SCHENECTADY – The city has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and it also recently received Climate Smart Community certification from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, according to Mayor Gary McCarthy.
Announced by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in January, the second phase of the Clean Energy Communities initiative, the $17 million Clean Energy Communities Leadership Round supports and recognizes 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.
Achievements by Clean Energy Communities help support Cuomo’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals outlined under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
Schenectady received the CEC designation for completing four high-impact clean energy actions identified by the state authority as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative.
To date, Schenectady has completed seven high-impact actions and leads the Capital Region in the new Clean Energy Communities Leadership Round point-based system, with 2,100 points.
These high-impact action items include the city’s electric vehicle fleet, LED streetlights, Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, municipal solar arrays, and Climate Smart Community certification.
The Climate Smart Communities certification program was launched in 2014 to document and celebrate the accomplishments of communities taking climate action.
Schenectady received certification by completing a Greenhouse Gas Inventory to calculate emissions at the local level, and the city’s CSC Task Force completed a Climate Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan.
“The City of Schenectady has a proud and rich history of innovation,” McCarthy said. “In this spirit, it is critical that we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic efficiently and sustainably to strengthen our community and our environment for future generations to come. We are proud to receive this recognition and thank NYSERDA and DEC for their support of our local actions to lead the way on climate.”
“Municipal leadership in the fight against climate change creates a more sustainable future that benefits residents and businesses alike and strong community engagement creates a compelling wave of participation that inspires more residents to embrace cleaner, greener energy and transportation options,” said Doreen M. Harris, president and CEO of the state authority.
“DEC applauds the work of communities like Schenectady who are helping address the climate crisis by acting locally and bolstering New York State’s climate leadership by doing so,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “We look forward to working with Climate Smart Communities and other local leaders who are incorporating clean energy, climate resiliency, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, among other actions, in plans that benefit local residents and New York State.”
In 2018, Schenectady received national recognition by placing first in the United States Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Awards for energy and climate protection efforts, increased energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy, and reducing carbon emissions.