Central N.Y. communities become clean energy destinations
Several Central New York communities are being recognized for town-wide green energy initiatives that are saving tax payers money.
The Village of Pulaski, the Town of Cazenovia and the Village of Cazenovia are eligible for $50,000 in state grants to continue alternative energy development, reports Syracuse University radio station WAER.
“There’s something for everybody here, whether you’re a hardcore environmentalist—these stepsare a positivein that sense—but even if you’re not, they just make good sense fiscally,”Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler said. “And I think by sort of setting the example as a municipality, that encourages your individual residents to then look for how they could do similar things with their own homes.”
Communities earn Clean Energy Designations by completing at least four green energy projects from a list provided by NYSERDA, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Cazenovia has applied for solar energy permits, is watching municipal energy usage and has installed electric car charging stations.
Wheeler said he hopes such projects will make the village a better, more efficient place to live going forward.
“All these things that we’ve done are certainly helpful for the environment, but they also make fiscal sense for our tax payers,” he said. “And they also, in the case of the car charging station, make us a more welcoming community for visitors. We see all these steps as really being a win-win on multiple fronts.”
In addition to making it easier for residents to install solar panels, the village plans to use a 200-kilowatt solar array to help power municipal buildings.
Local trustee and sustainability coordinator Dave Porter also says street lights, which comprise more than 50 percent of municipal energy usage, will be converted to LED within the next year. Porter finds that with NYSERDA’s help, it’s easier for New York communities to take their first steps toward sustainable living.
Porter says Cazenovia’s projects will pay for themselves in energy savings. Grants for future projects come from the Clean Energy Fund, part of the state’s goal to make 50 percent of New York’s energy green by 2030.
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