GALLATIN – The Town of Gallatin 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 Andrew M. 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 advance the governor’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its goal of having a carbon-free power grid by 2040 and achieving economy-wide carbon neutrality.
The Town of Gallatin 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 Gallatin an opportunity to apply for up to $30,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
Town Supervisor John Reilly noted at the recent board meeting that Gallatin has formed a residential committee to recommend use of the funds after reviewing several project candidates. Mr. Reilly also noted that receipt of the grant was due to efforts of the Town Clerk, board and concerned residents all acting quickly. In the recent past, Gallatin has always monitored energy opportunities, receiving grants to change to LED lighting in all buildings and continuing to study community solar opportunities. “The Town of Gallatin’s designation as a Clean Energy Community is just the latest example of how local communities are pursuing clean energy initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, in a press release. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York continues to prioritize support for municipalities seeking to become more sustainable while helping drive progress towards reducing emissions and overall energy costs.”
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the town completed the following high-impact clean energy actions: performed energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades including installing new LED lighting and heat pumps in municipal buildings to achieve a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the town’s municipal buildings; streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the state Unified Solar Permit; completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officers.
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 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The Gallatin 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 against Lafarge North America, Inc.
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.