Photo by Teah Dowling
The village of Champlain is considering becoming a Clean Energy Community, in an attempt to implement clean energy actions and help improve the environment.
CHAMPLAIN — The village is considering to make a difference by becoming a Clean Energy Community.
The NYSERDA-sponsored initiative is a way to get New York communities to implement clean energy actions and help improve the environment.
Trustee Janet McFetridge asked the board last week to consider joining. The board agreed unanimously to continue discussions and gather more information.
To be eligible, the board must successfully complete four out of 10 of NYSERDA’s listed actions to help improve New York communities.
Right now, the village is leaning toward adopting a policy to report the energy use of buildings and training up to four officials in energy code best practices.
Village officials also want to focus on solar energy by updating the zoning laws to include the installation of ground and rooftop solar panels.
“It’s a smart way to save some money for the village and promote clean energy at the same time,” said McFetridge.
McFetridge put solar panels on her rooftop in September as part of the Solarize the Adirondack Coast Campaign, an initiative designed to make investing in solar power easier and more affordable for residents in Clinton and northern Essex counties.
“It was quite an investment,” she said. “But it’s worth it in the long run.”
McFetridge declined to comment how much money was put toward the panels because she didn’t want to disclose personal info. But she did say the investment will pay for itself in future savings.
The Peru Free Library went solar in 2009. Since then, the library has not paid one electric bill, said Library Director Becky Pace.
The village also discussed tackling other projects to save future funds, like switching all street lights over to LED.
Schuyler Falls is already in the process of making this change.
Supervisor Rick Potiker said the town plans on creating a resolution for next spring to gather prices on how much this switch would cost.
The town currently pays around $30,000 for electricity each year. Potiker said LED lights would drop that expense by about 80 percent.
“Over time,” he said, “electric bills will drop too.”
Potiker said while this change isn’t part of the Clean Energy Communities Program, he plans to look into the offering more.
Upon successful completion, participating municipalities will receive designation from the state and be eligible to apply for grants for future clean energy projects.
“We’re all trying to be environmentally conscious now,” Mayor Greg Martin said. “This program is a great way to start.”
Further discussion, along with a possible presentation, will take place during the next Champlain village board meeting on Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m.