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Rockland County Achieves NYSERDA Clean Energy Community Status, Eyes Future with $5K Grant and Sustainable Innovations

Rockland County Executive Ed Day is please to announce that Rockland has officially been named a Clean Energy Community (CEC) by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) after completing four High Impact Actions within the CEC program and will receive a $5,000 Designation Grant. The four High Impact Actions completed are County Hosted Training – Clean Energy and Your Comprehensive Plan,  County Hosted Training – Overview of the Model Solar Energy Law, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing – Authorize Open C-Pace Locally, and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) – Projects.

The Designation Grant will be used to purchase electric landscaping equipment to be utilized by the Facilities Management division of the Department of General Services. A sampling of electric battery-operated equipment, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and weed trimmers, will be obtained to help the County determine how best to transition to the use of electric equipment for maintaining County grounds.

“Use of electric landscaping equipment will reduce the County’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce fuel costs, as well as result in health and environmental benefits for County residents and our hardworking employees. We will maximize this grant to prepare for the future at a minimal cost to local taxpayers,” said County Executive Ed Day. “We are committed to completing additional actions in both the Clean Energy Community and Climate Smart Community programs which will open up access to significant State and Federal grant funding opportunities.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “Congratulations to Rockland County on their designation as a NYSERDA Clean Energy Community which represents the intentional climate and clean energy efforts undertaken locally to lower carbon emissions and save energy costs. With the County’s leadership, residents will benefit from a cleaner, healthier and more affordable community to live and work in while laying the foundation to build a more sustainable tomorrow.”

“As the regional council of governments for the Mid-Hudson Region and the regional coordinator for the NYSERDA CEC Program, the Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) commends Rockland County for its clean energy and climate smart leadership. The County’s recent CEC Designation is a testament and affirmation of Rockland County’s past actions and leadership as well as its future commitment. HVRC congratulates Rockland County for taking these important clean energy actions to become CEC Designated and using their grant funding to pilot the transition to electric landscaping,” said HVRC Executive Director Carla Castillo.

Rockland also filed an application seeking $75,000 in funding from the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) FY23 Grant Program to support work on two CSC pledge elements:

  • Government Operations GHG Emissions Inventory –an accounting, analysis, and report of the GHG emissions resulting from the day-to-day operations of the County which will provide the data needed to set realistic goals and track progress toward reducing operating costs, energy use and emissions.
  • Government Operations Climate Action Plan (CAP) –a strategy document that sets goals and outlines a set of initiatives to reduce GHG emissions. The CAP will identify priority actions and facilitate coordination across government departments. A CAP will also track progress toward reducing operating costs, energy use, and emissions.

Rockland County became a registered CSC in 2010 and has made a commitment to becoming a certified CSC by taking action to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change.

In order to better support these future actions Rockland has created a new fulltime Sustainability Coordinator position within the Department of Planning and is currently seeking qualified applicants. For more information about this role including how to apply please visit the County’s Job Opportunities page.

“The new Sustainability Coordinator will be critical in reaching higher certification in both the Climate Smart Communities program and the Clean Energy Communities program. They will focus on coordinating the efforts of multiple departments and compiling the required documentation. Two of the first elements this position will focus on are the Government Operations Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory and Climate Action Plan (CAP) which will require significant coordination and organization,” concluded County Executive Day.

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