The City of Hudson, New York has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
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 communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard mandate of having half of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
The City of Hudson 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 City of Hudson an opportunity to apply for up to $35,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
The City of Hudson’s Fourth Ward Alderman, Rich “Trixie” Volo, Chair of both the Economic Development Committee and the City’s Tourism Board stated, “The City of Hudson’s designation as a Clean Energy Community was an important priority. This status proves the City’s commitment to clean energy and gives the City of Hudson access to grant money for clean energy projects. A special thank you to Craig Haig, Code Enforcement officer, for his help in making this possible and helping to get the tasks done.”
“The City of Hudson’s designation is the latest example of how communities in every corner of the state are stepping up to build a cleaner, more sustainable New York, “said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “I applaud the City for joining Governor Cuomo’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering energy costs and ensuring the state meets our renewable energy goals.”
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the City of Hudson completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- Benchmarking – Adopted a policy to report the energy use of buildings.
- Unified Solar Permit – Streamlined the approval process for solar installations.
- Energy Code Enforcement Training – Trained compliance officers in energy code best practices.
- Energize New York Finance – Offered energy upgrade financing to businesses and non-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. 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.
The City of Hudson grant is supported by Lafarge Mitigation Funds, which are available for local governments in Albany, Rensselaer, Columbia and Greene counties. This additional funding is made available through the settlement of a lawsuit by the State of New York against Lafarge North America, Inc.
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.
- Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
- Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars, for municipal business.
- Converting streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
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.
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 navigating the program.