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Erie County designated as a 'Clean Energy Community'

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Mon, Nov 18th 2019 11:05 am

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority recognizes county’s leadership in reducing energy use, promoting clean energy

Erie County has been designated a “Clean Energy Community” by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, recognizing the county’s leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally. Erie County received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August 2016.

“Erie County is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations, as well as working with the community to reduce our countywide emissions. This is a global issue that requires participation from every level of government as well as businesses, individuals and families countywide,” Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. “It is important to note that many of these actions not only help to create a healthier environment, but are cost-saving measures as well, reducing energy consumption along with emissions. We will continue working towards a better, cleaner Erie County for the future.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Alicia Barton said, “I commend Erie County on this important designation and its leadership and commitment to helping its community and New York state achieve a sustainable clean energy future. Today’s announcement is a prime example of the pivotal role that local communities play in advancing clean energy solutions that support Gov. Cuomo’s nation-leading goals to fight climate change and transition to a carbon-neutral economy while stewarding our environment for future generations.”

“Clean Energy Communities” advance the governor’s “Green New Deal” by demonstrating the role communities play 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.

The “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.

To earn the “Clean Energy Community” designation, Erie County completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:

•Earned Climate Smart Communities Certification through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for developing a comprehensive program to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environment;

•Added electric vehicles into the Erie County fleet;

•Adopted a benchmarking policy to track and report the energy use of the county’s municipal buildings; and

•Participated in a community-based Solarize campaign with the WNY Sustainable Business Roundtable to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing.

Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated “Clean Energy Communities.” CEC coordinators are 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 technical assistance opportunities.

For more information on “Clean Energy Communities,” and additional clean energy action items communities can take to achieve the designation, 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.

For more information on Erie County climate and sustainability initiatives, click here.

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