NYSERDA Announces Village of Churchville, Town of Batavia, and Town of Starkey Earn Clean Energy Community Designation

NYSERDA Announces Village of Churchville, Town of Batavia, and Town of Starkey Earn Clean Energy Community Designation

Communities are Recognized for
Their Commitment to Reduce Energy
Consumption, Cut Costs and Drive Clean Energy

August 01, 2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced the Village of Churchville, Town of Batavia, and Town of Starkey have been designated Clean Energy Communities, recognizing their leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in their communities. This designation is supported by the Finger Lakes Forward initiative, which is the overall regional plan designed to attract a talented workforce, grow business and drive innovation.

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 (REV) 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.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Congratulations to the Village of Churchville, Town of Batavia, and the Town of Starkey for their commitment to driving local clean energy actions to reduce costs and protect the environment. Our communities are pivotal to advancing Governor Cuomo’s aggressive energy strategy and ensuring a cleaner, more resilient energy future for all New Yorkers.”

The three Finger Lakes communities received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy action items identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives each of the communities an opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share. There are currently more than 85 Clean Energy Communities across the State.

Village of Churchville
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Village of Churchville completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the Village’s municipal buildings.
  • Converted more than half the Village’s streetlights to energy efficient LED lighting.
  • Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.
  • Installed an Electric Vehicle Charging Station to encourage clean transportation options.

“Through our participation in the Clean Energy Community initiative, we are able to continue providing methods for energy conservation and the increased use of clean energy,” said Village of Churchville Mayor, Nancy Steedman. “I am very proud of our village for achieving this designation and we remain committed to advancing our clean energy efforts into the future.”

Town of Batavia
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Batavia completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the Town’s municipal buildings.
  • Converted more than half the Town’s streetlights to energy efficient LED lighting.
  • Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.

“It has always been the Town's focus to help ensure that the character of the County and its abundant natural resources are intact and able to facilitate continued economic and community development to protect quality of life for all residents today and tomorrow,” said Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory H. Post. “Through the efforts of my board, my staff, and our community partners, the Town of Batavia has established the Green Genesee Smart Genesee Project, adopted the Green Action Plan, and will be moving full steam ahead to ensure that this community continues to be the place that people want to work and live."

Town of Starkey
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Starkey completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the Town’s municipal buildings.
  • Deployed an Electric Vehicle in the Town’s vehicle fleet.
  • Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.

“After a 2013 survey of town residents found strong support to protect air and water quality, the Town of Starkey made a strong commitment to utilize clean energy and cut costs,” said George Lawson, Town Supervisor. “We are proud of this designation and are committed to providing a cleaner, greener environment for our community.”

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 with the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects. Those with fewer than 40,000 residents are eligible to apply for up to $100,000. 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.

Finger Lakes Forward

Today's announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” a blueprint to generate economic growth by building upon the region’s recent progress and investing in key industries, including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. An historic $500 million State investment in the Finger Lakes region through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015, is leveraging more than $2.5 billion in private investment, creating thousands of jobs and providing the basis to create a highly successful and diverse 21st century economy. More information is available here.

About Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund is a core component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. It is designed to deliver on New York State’s commitment to reduce ratepayer collections, drive economic development, and accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation. It includes a minimum of $234 million in funding over the first three years to support clean energy opportunities specifically to benefit low- to moderate-income communities throughout the State. The CEF also supports the aggressive Clean Energy Standard, which requires that 50 percent of the State’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

About the Regional Greenhouse Gas initiative (RGGI)

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the nation’s first program to use an innovative market-based mechanism to cap and cost-effectively reduce the carbon dioxide emissions that cause the climate to change, and New York State took a leadership role in adopting regulations that lowered the emissions cap. Emissions from power plants in New York State are down approximately 45 percent since 2005, and auction proceeds from sale of the RGGI allowances have reduced electricity expenditures and created thousands of green energy sector jobs.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY and follow us at @Rev4NY.

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