$30 million available for regional economic development projects

Summer 2013

Mid-Hudson/Westchester Insights

Connecting Energy Savings & Economic Development

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Learn How To Access NYS Funds at Workshops Around the Hudson Valley

This round of the New York State Comprehensive Funding Application — due at 4 pm on August 12 — offers $750 million from 13 state agencies and 26 programs to support regional economic development priorities and spur job creation across the state. More than $80 million is available for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability planning and implementation projects. CFA Workshops will be held in the Mid-Hudson Region in the following locations:

July 10     6:30 PM – 9:00 PM     Mt. Saint Mary College, Aquinas Hall, Newburgh

July 11      6:30 PM – 9:00 PM      Dutchess County Community College, Poughkeepsie

See NYS Regional Economic Development Councils for instructions on completing a CFA, as well as a detailed list of program funding and other resources. Your local NYSERDA Regional Outreach Coordinators, at left, are available to assist with energy (heating, lighting, cooling) related CFAs.

NYSERDA to Provide $30 million for Cleaner Greener Communities

Municipalities and other interested groups have only a few weeks left to apply for $30 million of funding from NYSERDA under the Cleaner, Greener Communities Program (CGC). The funding is intended to promote sustainability planning and project implementation.

In 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo formed a Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) in each of 10 regions, charged with creating strategic plans to promote job growth. These plans, updated yearly, take into account local strengths and weaknesses. To streamline regional economic development, the REDCs were made the center of a one-stop system for state grants and incentives known as the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA).

Much of NYSERDA’s program funding is available through CFA submissions for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Phase I of the CGC provided $10 million in 2012 to the 10 REDC regions to produce Regional Sustainability Plans, which are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating more resilient, sustainable communities. Phase II, which started in June via Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 2721, offers funding to support each region’s sustainability goals.

Phase II funding has three categories. Categories 1 and 2 are for municipalities. Category 1 offers $1 million to support adoption of streamlined permitting for photovoltaic systems and electric vehicle charging stations. Category 2 provides $4 million for communities to create or revise comprehensive plans, including updating zoning ordinances and addressing sustainability and resiliency. Category 3 is available to any public, private, or non-profit entity – or partnership – to fund large-scale, high-impact sustainability projects that produce immediate and long-lasting greenhouse gas emissions reductions and climate resiliency.

Category 1 proposals are accepted through open enrollment CFA through September 2014. Competitive Category 2 and 3 proposals are due August 12, 2013. The CGC program is funded by Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) proceeds, which means applicants don’t have to be paying into the System Benefits Charge (SBC) to take advantage of these opportunities.

Case Study: Emanuel Lutheran Church Goes Solar

 A faith community describes its decision to invest in solar energy.


emanuel_lutheran_solarEmanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville sought out NYSERDA‘s Small Commercial Energy Assessments contractor to perform an energy audit of its building. NYSERDA provides free energy assessments to small businesses and not-for-profits with an electric demand of 100kW or less to help them make informed electrical energy decisions and implement energy-efficiency strategies. The Church’s annual consumption at the time was 27,680 kWh and its total bill for the year was $5,272. Aside from assessing their energy consumption, Daylight Savings, the contractor, recommended that the church:

– Upgrade the lighting

– Install lighting controls

– Improve the building envelope

– Upgrade the HVAC

– Install an Energy Management System

The congregation’s Environmental Stewardship Committee, chaired by Gerry Falco, President of New York Interfaith Power and Light, agreed to insulate the windows and upgrade their lighting. After improving the overall building’s efficiency, Emanuel Lutheran Church set their sites on solar. With incentives from NYSERDA, the church hired Mercury Solar Systems, a NYSERDA eligible installer, to install a 23kW photovoltaic system consisting of 134 Suntech STP-175 panels and 3 Fronius inverters (5, 7.5, and 10kW respectively). As part of NYSERDA‘s program, the technical details such as submitting drawings and obtaining permits, were handled by the installer.

Three years later, the Emanuel Lutheran Church now stands as a leader of environmental stewardship in the community. The church runs almost entirely on solar power. Last month’s electric energy bill was $15.The congregation is now in the process of applying for an energy assessment of their parsonage and their success has persuaded three congregants to install solar panels in their homes.

About Courtney Strong Inc.: Courtney Strong Inc. provides outreach and education services on behalf of clients who are leading the transition to a clean energy economy. CSI supports the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), with emphasis on its Economic Development Growth Extension (EDGE) program. EDGE helps New Yorkers access funding and technical assistance from NYSERDA for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

About NYSERDA: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs.