New York Adds $25 Million in Municipal Funding for Clean Energy Actions

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says $25 million in additional funding is now available under the state’s Clean Energy Communities Program for local municipalities to drive high-impact clean energy actions and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The program, which recognizes local clean energy leadership and provides implementation grants, helps reduce municipal energy use, lowers costs and offers additional support for projects in disadvantaged communities. This announcement supports the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85% by 2050.

“Advancing our climate and clean energy goals is a top priority as we experience the increasingly damaging impacts of climate change and extreme weather,” says Hochul. “This initiative provides critical support to municipalities leading by example with investments in cleaner, more efficient solutions that lower energy costs while ensuring a clear path to building community-wide resiliency and a more inclusive green economy for everyone, especially for those historically underserved.”

Administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Clean Energy Communities Program helps county, city, town and village governments identify and implement high-impact actions that save energy and cut costs. By achieving Clean Energy Communities designation, participants qualify for grants for additional clean energy projects. Through a network of regionally based Clean Energy Communities Coordinators, municipalities receive guidance to navigate the program and help in identifying, prioritizing and implementing the most effective strategies based on specific community needs.

With this additional funding, NYSERDA is expanding offerings to include more eligible project options and incentives as well as updating the program’s point system for high-impact actions. Each high-impact action is worth points that communities collect upon completion of the action. Grant levels will be based on the number of points earned as well as the community’s size. In addition, awarded projects in a New York state disadvantaged community can qualify for an additional 50% in funding for grants over $5,000.

Applications for the program will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 31, 2025, or until funds are exhausted, whichever is sooner. Grant applications will be accepted through an online portal at nyserda.ny.gov/CEC.

The expanded Clean Energy Communities Program will help more cities, counties, towns and villages join the more than 533 local governments that have already earned the Clean Energy Community designation. Since the program launched in 2016, more than 883 local governments across New York state have completed 3,836 high-impact actions through the program. The program also helps address persistent disparities due to the impacts of climate change in historically underserved and marginalized areas by providing additional incentives for disadvantaged communities.

Many communities that are designated NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities are also registered or certified Climate Smart Communities under the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges posed by climate change. New York state currently has over 400 local governments registered and certified as Climate Smart Communities across the state, representing more than 9 million New Yorkers.

The Clean Energy Communities Program is funded through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Clean Energy Fund (CEF).

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