- Homeowners on Long Island are making both their homes and their wallets a lot greener.
It's thanks to a rebate program that has paid out more than $20 million to make homes more energy efficient. But now one Mineola man says he's getting the rebate runaround after spending thousands insulating his home.
Working on a two-story colonial has been Steve Ianniello's passion project the last two years.
"I figured buy a house and fix it up, make it my dream house," Ianniello said.
The house is almost ready for his wife and baby boy to move in, but recently, the young dad got thrown two curve balls by National Grid.
His split-level single-family home was deemed non-residential, or a commercial property, because an inspector reported he would have a second floor tenant because of an additional heating unit he put in the attic.
Then because of the home's non-residential status, he struck out on thousands in reimbursements.
Steve installed more expensive spray foam installation to qualify for a rebate from National Grid. The company offers an incentive to encourage energy efficiency, offering to reimburse 50% to 60% of projects costs.
"Because they zoned me for commercial and they say commercial doesn't qualify," he explained. "I'm trying to do the right thing being eco and green and they're slapping me for it."
He tried to explain to National Grid there wasn't an upstairs apartment or tenants.
"They basically said we don't care, this is New York State law," Ianniello said.
Then he got some advice and listened to a friend who suggested calling 7 On Your Side.
So we powered through the red tape with the energy company.
National Grid said they would be recoding the bill for the less expensive residential rate and also issued a credit for any past billing cycles that were higher. They said they would make sure he get the rebate for the insulation.
And earlier this week Steve got some great news: his rebate was approved for much more than he thought -- a whopping $8,376 - 90% of his total insulation costs.
His energy rebate will be sent in April, putting thousands back in his pocket to finish renovations.
National Grid added customers are at the heart of what they do and finding a solution for the Ianiellos was a priority.
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