NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) oversees efforts to increase energy efficiency, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels in accordance with state policy. NYSERDA created the Clean Energy Communities Program to incentivize towns toward these goals and create green jobs.
The Austerlitz Climate Committee recommended to the Town Board projects needed to gain Clean Energy Community status and received formal approval for them. We achieved this status by meeting the following 4 out of 10 program requirements.
- First, with a grant from the DEC’s Zero Emission Vehicle Program (ZEV), we installed a vehicle charging station next to Town Hall.
- Second, the town adopted a Unified Solar Permit, which streamlines solar permitting for homeowners.
- Third, the Austerlitz building inspector was trained in new code that allows for energy efficient updates and construction, making him able to help residents navigate climate smart options for their homes.
- The fourth completed action was benchmarking, the tracking of municipal building energy use. Data that was collected in the benchmarking process is also being used to populate the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Tool, an action of the Climate Smart Communities Program.
We are proud of this success and excited to keep going!