NYSERDA and Central New York Planning and Development Board Announce Central New York Communities Complete More Than 240 High Impact Actions through Clean Energy Communities Program

Community Actions Represent Commitment to Reduce Energy Consumption, Cut Costs and Drive Clean Energy in its Communities

December 14, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Central New York Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) today announced that Central New York communities have completed 242 high impact clean energy actions as part of NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program. 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 that 50 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy resources by 2030.

Central New York is the first region in New York State to reach this milestone, with 108 municipalities participating in the Clean Energy Communities Program. Across the state, nearly 505 communities across the ten Regional Economic Development Council regions have completed more than 1,300 high impact actions through the program.

“Congratulations to Central New York’s Clean Energy Communities for taking real action to make their neighborhoods cleaner, greener and more energy efficient,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “This announcement marks another important milestone in New York’s efforts to deploy more renewable and efficient energy programs while reducing consumer energy costs under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, and demonstrates the impact individuals and municipalities can make by coming together to create a more sustainable future.”

The Central New York municipalities that have earned the Clean Energy Communities designation include:

  • City of Auburn
  • Village of Baldwinsville
  • Village of Canastota
  • Cayuga County
  • Town of Camillus
  • Town of Cazenovia
  • Village of Cazenovia
  • Town of Clay
  • Village of Cleveland
  • City of Cortland
  • Town of DeWitt
  • Village of East Syracuse
  • Village of Fair Haven
  • Village of Fayetteville
  • Town of Granby
  • Town of Hamilton
  • Town of Hannibal
  • Village of Hannibal
  • Village of Homer
  • Village of Jordan
  • Madison County
  • Village of Manlius
  • Village of Marcellus
  • Village of Minoa
  • Village of North Syracuse
  • City of Oneida
  • Town of Oswego
  • Village of Pulaski
  • Town of Richland
  • Town of Skaneateles
  • City of Syracuse
  • Village of Tully

“We are proud to have assisted Central New York municipalities in completing 242 High Impact Actions through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program,” said Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager of CNY RPDB. “By completing these actions, municipalities have reduced their energy use, saved money, and made Central New York sustainable.”

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

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. 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.

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-served basis until such funds are exhausted.

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 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 at https://esd.ny.gov/central-ny-rising-uriLink 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 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/REV4NYLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. and follow us at @Rev4NYLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

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