Spring 2019 
Clean Energy Communities News 
Moving our communities toward sustainability.

Director's Corner

By Todd Fabozzi /  Dir ector of Sustainability, CDRPC, todd@cdrpc.org

Welcome to the tenth edition of the Eastern Upstate New York Territory's (Territory) Clean Energy Communities (CEC) quarterly newsletter.  The CEC program funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is delivered within the Territory by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) through a unique partnership of regional agencies, which includes the Adirondack North Country Association, the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, and the Hudson Valley Regional Council. The Partnership is also supported by Climate Action Associates, LLC and Courtney Strong Inc.

Communities across the Territory are receiving technical support from our team and actively completing "high impact" actions in their pursuit of CEC Designation. Communities must complete four actions to achieve CEC designation. Designated communities qualify for match-free grants to design and implement clean energy projects. Currently,188 communities within the Territory have completed a total of 567 "high impact" actions, 95 communities are officially designated and advancing program funded projects, and many others are working through the designation process. 
Designated communities within the territory have qualified for $6,685,020 in project funding to date.

Continue reading to learn about recent program activities and some of the exemplary actions local governments are taking to become sustainable and energy efficient.  Contact your regional outreach coordinator  if your community is interested in becoming a Clean Energy Community.

New Clean Energy Coordinator Joins Mohawk Valley Team

In June 2018, Amy Wyant joined the Mohawk Valley Clean Energy Communities team.  Amy has an eclectic background that ranges from Microbial Ecology research to Systems Administration for a Social Justice Video Coalition in San Francisco, CA.  Currently, Amy is the CEO of Total Geekery, a local small business consulting firm with branches in Syracuse and Richfield Springs, NY. In her free time, Amy has been an integral part of forming and building the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative, along with previous Mohawk Valley Clean Energy Coordinator, Dan Sullivan.

As the Mohawk Valley Clean Energy Coordinator, Amy's main focus at the  Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD)  is providing technical assistance to municipalities in the six county region, through the Clean Energy Communities Program.  MVEDD also provides assistance to local businesses through gap lending. Cabryn Gurrdo administers the NYSERDA Community Energy Engagement Program (CEEP) from the MVEDD office.  CEEP assists residents as well as local businesses reduce their energy consumption and energy costs. MVEDD loan fund sources include the federal Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), federal Rural Development Agricultural funds, as well as New York State Job Development Authority Agriculture Loan funds.  MVEDD is also an arm of the federal EDA for infrastructure grants to local municipalities. 

Amy can be reached at  awyant@mvedd.org.

Village of Kinderhook Works Towards Clean Energy Communities Designation

Front Row: Nicole Heeder, Village Treasurer and Village Clerk. Back Row Left to Right: Bill Mancini of the Village CSCTF, Janice Eisen the owner of the Prius (1st customer), Larry Eisen, her spouse and Captain in the Village Volunteer Fire Department,  Rob Meehan of the Village DPW,  Deputy Mayor and CSCTF liaison Rich Phillips, Nate Becker of the Village DPW and Mayor Jim Dunham. Photo Credit: Siobhan Connally

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.

Town of Plattsburgh Invests Clean Energy Communities Award In Various Projects

The Town of Plattsburgh (Town) received a $100,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for completing at least four of the 10 High Impact Actions and qualifying as a Clean Energy Community.

  • Benchmarking -  Plattsburgh adopted a policy to record and report annual energy consumption at Town Hall, allowing it to be compared against other buildings and to better identify opportunities to cut energy waste.
  • Clean Fleets - Installed an EVCS.  
  • Solarize - Joined the Solarize Adirondack Coast campaign. The town used a $5,000 grant to work with two local companies to bring affordable residential solar to more than 20 households, for a total installation of 164 kilowatts.
  • Unified Solar Permit - Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to reduce costs and delays for solar projects in the jurisdiction. The town received a $2,500 incentive for this action.
  • Energy Code Enforcement TrainingTown of Plattsburgh code-enforcement officers and two other Town employees underwent training in best practices in energy code enforcement through collaborative plans reviews, and joint onsite inspections of local construction projects.
Left to Right: Meg LeFevre, Town Board Member and Deputy Supervisor; Michael Cashman, Town Supervisor; Trevor Cole, Senior Planner; Malana Tamer, Planning Technician

The Town is utilizing the $100,000 in grant money from NYSERDA to help fund four projects. 

Mid-Hudson Region Communities Round Up

  • Cost and Energy Savings: Many communities are converting their streetlights to LEDs and capturing significant cost and energy savings by doing so! Communities are aggregating their streetlighting projects in partnership with NYPA to bring costs down in several of our counties.
  •  Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) can provide significant assistance to your community, including provision of an LED Streetlighting Conversion Costs Analysis. This analysis outlines side-by-side the potential savings for LED conversion in both utility and municipally-owned conversion pathways, based on your community's current street lighting bills.
  • Contact HVRC today at (845) 564-4075 to sign-up for your free LED Streetlighting Conversion Costs Analysis!

Municipal Street Light Conversion Opportunity for Communities in the North Country Region

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 energy@adirondack.org.

Photo: ANCA Energy Circuit Rider Nancy Bernstein presents at the two-day workshop at the  Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College

April 19th Workshop in the Capital Region: How Your Community Can Engage with the Climate Smart Communities Program
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

Designated Eastern NY Clean Energy Communities 

A total of 96 communities have been named Clean Energy Communities in the Eastern NY Region. 

The following communities demonstrated their commitment to clean energy by participating  in the Clean Energy Communities Program. These communities completed at least four High Impact Actions to earn the Clean Energy Communities designation.

Capital Region
Ulster County
Town of New Castle
Village of Dobbs Ferry
City of Kingston
Town of Red Hook
Town of Rosendale
Village of Hastings-on-Hudson
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
City of White Plains
City of Yonkers
Town of Ossining
Town of Somers
Town of Marbletown
City of New Rochelle
City of Beacon
Town of Mamaroneck
City of Peekskill
Village of Goshen
Sullivan County
Town of Bethel
Orange County
Town of Bedford
Village of Mount Kisco
Town of New Paltz
Village of New Paltz
Town of Warwick
Village of Wappingers Falls
Village of Port Chester
Village of Brookville
Town of Saugerties
Town of Tusten
City of Rye
Village of Mamaroneck
Town of Cortlandt

Albany County
Town of Bethlehem
Schenectady County
City of Cohoes
Town of Niskayuna
Town of Knox
City of Albany
Town of Clifton Park
City of Glens Falls
Town of Hillsdale
Town of Ancram
City of Saratoga Springs
City of Watervliet
City of Troy
Village of Voorheesville
Town of Queensbury
Town of Edinburg
Town of New Scotland
Town of Catskill
town of Chatham
Town of Ghent
Village of Altamont
Town of Guilderland
Village of Philmont
City of Hudson
Town of Nassau
North Country
Mohawk Valley
Lewis County
Town of Franklin
Village of Canton
Town of Plattsburgh
Village of Champlain
Village of Saranac Lake
Town of Keene
Town of Black Brook
Town of Malone
Town of Westport
Town of Colton
St. Lawrence County
Town of Waddington
Town of Leyden
Town of St. Armand

City of Gloversville
Village of Ilion
City of Rome
Village of Boonville
Town of Charleston
Village of West Winfield
City of Amsterdam
Village of Canajoharie
City of Utica
Town of Winfield
Town of Northampton
Village of Northville
Village of Sharon Springs
Village of Waterville
City of Sherrill
Village of Herkimer
Otsego County
Fulton County
Village of Fort Plain
City of Oneonta
Village of Cherry Valley

For a full list of communities throughout New York State, visit the NYSERDA website.
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