The Town of Canaan has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), 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 and a carbon-free power grid by 2040.

The Town of Canaan 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 the Town an opportunity to apply for up to $35,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share.

Supervisor Rick Keaveney notes: “We’re very happy with the Clean Energy Community designation, and we’re looking forward to grant funding to further our part in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”

 “The growing number of Clean Energy Communities across the state is indicative of the strong commitment from our local governments to help New York combat climate change and reduce harmful emissions,” Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said. “I applaud the Town of Canaan for joining in Governor Cuomo’s vision to building a more sustainable New York and more robust clean energy ecosystem.”

To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Canaan completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

  • Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the Town’s municipal buildings.
  • Performed energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to municipal buildings to achieve 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit.
  • Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for the Town’s Code Officer.

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

  • Implementing Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) so residents can gain greater choice and control over energy use a group.
  • 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.
  • Participating in a Solarize Campaign, to encourage homeowners to install solar panels
  • Establishing 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.
  • Installing electric vehicle charging stations and using alternative fuel vehicles, such as hybrid and electric cars, for municipal business.

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 navigating the program.