The State of New York has officially designated the Town of Pittsford as a “Clean Energy Community.” The Town earned this award by undertaking and completing four initiatives that the State deems to have a “high impact” on reducing energy use and carbon emissions, cutting costs and driving use of clean energy locally. Completing all four successfully was required for the State’s “clean energy” designation.
“A guiding principle of Pittsford’s Town Board has been preserving our Town’s character while pioneering its future,” said Town Councilman Matt O’Connor, project lead for the Town’s Clean Energy Community initiative. “We’re tremendously proud to have put this principle into practice in this particular way, by accomplishing the goals to earn designation as a Clean Energy Community.”
Already the Town has won a State grant of $2,500 for its work on one of the “high impact” actions under the Clean Energy Communities program. Now, as an officially recognized Clean Energy Community, Pittsford has become eligible for additional state grants of up to $50,000, to put toward additional clean energy projects. The Town is currently working on the next steps.
“This designation by the State marks the beginning of our latest Clean Energy effort, not the end,” Councilman O’Connor continued. “We’re already moving ahead on opportunities to replace municipal cobra-style street lights in the Town with high efficiency LED lights. And there are other worthwhile projects on the horizon.”
The Town received its designation for completing the following high impact clean energy actions:
Energy Benchmarking – this goal required adopting and implementing a Town policy for tracking energy usage and expense for each of the Town’s municipal buildings. The Town Board adopted such a policy on May 16, 2017.
Energy Code Enforcement Training – fulfilling this goal required NYSERDA-approved training of the Town’s code compliance officers in best practices for energy code enforcement. The process involved training, collaborative plan review and joint onsite inspections of local construction projects with NYSERDA. Town code enforcement officers completed this training June 27.
Unified Solar Permitting Process – to complete this goal the Town put into place as of July 18 a solar permitting process that makes solar energy systems installation easier and less expensive for homeowners by reducing the burden of permitting and compliance for building solar systems. In recognition of this accomplishment, the State recently awarded Pittsford a grant of $2,500.
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation – on September 19, 2017, the Town unveiled an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at the North Main Street entrance of the parking lot behind the Pittsford Community Library. The free-of-cost EV station can charge two vehicles at a time. Each vehicle can be charged for up to four hours at a time.
The State adopted the Clean Energy Communities initiative in order to encourage local governments throughout New York to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects and to support them in that effort. The program is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
Grant funds are being provided through New York State’s Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec.