City gets Clean Energy honor

GLOVERSVILLE — The city has been certified as a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Third Ward Supervisor Vincent DeSantis said that the city was awarded the designation on Tuesday. DeSantis said he was notified by Dan Sullivan of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District.

DeSantis said the city is the first in the MVEDD to be awarded the designation.

“In order to do that, you need to take certain measures that promote energy savings and conservation in the community, and as a city government to do your part,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said the city qualified by meeting four of 10 measures NYSERDA looks at when awarding the designation: Adopting a unified solar permit; monitoring energy use monthly and yearly; the joint Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Wastewater Treatment Facilities owning a Chevy Volt electric vehicle; and building inspections in the city recommending energy saving build outs.

For getting the designation, the city will get $2,700 incentive bonus, along with being eligible for up to $100,000 for any energy saving measure.

DeSantis said the city may be eligible in future years for the money.

DeSantis said the city is hoping to take the $100,000 in grant money and pay for energy upgrades done through a National Grid program.

In August, the city contracted with SmartWatt Energy to do an energy audit. The program is run through National Grid. It allows municipalities to contract with the utility agency for upgrades, with SmartWatt functioning as a contractor.

DeSantis said the funds could be used for upgrades to city buildings and upgrading city street lights.

The cost of the renovations is paid for by the savings the municipality sees.

“It doesn’t cost out of pocket, anything to the city,” DeSantis said. “Once the whole project is paid for, then the city realize the entire savings.”

If the savings don’t equal what was quoted in the audit to the municipality, SmartWatt would make up the difference.

“They guarantee the savings,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said the Clean Energy Community Grant could be used to pay off this project and realize the savings sooner.

The scope of the work includes lighting upgrades to LED bulbs on city and agency owned street lights and at Littauer Field, installing an energy management system and improvements to City Hall’s “building envelope” which would include weatherstripping, roof gaps and issues with doors. An upgrade of HVAC systems, including conversion of electric heaters to natural gas, would also be included. Another energy-saving move would see the lights in the vending machines being turned off when the building is unoccupied.

DeSantis said he hopes to see the SmartWatt project upgrades start soon.