Madison County today announced it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
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 strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Madison County received the designation for completing 4 of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Madison County an opportunity to apply for up to $250,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
“Madison County serves as an important role model for other local governments across the state that want to reduce energy costs and take control of their clean energy future,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Communities play an essential role in achieving Governor Cuomo’s clean energy strategy by reducing their carbon footprint and encouraging energy efficiency throughout their building stock.”
John Salka, Chairman of the Madison County Public Utility Service Committee said: “Madison County has long prided itself as a leader in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Clean Energy Communities Designation is the result of a number of Madison County departments working cooperatively to implement actions and strategies that have a positive impact on the environment. Designation through NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program is an honor and Madison County is proud to be one of only a handful of entities in Central New York to receive this designation.”
John M. Becker, Chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors said: “Stewardship of our beautiful landscape and abundant natural resources has always been a focus in Madison County. We are proud to be designated as one of the first Clean Energy Communities in Central New York because it acknowledges the hard work, innovative thinking, and collaboration amongst County staff, partner agencies and residents. This designation reflects our deep commitment to environmental stewardship for generations to come”
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Madison County completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the County’s municipal buildings.
- Undertook a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
- Earned Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the community’s impact on the environment.
- Established 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
Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least 4 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. 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.