Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County has been designated a Clean Energy Community (CEC) by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
“We are pleased to receive this recognition from NYSERDA,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “The CEC program provides a wonderful example of what we can do to foster local climate and clean energy action, while saving local governments and residents money on their energy bills, creating local jobs and realizing the tremendous opportunities provided by expanding the green economy.”
Introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in August, 2016, the $16 million CEC initiative supports local governments across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Work on this initiative was led by the County Planning Department with key support from County Executive Neuhaus, the County Legislature and the County’s Department of Public Works. The County received the designation for completing the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- Adopting a Legislative Policy and Initiating Benchmarking of energy use of County buildings.
- Undertaking two community-based Solarize campaigns (in Warwick-Goshen and Countywide) to reduce solar installation project costs through joint purchasing.
- Earning Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Certification through actions reducing the community’s impact on the environment. Orange County was the first County in New York to earn CSC certification.
- Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-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 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.
“NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities program helps further the County’s goals of reducing energy consumption and encouraging clean energy use in our community,” said David Church, Orange County’s Commissioner of Planning. “We were the first County in New York to receive DEC Climate Smart Community Certification in 2013. This initiative builds upon and complements that recognition and is consistent with the goals of the County’s Comprehensive and Mid-Hudson Sustainability Plans.”
Added Alicia Barton, President and CEO of NYSERDA: “Congratulations to Orange County for demonstrating leadership in the Mid-Hudson Region by taking action to reduce energy costs and protect the environment. “Communities are at the heart of the state’s efforts, under Governor Cuomo, to build a cleaner, more resilient and sustainable New York for generations to come.”
For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec.