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Yates County gets Clean Energy Community distinction from New York State

Yates County announced it has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.

Announced by Governor Andrew M. 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 advance the Governor’s Green New Deal by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its goal of having a carbon-neutral economy as soon as practicable and a carbon-free power grid by 2040.

Yates County received the designation for completing four high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Yates County an opportunity to apply for funding up to $250,000, with no local cost share toward additional clean energy projects.

“By having our Building and Grounds Superintendent Joe Reed work with NYSERDA in achieving this designation, we are acting to both mitigate our environmental impact and save taxpayer dollars in the process,” added Yates County Administrator Winona Flynn, “It is the right thing to do for our environment and for our future.”

“These action items have already started yielding the County a reduction in utility usage and have given us a path to follow for continued reduction efforts,” Building Maintenance Supervisor Joseph Reed said.

To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Yates County completed high-impact clean energy actions, including clean energy upgrades, installing an electric vehicle charging station at the Penn Yan Public Library, benchmarking building utilities on the Energy Star website, energy code enforcement training and adopting the Energize NY Finance program.

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 with no local cost share and 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 until funds are exhausted.  Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

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