NYSERDA Announces Spencerport is First Community in Finger Lakes Region to Earn Clean Energy Community Designation

Village is recognized for its commitment to reduce energy consumption, cut costs and drive clean energy in its communities

Investment Complements the Successful “Finger Lakes Forward” Initiative – The Region’s Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities

June 01, 2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that Spencerport is the first community in the Finger Lakes Region to be designated a Clean Energy Community, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in its communities. This designation is supported by the Finger Lakes Forward initiative which is the overall regional plan designed to attract a talented workforce, grow business and drive innovation.

Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its goal of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.

Spencerport received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Spencerport an opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share. There are currently 49 designated Clean Energy Communities across New York State.

John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “Congratulations to the Village of Spencerport on this significant accomplishment and for its leadership in driving clean energy and energy efficiency across the community. Communities play a key role in Governor Cuomo’s REV strategy to ensure a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers.”

To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Spencerport completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Converted streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
  • Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the Village’s municipal buildings.
  • Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.
  • Installed an electric vehicle charging station to encourage clean transportation options.

 “We are proud to have received the Clean Energy Community designation from NYSERDA,” said Gary Penders, Mayor, Village of Spencerport. “The Village of Spencerport will now be working to identify clean energy projects to cut costs and reduce energy consumption in our community.”

Spencerport has a history of clean energy leadership by deploying three alternative hybrid vehicles in its municipality fleet, installing solar on the Village Office and converting to LED lighting within municipal buildings.

Additional clean energy action items communities can take to achieve designation include:

  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings.
  • Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
  • Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the community’s impact on the environment.
  • Completing energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.
  • 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 for not-for-profits
  • Implementing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) so residents can gain greater choice and control over energy use as a group

Cities, counties, towns and villages with 40,000 residents or more that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 with no local cost share with the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects. Those with fewer than 40,000 residents are eligible to apply for up to $100,000.

At least two of the four actions must have been completed after August 1, 2016. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through September 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Clean Energy Community Coordinators are also available at no charge to support cash- or resource-strapped communities to 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. 

For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec. Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance navigating the program.

Finger Lakes Forward

Today's announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” a blueprint to generate economic growth by building upon the region’s recent progress and investing in key industries, including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. An historic $500 million State investment in the Finger Lakes region through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015, is leveraging more than $2.5 billion in private investment, creating thousands of jobs and providing the basis to create a highly successful and diverse 21st century economy. More information is available here.

About Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund is a core component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. It is designed to deliver on New York State’s commitment to reduce ratepayer collections, drive economic development, and accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation. It includes a minimum of $234 million in funding over the first three years to support clean energy opportunities specifically to benefit low- to moderate-income communities throughout the State. The CEF also supports the aggressive Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

About Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative (RGGI)

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the nation’s first program to use an innovative market-based mechanism to cap and cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause the climate to change, and New York State took a leadership role in adopting regulations that lowered the emissions cap. Emissions from power plants in New York State are down approximately 45 percent since 2005, and auction proceeds from sale of the RGGI allowances have reduced electricity expenditures and created thousands of green energy sector jobs.


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 reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

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