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NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities

On August 3, 2016, Governor Cuomo announced the launch of the Clean Energy Communities program, a $16-million initiative to help local governments across the state reduce energy consumption and drive clean energy use in their communities. The Clean Energy Communities Program (CEC) provides grants, direct technical support to communities, and recognition to local governments that demonstrate leadership in the area of clean energy.


NYSERDA has identified ten high-impact actions that local governments can take to save money, foster a vibrant economy, and improve the environment.  By completing four of the ten high-impact actions, the applying jurisdiction can earn the Clean Energy Community designation as well as become eligible for a first-come-first-served grant, with no local cost share, to support additional clean energy projects.  To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, at least two of the high-impact actions must be completed after August 1, 2016.

Remaining grants for CNY municipalities are as follows:

*All Block 3 grants have been reserved at this time.

Municipalities in CNY that have completed four action items and been designated Clean Energy Communities are noted below in order of designation, along with grant amounts reserved.

Small/Medium Municipalities:                                                                   

  1. Minoa Village - $100,000

  2. DeWitt Town - $100,000

  3. Canastota Village - $100,000

  4. Marcellus Village - $100,000

  5. Pulaski Village - $50,000

  6. Cazenovia Town - $50,000

  7. Cazenovia Village - $50,000

  8. Richland Town - $50,000

  9. Skaneateles Town - $50,000

  10. Cortland City - $50,000

  11. Fayetteville Village - $50,000

  12. Hamilton Town - $50,000

  13. Fair Haven Village - $50,000

  14. Auburn City - $50,000

  15. Oneida City - $5,000

  16. Homer Village - $5,000

  17. Oswego Town - $5,000

  18. Granby Town - $5,000

  19. East Syracuse Village - $5,000

  20. Cleveland Village - $5,000

  21. Hannibal Village - $5,000

  22. Baldwinsville Village - $5,000

  23. Jordan Village - $5,000

  24. Hannibal Town - $5,000

  25. Manlius Village - $5,000

  26. Camillus Town - $5,000

  27. North Syracuse Village - $5,000

  28. Tully Village - $5,000

  29. Solvay Village - $5,000

  30. Fabius Town - $5,000

  31. Port Byron Village - $5,000

  32. Geddes Town - $5,000

  33. Sterling Town - $5,000

  34. Phoenix Village - $5,000

  35. Owasco Town - $5,000

  36. Camillus Village - $5,000

  37. Marcellus Town - $5,000

  38. Nelson Town - $5,000

  39. Weedsport Village - $5,000

  40. Cayuga Village - $5,000

  41. Fulton City - $5,000

  42. Brutus Town - $5,000

  43. Elbridge Town - $5,000

  44. Eaton Town - $5,000

  45. Oswego City - $5,000

  46. Manlius Town - $5,000

Large Municipalities:

  1. Madison County - $250,000

  2. Cayuga County - $250,000

  3. Clay Town - $150,000

  4. Syracuse City - $150,000

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Dedicated and knowledgeable local Clean Energy Coordinators, including the CNY RPDB, are available to applicants to provide on-demand technical assistance, step-by-step guidance, case studies, model ordinances, project development support and other tools and resources. To access this support in CNY, please contact Chris Carrick at For municipalities outside of CNY, please send an email to or visit for more information.

Designated Clean Energy Communities and participating communities in CNY

Indoor LED lighting in the Marcellus Village Hall.
The Village received credit for the Clean Energy Upgrades High Impact Action by converting indoor lighting to LED and achieving a 10% emissions reduction in municipal buildings.

High-Impact Actions include:

1. Benchmarking energy use​​: Pass a resolution to make available to the public on the internet on an annual basis energy use information for municipal buildings over 1,000 square feet OR pass legislation requiring benchmarking by owners of commercial and multifamily buildings 25,000 square feet or larger. Utilize Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager tool online to collect and analyze data.

2. Clean Energy Upgrades: Reduce municipal building emissions by 10% through clean energy upgrades or renewable energy projects completed since January 1, 2014.

3. LED Street Lights: Convert at least 50% of cobra-head luminaires to LED.​

4. Clean Fleets: Install at least one CNG fueling station or EV charging station with two or more Level 2 charging ports, OR deploy at least one EV or CNG vehicle in the municipal fleet.

5. Solarize, Clean Heating and Cooling, or Solar for All campaign: Directly participate in a Solarize, Clean Heating and Cooling, or Solar for All campaign(s) since 1/1/2014 and meet the minimum requirement of customers for the type of campaign as per NYSERDA’s Guidance Document. 

Minoa - Street light and bucket.png

Crews converting streetlights to LED in the Village of Minoa

City of Auburn charging station installed at Lincoln Street Parking Garage. The City received credit for the Clean Fleets High Impact Action by installing a dual head level 2 charging station.

6. Unified Solar Permit: Adopt the revised NYS Unified Solar Permit (released in October 2016), a streamlined building and electrical permit for rooftop solar PV systems of 25 kW or smaller. 

7. Energy Code Enforcement Training: Participate in NYSERDA’s approved Code Enforcement Training program. For large municipalities, this includes two plan reviews and two onsite inspection of current building projects. The local Code Enforcement Officer and at least two other municipal staff must participate in the preliminary and close-out meetings. For small/medium municipalities, the Code Enforcement Officer must participate in a day-long training series including both residential and commercial workshops.


8. Climate Smart Communities Certification: Become a Certified Climate Smart Community at the certified bronze, silver, or gold level.


9. Community Choice Aggregation: Adopt legislation authorizing an opt-out CCA program and execute an electric service agreement between the applying jurisdiction and an Energy Services Company (ESCO) that is a default 100% renewable clean energy product mix.


10. Energize NY PACE Financing: Adopt Energize NY PACE financing (for municipalities with tax lien authority only).

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