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Ithaca makes strides in electrifying commercial buildings

The City of Ithaca has announced a significant stride in its environmental initiatives under the Ithaca Green New Deal (IGND) with the electrification of 10 commercial buildings. This initiative, encompassing a diverse range of establishments from restaurants and retail to theaters and places of worship, represents a clean energy investment exceeding $1.9 million. Nearly $1.4 million of this investment is covered through state and federal incentives, demonstrating the city’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and advancing towards a sustainable future.

The electrification project, which is expected to avoid nearly 680 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, is a testament to the collaborative efforts of the City of Ithaca, BlocPower, and community partners. Rebecca Evans, City of Ithaca Director of Sustainability, highlighted the progress of the Electrify Ithaca program since 2022, praising the community leaders’ commitment to decarbonizing their operations. This initiative is not only a step towards achieving the goals of the IGND but also serves as an example for other communities to follow.

The project targets a wide range of buildings, including iconic locations like Gimme Coffee and the First Baptist Church, and is part of a broader effort to decarbonize the city’s “Built Environment” as outlined in the IGND Scorecard. BlocPower’s collaboration with New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) has been pivotal in securing the necessary incentives for these upgrades. The electrification of these buildings marks a crucial milestone for Ithaca’s sustainable development and serves as an inspiration for cities nationwide to undertake similar decarbonization efforts.