NYSERDA Announces Village of East Syracuse Earns the Clean Energy Community Designation

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

April 26, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced that the Village of East Syracuse 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 Central NY Rising, 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 Village of East Syracuse received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative.
 
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “I commend the Village of East Syracuse on this notable accomplishment and for driving local clean energy efforts in the Central New York Region that will help reduce energy costs and improve the environment. New York’s Clean Energy Communities are setting a valuable example for the rest of the state as we advance Governor’s Cuomo’s comprehensive energy strategy to build a more sustainable energy future for all.”
 
The Village of East Syracuse completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the City’s municipal buildings.
  • Converted streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
  • Streamlined local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officers.

“We are so excited for this designation by the state. This would not have been possible without the assistance of Amanda Mazzoni from the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board and we thank her for her continued support of the Village,” said Robert Tackman, Mayor of Village of East Syracuse. “We have found it an important effort to continue finding ways to improve our energy use for our residents. The projects and incentives we have put into place over the past year have made it possible for the Village to find ways to save on our energy usage. The savings have also in turn saved us thousands of dollars in energy costs as a Village entity.”

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

  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings.
  • 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.
  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric cars, for municipal business.
  • 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.
  • Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.

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 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.

Once all funding is exhausted for large or small/medium categories in a region, local governments designated a Clean Energy Community, are eligible to apply for a $5,000 grant, on a first-come, first-serve basis until such funds are exhausted.

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 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 Central NY Rising  
Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.

About the 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 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 generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State 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, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

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