NYSERDA Announces Town of Veteran Earns the Clean Energy Community Designation

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

March 23, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that the Town of Veteran has been designated a Clean Energy Community, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in its communities. This announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the regional economic blueprint aimed at attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation.

Announced by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities 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 local governments and communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard mandate requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2030.

The Town of Veteran is the first Clean Energy Community in Chemung County and 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 the Town an opportunity to apply for up to $50,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Congratulations to the Town of Veteran for its active leadership in reducing energy use and driving integration of clean energy across the community. As the state advances Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading energy strategy, communities are playing a crucial role in establishing a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for generations to come.”

The Town of Veteran completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the Town’s municipal buildings.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officers.
  • Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.
  • Installed an electric vehicle charging station at Veteran Town Hall.

“By participating in the Clean Energy Communities initiative and completing our high-impact energy actions, the Town of Veteran will benefit through significant energy and cost savings,” said Bill Winkky, Veteran Town Supervisor. “We are always interested in being innovative so there is a lot of potential value here to the Town and its residents.”

“I am excited that the Town of Veteran is emerging as a pioneer of energy conservation and renewable energy projects in Chemung County,” said Katherine Herleman, Clean Energy Communities Coordinator, Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties and Energy Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. “Community leaders have understood from the very beginning of their participation in the Clean Energy Communities initiative, that conserving energy strengthens the financial position of Southern Tier communities that wish to preserve their pastoral character and conserve natural resources by responsibly embracing new energy infrastructure.”

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

  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings.
  • Converting streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
  • Implementing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) so residents can gain greater choice and control over energy use a group.
  • Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for developing a comprehensive program to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment.
  • Participating in a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
  • 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.

Cities, counties, towns and villages 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 and 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. Grant funds are being provided as part of the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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.

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 in completing the actions.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. This initiative is focused on innovation, vigorous business growth and to creating an environment aimed at attracting the best and brightest talent to the region. The State has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan which includes investing in key industries such as advanced manufacturing, food and agriculture and in efforts that support the greater Binghamton innovation ecosystem. Today, unemployment across the state is near the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. The $500 million “Southern Tier Soaring” Upstate Revitalization Initiative announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015 will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 10,200 new jobs. More information is available hereLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

About the Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) 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. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State's commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $27.6 million in positive net income as a result of $457.5 million in investments in clean energy transactions across New York . Its $1 billion NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1,000 percent increase in solar deployment since 2011. The CEF supports New York's ambitious Clean Energy Standard requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

About the 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.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven growth of more than 1,000 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit rev.ny.gov, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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