CHENANGO COUNTY – After months of working towards a clean energy community designation through New York State, Chenango County officials announced the county met the requirements and was recognized for its efforts by New York State.
According to county officials, Chenango County 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.
Officials said 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.
Chenango County received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative, said officials. In addition, they added, the designation gives Chenango County an opportunity to apply for up to $150,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
Chairman of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors Lawrence N. Wilcox spoke on the designation and said he was proud of the progress Chenango County made towards clean energy.
“We are proud to have Chenango County be designated a Clean Energy Community. Various County Departments, including Planning and Development, the Code Enforcement Division of Public Health, and Public Facilities, along with other partner organizations along the way, have worked hard to complete the four action items necessary for designation," said Wilcox. "We look forward to using this opportunity to make our County Offices more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.”
President and CEO of NYSERDA Alicia Barton also spoke on the designation and said Chenango County's recent designation is an example of how communities are stepping up to build a cleaner New York.
“The County of Chenango’s designation is the latest example of how communities in every corner of the state are stepping up to help build a cleaner, more sustainable New York,” said Barton. “I applaud the County for joining Governor Cuomo’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering energy costs, and ensuring the state meets our nation-leading renewable energy goals.”
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Chenango County completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
• Adopted a benchmarking policy to track energy usage at all County-owned buildings over 1,000 square feet.
• Participated in a community-based Solarize campaign with Southern Tier Solar Works to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.
• Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.