NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program: Looking Back and Forging Ahead
It’s hard to believe that it is closing in on three years since NYSERDA launched the Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program. HVRC’s team of CEC Coordinators have been a locally engaged, boots-on-the-ground presence in the Mid-Hudson Region since 2016. We provided, and continue to provide, significant technical assistance to municipalities in their pursuit of the 10 High Impact Actions
that they can benefit from under the CEC Program, as well as CEC grants and related funding opportunities.
The Clean Energy Community designation recognizes community leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy, all supporting the state’s clean energy goals. The Clean Energy Community initiative advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York achieve the state’s goal to supply 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
“New York is a national leader in combating climate change, and this significant milestone demonstrates that communities in every corner of this great state are committed to our efforts to create a more sustainable future,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “These 200 communities serve as a model for cities and towns across this state and this nation to reduce energy use and preserve our environment for generations to come.”
Aerial view of southern Herkimer County – photo by Amy Wyant
By Amy Wyant, Clean Energy Communities Coordinator
The Clean Energy Communities Program has been a great success in the Mohawk Valley. The 46 communities that have participated in the program, submitting a total of 122 High Impact Actions, each came to the table with a desire to improve their communities while saving taxpayer money and improving the environment in which they live.
Of these 46 communities, 21 received grant funding toward projects in their communities to complete additional clean energy projects.
By Jamie Rogers, Clean Energy Communities Coordinator
The North Country region is comprised of the seven northernmost counties in New York, encompassing over 40,000 square miles of farmland, lakes, mountains and forests, much of it within the Adirondack Park. With towns and villages linked by winding roads, it can take more than 4 hours to drive across the North Country, from the shores of Lake Champlain to the shores of Lake Ontario. Three sides of this incredibly beautiful region are bordered by water, with Lake Ontario to the east, the St. Lawrence River to the north and Lake Champlain to the east.
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.
The Capital Region has had great success with the Clean Energy Communities Program, with designated communities as small as the Town of Edinburgh in northern Saratoga County, with just 1,290 residents, to the City of Albany with a population 98,000. As of July 1st, 2019, thirty-three communities in the Capital Region have achieved Clean Energy Communities Designation through the support of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission. The region’s designated communities have received match-free grants for clean energy projects totaling almost $3,000,000. The region was also aided by $837,150 in additional funding for projects in Albany, Rensselaer, Greene and Columbia Counties as part of an NYS Attorney General settlement with the Lafarge North America, Inc.
Throughout the past three years, CDRPC hosted numerous workshops in the Capital District covering a range of topics, including: alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, LED streetlight conversions, Climate Smart Communities, Community Solar, Clean Heating and Cooling, Clean Energy Projects, and Community Choice Aggregation. These events incorporated local experts, interested citizens, as well as municipal representatives and provided a space for participants not only to learn about the Clean Energy Communities Program but also connect with one another. (include CSC workshop pic). We also held two panel discussions with local communities who shared their experiences with the CEC program.
April 19 seminar highlighting Climate Smart Communities at Guilderland Public Library.
The Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification program, one of 10 High Impact Actions communities can complete to become a Clean Energy Community, provides municipalities with a robust framework to guide their local climate action.
CSC Certification recognizes high-performing communities for their leadership in reducing emissions and adapting to a changing climate. Designed around 10 pledge elements, the CSC Certification program honors communities for their accomplishments through a rating system leading to four levels of award: Certified, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Communities can choose from more than 120 individual actions to earn points toward certification.
Attend the workshop at the Guilderland Library on April 19th to:
- Learn about the CSC program, greenhouse gas inventories, climate action planning and CSC grants available to municipalities
- Hear from local municipalities about their experience with the CSC program
- Identify the technical assistance your community can receive from a Clean Energy Community Coordinator
Register Here: https://conta.cc/2XnHsN7
Do you want to reduce energy costs for your community?
In December, ANCA’s Clean Energy team and contractor partners Troy & Banks and Wendel Energy led a two-day workshop for municipal leaders focused on aggregated LED street light design.
To learn more about LED street light aggregation, contact us at .
Photo: ANCA Energy Circuit Rider Nancy Bernstein presents at the two-day workshop at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College.