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NYSERDA Announces Lewis County is First Community in
North Country Region to Earn Clean Energy Community Designation
06/30/17 05:00pm
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    Press Release:
    NYSERDA Announces Lewis County is First Community in North
    Country Region to Earn Clean Energy Community Designation

    Lewis County is recognized for its commitment to reduce energy consumption,
    cut costs and drive clean energy in its communities
    June 29, 2017

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
    today announced that Lewis County is the first community in the North Country
    Region designated a Clean Energy Community, recognizing its leadership in
    reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy adoption in its

    Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, 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 (REV) strategy by demonstrating the
    importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy
    Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy
    resources by 2030.

    Lewis County 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 Lewis County an
    opportunity to apply for up to $100,000 toward additional clean energy projects,
    with no local cost share. There are currently more than 70 Clean Energy
    Communities across New York State.

    Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, “Congratulations to Lewis
    County for driving broader adoption of renewables and clean technologies to
    reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Under Governor Cuomo’s
    leadership, the state is empowering municipal and community leaders to take
    control of their clean energy future and create more sustainable communities.”

    To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Lewis County completed
    the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Deployed an alternative fuel vehicle and an electric vehicle charging
    station to encourage clean transportation options.
  • Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use
    in the County’s municipal buildings.
  • Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the
    approvals process for local solar projects.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy
    code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal

    “Lewis County is proud and excited to be the first community in the North
    Country Region to obtain the CEC designation,” said Liz Swearingin, Lewis
    County Manager. “We are committed to striking the right balance between
    clean energy, a rural farming community and the natural beauty of our county
    which makes it a focal point for upstate tourism. This NYSERDA designation
    adds to the many other initiatives we have undertaken such as a two-megawatt
    solar farm and a New York State green infrastructure project which included
    LED lighting.”

    Lewis County is also currently in the design phase of a new state-of-the-art all-
    natural-gas heating boiler system at the County’s Department of Social
    Services building. The new boiler will replace an inefficient 30 year- old system
    and is expected to reduce more than 11,000 pounds of CO2 emissions

    "We applaud Lewis County for demonstrating leadership in the North Country
    by achieving Clean Energy Communities designation, says Amanda Lavigne,
    Energy Program Director at the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA).
    As the North Country's CEC Outreach Coordinator, ANCA is pleased to be
    working with NYSERDA to bring the significant cost-savings and sustainability
    benefits of sustainable clean energy to our region."

    Additional clean energy action items communities can take to achieve
    designation include:

  • Performing energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal
  • Undertaking a community-based Solarize campaign to reduce solar
    project costs through joint purchasing.
  • Earning Climate Smart Communities Certification by reducing the
    community’s impact on the environment.
  • Implementing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) where virtually all
    residents and businesses in the Town pool their demand for energy and
    take part in a bulk purchase of 100 percent clean, renewable electricity.
  • Establishing an Energize NY Finance Program that enables long-term,
    affordable financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
    at commercial buildings and not-for-profits in the Town.
  • Converting streetlights to energy efficient LED technology.

    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. 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

    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 for assistance navigating the program.

    About NYSERDA
    NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and
    analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New
    Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and
    reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the
    environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing
    partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since
    1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities,
    visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.

    About the Clean Energy Fund
    The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of
    New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean,
    resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. The CEF includes a
    focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to
    moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State's
    commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and
    drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. It is already
    delivering for New Yorkers. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has
    generated $2.7 million in positive net income as a result of $291.6 million in
    investments in clean energy transactions across New York – one year ahead of
    schedule. By generating revenue in excess of expenses, NY Green Bank’s
    positive net income will be re-invested for future transactions. Its $1 billion NY-
    Sun initiative has already helped facilitate an 800 percent increase in solar
    deployment over five years – while reducing customer collections by $1.5
    billion by 2025. The CEF supports New York's aggressive Clean Energy
    Standard requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable
    energy sources by 2030.

    About the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
    The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is the nation’s first program to use an
    innovative market-based mechanism to cap and cost-effectively reduce the
    carbon dioxide emissions that cause the climate to change, and New York
    State took a leadership role in adopting regulations that lowered the emissions
    cap. Emissions from power plants in New York State are down approximately
    45 percent since 2005, and auction proceeds from sale of the RGGI
    allowances have reduced electricity expenditures and created thousands of
    green energy sector jobs.

    About Reforming the Energy Vision
    Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy
    to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a
    cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by
    stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy
    efficiency and generating 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from
    renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven a nearly 800 percent
    growth in the statewide solar market, enabled over 105,000 low-income
    households to permanently cut their energy bills with energy efficiency, and
    created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech
    sectors. REV is ensuring New York State reduces statewide greenhouse gas
    emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally-recognized
    target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV,
    including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and
    innovation, please visit and follow us at @Rev4NY.