Hillsdale Receives $80,000 Grant for its Clean Energy Initiatives

Hillsdale Receives $80,000 Grant for its Clean Energy Initiatives

The Town of Hillsdale has received an $80,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Peter Cipkowski, Hillsdale Town Supervisor, said, “The grant money will be used to take additional steps to reduce the Town’s energy costs and its dependence on fossil fuels to heat and power Town buildings.”

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.

Cipkowski said the Town was proud to be recognized as a clean energy leader. “I hope all of our residents take a moment to congratulate Hillsdale’s Clean Energy Committee for applying for the grant and for putting Hillsdale on the map in the area of energy conservation.”

“Congratulations to the Town of Hillsdale for its strong commitment to reducing energy use, decreasing harmful emissions, and cutting operating costs in the community,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “At the heart of the state’s efforts, under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, are the cities, towns, and villages that are taking control of their clean energy future and helping build a cleaner, more sustainable New York.”

Hillsdale was first in Columbia County to be designated a Clean Energy Community after successfully completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities Initiative . The Town:

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 New York State Unified Solar Permit.

Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement training for the Town’s code officer.

Installed an electrical vehicle charging station that will provide free energy ‘fill ups’ to residents and visitors for the next two years through a grant it received from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

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 DEC for developing a comprehensive program to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment.

  • Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term, affordable Property Assessed Clean Energy financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at commercial buildings and not-for-profits.
  • Participating in a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce the solar project costs through joint purchasing.
  • Converting streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.

Supervisor Cipkowski said that Hillsdale will use this money to further invest in significant energy saving projects. These projects are:

  • Changing all the Town’s street lights from incandescent to LED fixtures. Making this change can result in a 65 percent reduction in the Town’s current street lighting costs.
  • Installing solar panels on the Town Highway Garage to further reduce the cost of the Town’s energy usage.

Cipkowski also said that “NYSERDA recently approved the contract to proceed with the two projects, which will go out to bid shortly. Work should be completed by late 2019 and at that point we can expect to see significant reductions in the Town’s energy consumption,” he said.

“My hope is that town residents will be inspired by these efforts and undertake their own steps to reduce their energy costs,” said Cipkowski. “Not only will they save money, but together they will be making a significant contribution to a clean environment, which is one of the factors that draws people to Hillsdale as wonderful place to live and to visit,” he said.

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.