Clean Energy Communities Earn Green Designation and NYSERDA Grant Money
The Clean Energy Communities (CEC) Program offered by NYSERDA encourages municipalities in the state of New York to become sustainable through positive energy choices, and are being rewarded financially for doing so.
Local governments can use the NYSERDA program for energy system optimization to implement clean energy actions, save energy costs, and improve facilities for taxpayers. Energy System Optimization creates jobs and improves the environment. In addition to providing tools, resources, and technical assistance, the program recognizes and rewards leaders for the completion of the clean energy optimization projects.
“The intent of the CEC program is to get municipalities to become more efficient and more green — and the payoff for doing so can be quite substantial” said Greg Royer, an Account Executive at SmartWatt, a nationwide energy systems optimization company based out of New York state.
Depending on region and size of the municipality, green communities can receive $50K to $250K for additional energy optimization projects.
Most energy users pay a small percent System Benefit Charge (SBC) of their total utility bill each month into a state regulated fund to subsidize incentives like the CEC grant program. The CEC program is a great way to take those SBC dollars back and reinvest into the municipalities building infrastructure.
The program is administered by various non-profit organizations within each region, Royer explained. They help coordinate the process with local leaders to develop and prioritize clean energy goals, provide access and guidance to templates for legislation and contracts, and take advantage of funding and technical assistance.
Each participating community chooses four high impact action items from a list of 10 possibilities. The NYSERDA program is setup on a first come first served basis, so engaging a company like SmartWatt is helpful to insure access to the grant monies.