Local governments in New York State can use the Clean Energy Communities program to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, create jobs, and improve the environment.
Orange County, in the Mid-Hudson region, was recently designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Work on this initiative was led by the County Planning Department with key support from County Executive Neuhaus, the County Legislature and Department of Public Works.
“We are pleased to receive this recognition from NYSERDA,” Neuhaus said. “The CEC program provides a wonderful example of what we can do to foster local climate and clean energy action, while saving local governments and residents money on their energy bills, creating local jobs and realizing the tremendous opportunities provided by expanding the green economy.”
The County received the designation for completing the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- – Benchmarking. Adopting a Legislative Policy and Initiating Benchmarking of energy use of County buildings.
- – Climate Smart Communities Certification. Earning Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification through actions reducing the community’s impact on the environment. Orange County was the first County in New York to earn CSC certification.
- – Energize NY Finance. Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits.
- – Solarize. Undertaking two community-based Solarize campaigns (in Warwick- Goshen and Countywide) to reduce solar installation project costs through joint purchasing.
After NYSERDA approves a community’s four actions, the community can submit a grant application online for additional clean energy project funding. Orange County received a Block 3 award. They plan on using the funding to support the work of the Mid-Hudson Sustainability Coalition.
“NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program helps further the County’s goals of reducing energy consumption and encouraging clean energy use in our community,” said David Church, Orange County’s Commissioner of Planning. “This initiative builds upon, and complements, the County’s DEC Climate Smart Community Certification, the first in New York and received in 2013 and is consistent with the goals of the County’s Comprehensive and Mid-Hudson Sustainability Plans.”