GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 200 COMMUNITIES HAVE EARNED CLEAN ENERGY COMMUNITY DESIGNATION
More Than 200 Communities Across the State Have Completed More Than 1,250 Clean Energy Actions
Clean Energy Communities Initiative Recognized by Clean Energy States Alliance with the 2018 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award
Supports New York's Goal of 50 Percent of Electricity from Renewable Sources and 40 Percent Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2030
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than 200 communities across the state have earned the Clean Energy Community designation, completing more than 1,250 total high-impact clean energy actions. The 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.
Announced by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local governments across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities.
Overall, the 1,255 high-impact clean energy action items were completed by communities representing more than 86 percent of the state's population in 60 counties and all 10 Economic Development Council regions. Some of the largest communities across New York State have been designated Clean Energy Communities, including the City of New York, Albany County, St. Lawrence County, Suffolk County and the Town of Hempstead. View a map showing Clean Energy Communities, actions completed and communities engaged in the Clean Energy Communities initiative.
More than 450 communities are participating in the Clean Energy Communities initiative and have completed at least one high-impact action. The following table highlights participation in each region of the state:
Town of Hillsdale, Town of Ancram, Town of Catskill, town of Chatham, Town of Ghent, Village of Philmont, City of Hudson
Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated as Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 to finance additional clean energy projects. Areas with fewer than 40,000 residents are eligible to apply for up to $100,000 in funding. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through September 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Grant funds are being provided as part of the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The 10 High Impact Actions local governments can to take to earn a Clean Energy Community designation and qualify to apply for grant funding include:
- Benchmarking energy use at municipal and large privately-owned buildings;
- Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings;
- Replacing street lights with energy-efficient LED lighting;
- Streamlining local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the NYS Unified Solar Permit;
- Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing;
- Providing energy code enforcement training to code officers;
- Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the community's impact on the environment;
- Passing a local law to allow aggregation of residents to gain greater choice and control over energy use as a group (called Community Choice Aggregation);
- Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars, for municipal business; and
- Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits.
Clean Energy Community Coordinators are also available at no charge to help communities develop and prioritize clean energy goals; access easy-to-use resources, such as guidance documents and case studies; and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.