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High Impact Action

Save energy, cut costs, and earn recognition

High Impact Action Items


NYSERDA developed a list of high-impact actions that local governments can take to save energy, cut costs, and earn designation. You must successfully complete four actions to become a designated Clean Energy Community.

Each high-impact action is worth points that communities collect upon completion of the action. To receive points for completing high-impact actions, you must submit documentation that verifies all requirements have been met. The points you earn count toward unlocking access to point-based grant funding. Certain high-impact energy actions are eligible for additional Action Grants.

Your regional Clean Energy Community Coordinator will review your goals and help you determine which actions are best for your community and how to access grant funding.


High Impact Actions

Earn points toward grant funding and designation

Unified Solar Permit: 200 points

Designed to streamline and expedite the approval process for installing solar in a community, the standardized permit is expected to cut costs as well as save time and resources by decreasing the overall installation time. View Toolkit

Energy Code Enforcement Training: 200 points

The Energy Code—a minimum building standard for energy efficiency—is applicable to new construction and renovation of commercial and residential buildings. Completing the training module gives communities opportunities for significant energy savings through improved energy code compliance. View Toolkit

PACE Financing: Up to 500 points

Municipalities can establish an Open C-PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing program that enables eligible commercially owned buildings to secure funds for renewable energy projects and upgrades. This financing structure is available for projects that aim to install permanent improvements. View Toolkit

Clean Energy Upgrades: 500 points

Municipalities are well positioned to save energy and money by replacing outdated equipment with new smart and efficient technology. Municipalities must achieve a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from municipal buildings. View Toolkit

Clean Heating and Cooling Demo: 700 points

Municipal facilities can demonstrate the benefits of transitioning from fossil fuel-based thermal energy to clean heating and cooling technology, such as utility bill savings, increased comfort, and a healthier work environment. Municipalities must convert a municipal facility to all electric with ground- or air-source heat pumps. View Toolkit

100% Renewables for Municipal Operations: 500 points

Communities can highlight their role as a leader in addressing climate change and protecting the environment by making the decision to purchase renewable energy for their municipal electricity needs. View Toolkit

Climate Smart Communities Certification: Up to 800 Points

The certification program provides a framework for local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build community resilience to climate change. View Toolkit

LED Streetlights: Up to 900 points

Communities can reduce their streetlight energy use by as much as 65% by installing energy-efficient LED lighting, generating cost savings and emission reduction. LED streetlights last longer and are easier to maintain. View Toolkit

Clean Fleets: Up to 1,000 points

Local governments throughout the State are investing in electric vehicles and infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants. Electric vehicles are more energy efficient and cost significantly less to operate than gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. View Toolkit

Benchmarking: Up to 1,100 points

Local governments can adopt a policy that requires annual reporting of energy used in buildings. Setting up a system for measuring and sharing energy use data helps identify opportunities to cut energy waste and associated costs. View Toolkit

County-Hosted Trainings: Up to 1,500 points

The County-Hosted Trainings high-impact action is designed to convene and help communities understand how to manage responsible clean energy development in their communities. View Toolkit

Community Choice Aggregation: Up to 2,000 points

Local governments can choose the source of their community’s energy supply while negotiating lower rates and ensuring a greater percentage of electricity comes from renewable sources. View Toolkit

Community Campaigns: Up to 3,800 points

Community Campaigns to promote program opportunities including community solar, electric vehicles, and clean heating and cooling can provide consumers with increased access to clean energy. Action grants are eligible up to $290K. View Toolkit

For detailed information on each of these actions, including requirements and recommendations, or to determine which actions are right for you, read the Guidance Document [PDF] or contact your Clean Energy Community Coordinator.


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