Village of Kinderhook Works Towards Clean Energy Communities Designation

In June 2016, the Village of Kinderhook (Village) approved a resolution to adopt the New York State Climate Smart Community Pledge (Pledge). The 10 elements of the Pledge commit the village to an evolving process of climate action in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Here’s an update on the community’s work to date.

What is the Kinderhook Climate Smart Task Force?

The Task Force consists of community volunteers, Warren Applegate, Kim Gray, Aileen Leventon and Bill Mancini, invited by the village to consider various climate smart initiatives which might be suitable for Kinderhook. The Task Force exists solely as an advisory and informational committee. Mayor James Dunham and Deputy Mayor Rich Phillips are active participants at all meetings. Tara Donadio, NYSERDA CEC from the Capital District Regional Planning Commission, also attends many meetings offering valuable suggestions and assistance.

What is the mission of the Climate Smart Task Force?

  • To listen, research and set goals for climate initiatives
  • To inform and advise village officials and the public
  • To assist with climate smart innovation projects

The Task Force at work:

The Task Force is working to achieve a Clean Energy Community designation for the village. This designation will make the village eligible for grants from NYSERDA. In order to do so, the village must complete four impact actions.

  • The Task Force recommended, and the Village Board (Board) adopted a Unified Solar Permit. This will streamline the process for village residents seeking to install solar panels for their homes. As a result, the Village received a $2,500 grant from NYSERDA. The passage of this resolution also gave the Village credit for an impact action prescribed by the Clean Energy Community program.
  • A second impact action recommended and completed is the Energy Code Enforcement Training of the Village Code Enforcement Officer (CEO). This training focuses on what code enforcement officials need to know about the NYS Energy Code in the context of its practical application on active construction projects.  Special thanks to CEO Glenn Smith for taking part in this training.
  • The Task Force also recommended, and the Board adopted a third action item, the passage of a Benchmarking resolution.  This provides a means for the Village to track energy costs incurred and greenhouse gas emissions by municipal properties. The reports generated will be used to look into potential clean energy upgrades that will reduce costs and emissions.
  • The fourth impact action, the installation of an electric vehicle charging station (EVCS), was recently completed. The charging station installation was a great process, a real collaborative effort by the Village. It should be noted that 80 percent of its cost has been provided by through the grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

Items currently under study are:

  • The feasibility and potential savings involved in a green power purchase policy for the Village.
  • A food waste recycling program.
  • A food redistribution program.
  • Solarization of the municipal buildings.
  • Village wide solarization, Community Choice Aggregation.

Meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Village Hall. Meetings are open to the public.  To join the Village Task Force or offer suggestions, you may attend a meeting or call Bill Mancini at 758-9584 or Mayor Dunham, at 758-9882.