Climate Action Associates

by Greg Mumby, Community Planner, Climate Action Associates
Climate Action Associates (CAA) has been providing support in the Hudson Valley, Capital District, Mohawk Valley and North Country as a member of the Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Eastern-New York outreach team since the program began in 2016. CAA’s primary role has been offering deep technical support on sustainability issues and providing turn-key grant development assistance. CAA provided well over 50 designated CECs with turn-key grant development assistance that included initial identification of potential projects, feasibility assessments, emission and cost savings projections, project scoping, and drafting of application materials. Successful applications are now moving into the implementation phase of projects that include EV procurement, solar PV installation, LED streetlight conversion, water and wastewater efficiency upgrades, facility HVAC and insulation improvements, sustainable heating and cooling systems, and community-based projects.

In addition to project development work CAA performed research, developed tools, and provided answers on technical sustainability questions. Some highlights of this work include: the development of a Streetlight Operations Cost Calculator for each utility territory to assist communities with assessing the benefits of LED streetlight conversion; a Climate Change Mitigation Easement template to allow communities to meet a New York State grant requirement for installation of charging stations on non-municipal land; multiple guides and step-by-steps including those on energy use data gathering and building energy efficiency upgrades assessments; and a Government Operations Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory tool. This last tool was developed in support of another initiative, the Climate Action Planning Institute (CAPI), that CAA helped to create with the Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC). The goal of CAPI was to guide communities through a collaborative process to develop community climate action plans that would not only offer beneficial insights into municipal energy use but also qualify for points under the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities program.