State and Local Climate and Energy Program
Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program
Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties, New York
Federal Funding: $497,793
Project Timeline: February 2010 – December 2013
The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) is working with seven municipalities to finalize greenhouse gas emission inventories, develop Climate Action Plans, host community engagement events, and implement clean energy demonstration projects. The City of Syracuse and the Town of DeWitt released draft inventories and are beginning to develop their Climate Action Plans. The Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program (C2IP) staff members are working to finalize the greenhouse gas inventories of the Town of Preble, the Village of Skaneateles, the City of Oswego, and the City of Cortland. A ribbon-cutting event was held to celebrate the completion of the Town of Preble's demonstration project, an energy retrofit to the Town's historic 1906 two-room schoolhouse now used as the Town Hall and Post Office. As a result of the project, the facility will completely eliminate its need for fossil fuel combustion on site. CNY RPDB staff is also continuing to provide the Village of Skaneateles, the City of Cortland, and the City of Oswego with technical assistance for their demonstration projects including construction to develop a net-zero LEED-certified municipal building and upgrades to a municipal wastewater treatment facility. CNY RPDB coordinated with solar contractors to support the launch of the Solarize Madison Initiative, designed to streamline the solar energy installation process in Madison County. Additionally, CNY RPDB is continuing to work with participants of the second round of the Central New York Energy Challenge Team pilot program.
Combining Financial Incentives and Technical Assistance to Make Climate Change Innovation Possible
The Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program aims to improve energy efficiency in municipal operations, increase the use renewable energy, and encourage land use and transportation policies that manage GHG emissions and reduce vehicle miles traveled. The Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) will achieve these goals by:
- providing energy reduction, renewable energy, and climate change management sub-grants to local governments, and
- providing technical assistance through education programs and outreach materials to local government staff.
Each year, the Innovation Program awards competitive sub-grants to three local governments to support energy efficiency retrofits, measures to introduce alternative-fuel vehicles and fueling systems, vehicle travel reduction projects, transportation efficiency improvements, and feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. One grant is reserved for a local government with a population of less than 10,000 people to ensure expertise is also developed in small Central New York municipalities. Priority is given to environmental justice areas designated by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Innovation Program provides technical assistance to local governments grantees. These grantees are required to develop a climate protection plan, apply for technical assistance through programs offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and learn how to use no-cost evaluation tools such as ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager. The Innovation Program encourages these governments to adopt community planning controls to support GHG emission reductions from local residents, businesses, and institutions. To help them meet these requirements, CNY RPDB provides technical assistance throughout the process and publishes a Municipal Energy Planning Guide to highlight case studies of grantee projects.
The benefits of the Innovation Program include reducing energy use and GHG emissions, and improving local government capacity to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate action planning measures will also reduce air pollutants, produce energy cost savings, and help educate the public. The Innovation Program's model — coupling financial incentives and technical assistance with a focus on land-use planning and public education — could be replicated in other regions, and will strengthen existing partnerships with NYSERDA, and with regional energy management personnel.
|Area:||3,622 square miles|
|Government Type:||Regional Council|
|Community Type:||Urban and Rural|
|Median Household Income:||$42,000 to $50,000|
|Reported Results (as of September 2012)||Projected Cumulative Results|
|Annual GHG Reductions||0 mt CO2e||576 mt CO2e|
|Annual Electricity Savings||0 MWh||4,211 MWh|
|Local Governments Assisted||8||9|
- Central New York Energy Challenge Website
- Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board's Energy Management Program
- Bright Idea, 2/8/2012
- Central New York Selected for US EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant Award, 6/16/2010
- Climate Change Is Real, Official Says In Announcing $500,000 Grant to CNY, 6/14/2010
- EPA Awards Half a Million Dollars to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution in Central New York, 6/14/2010