A Climate Smart Community –
A Climate Smart Community – The New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program is a network of New York communities engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resilience. Municipalities become involved with the CSC Program by adopting the CSC Pledge, which includes 10 elements that lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and provide guidance on climate change adaptation. Municipalities can opt to participate in the Climate Smart Certification Program, which has four certification levels: certified, bronze, silver and gold. Communities can access technical support and funding opportunities to reach their certification goals.
The City of Kingston achieved Bronze Climate Smart Community certification in 2014, and now Silver certification in 2018, both the highest levels achieved by any municipality in New York State. Kingston has completed a variety of adaptation and mitigation strategies to achieve this level, including appointing a commission, conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory and creating a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan outlines strategies and actions for the city to take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set a goal for energy use reduction of 20% by 2020. For more information, visit the Climate Smart Kingston webpage, and view Kingston’s Climate Smart Communities Profile. In 2018, the City will be updating our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, tracking our progress, and understanding the road ahead toward achieving our goals.
To take the City’s commitment even further, in 2017, the City adopted Resolution #179 of 2017: Resolution of the Common Council of the City of Kingston, NY Committing to 100% Clean Energy by 2050 and Continuing Support of the Principles of the Paris Agreement.
A Clean Energy Community – An initiative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Clean Energy Communities Program provides funding and technical support to communities that are implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects. A community must complete four out of the 10 High Impact Actions that save energy and money, and contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions, to achieve the Clean Energy Community designation.
In 2017 the City of Kingston became the first city in New York to be designated a Clean Energy Community.
To earn the designation, the city by completed the following high-impact actions:
- Establishing a Clean Fleet by adding electric vehicles (EV) to the city fleet.
- Implementing a Benchmarking initiative that establishes a policy of data collection on energy use in
municipal buildings to identify opportunities to cut energy waste. The Environmental Protection
Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager Program is a tool that the City of Kingston uses to benchmark
the performance of municipal buildings.
- Establishing the Energize NY Finance program, a loan to help commercial and non-profit property
owners to tackle energy upgrades and renewable energy projects. The loan is repaid through a special
charge on the property tax bill.
- Earning Climate Smart Community certification. As an added incentive for receiving Clean Energy
Community certification, the City was awarded $100,000 by NYSERDA to complete an energy or
sustainability project (see CEC Grant in Table 1).
- In addition to these actions, Kingston is also a solar-friendly community. In 2015, the City of Kingston
participated in the Solarize Hudson Valley campaign, which was designed to make it easier for
households and small businesses to go solar. The Solarize Kingston campaign has ended, but residents
can access a Solar Guidebook and Kingston’s Solar Permit here.