Supports New York's Goal of 50 Percent of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources By 2030
Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - the Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Designated Communities Represent More Than 4 Million Residents Across the State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the City of Geneva in Ontario County is the 100th community in New York to be designated a Clean Energy Community, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy in its communities. This announcement complements Finger Lakes Forward, the regional economic blueprint aimed at attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation.
"Communities in every corner of this great state are stepping up to commit themselves to securing a cleaner tomorrow for current and future generations of New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "The City of Geneva has made major efforts to reduce energy use while promoting green alternatives in their community, setting an example for cities and towns across New York."
Announced by Governor Cuomo in August 2016, 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 strategy by demonstrating the importance of local governments and communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard mandate requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2030.
The 100 Clean Energy Communities represent more than 23 percent of the state's population and cover nine of 10 Regional Economic Development Council Regions. View a map showing all 100 Clean Energy Communities, actions completed and communities engaged in the Clean Energy Communities initiative.
While there are 100 designated Clean Energy Communities, more than 240 communities are participating in the Clean Energy Communities initiative, having completed at least one high-impact action. The following table highlights Clean Energy Community participation in each region of the state:
Designated Clean Energy Communities
Participating Communities (Completed At Least One Clean Energy Action Item)
Clean Energy Actions Completed
The City of Geneva received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives the City of Geneva an opportunity to apply for up to $50,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.
Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York Richard Kauffman said, "The Clean Energy Community initiative is demonstrating that municipalities and local governments can provide effective leadership in helping their communities reduce energy use and costs. Congratulations to these communities who now stand as role models of sustainability and are helping New York advance Governor Cuomo's ambitious energy strategy."
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, communities across the state are realizing the benefits of clean and renewable energy in reducing operational costs and carbon footprint. We applaud the City of Geneva and all the Clean Energy Communities for their commitment to building cleaner, more resilient neighborhoods for their residents."
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "I applaud the City of Geneva for its commitment to climate action and renewable energy, particularly how this community is engaging its employees and residents to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Geneva is expanding its reliance on clean, renewable power and is working hard to preserve its local character while bolstering the economy. I congratulate the city of Geneva on achieving this designation, and I hope others are inspired by their example."
Senator Pam Helming said, "Developing alternative energy and lessening our dependence on foreign oil is critical for the economic future of our entire region. I am proud of the many communities in my district that have worked aggressively to develop new, money saving energy projects. These measures will help protect our environment for future generations and drive job creation. The City of Geneva has clearly worked hard to earn this Clean Energy Community designation with a well-thought-out plan to achieve goals in reducing energy use, cutting costs, and developing clean energy. This designation shows the City's commitment to saving taxpayer money as well as being energy efficient. I commend Geneva Mayor Ron Alcock, City Manager Matt Horn, and the Geneva City Council. Geneva can now stand proudly as an example for other communities in our region."
Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb said, "I want to congratulate the City of Geneva and commend all those who worked so hard to achieve this tremendous recognition. Communities in the Finger Lakes understand that a healthy environment is critical to our industries, our economy and our quality of life. The City of Geneva's commitment to clean energy initiatives will help protect the natural landscape for generations to come."
The City of Geneva completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- Performed energy efficiency upgrades to the City's Waste Water Treatment Plant.
- Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.
- Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the City's municipal buildings
- Established 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.
Adam Blowers, City of Geneva Comptroller and Chair of the Staff Sustainability Team, said, "This is very exciting for Geneva to become New York's 100th Clean Energy Community. This has been a city-wide effort; we have a wonderful team in our City that is working to make Geneva as green as possible and City Council support to ensure that this kind of work is best for Geneva. Our residents have been very clear that this is the direction that they would like to see the City move in. We also want to thank NYSERDA for their support and encouragement throughout the process."
Additional clean energy action items communities can take to achieve designation include:
- Converting streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.
- Implementing Community Choice Aggregation to connect entire communities to supplies of clean energy like solar and wind.
- Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for developing a comprehensive program to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment.
- Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as plug-in hybrid and electric cars.
- Participating in a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing
- Streamlining local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.
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 in completing the actions.
Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.