Loan program gets nod

Will open up low-cost financing

FONDA — The Montgomery County Legislature Tuesday voted to authorize the Energize N.Y. Benefit Financing Program, which will open up low-cost financing for energy efficiency improvements for commercial and multi-family homes.

The loan program will be administered by a not-for-profit entity called the Energy Improvement Corp. and will provide financing of up to 10 percent of the property value of qualified applicants seeking loan money for energy efficiency projects.

Montgomery County Senior Planner Amanda Bearcroft said the loan program will be open to properties in the 10 towns and 10 villages of Montgomery County, but not the city of Amsterdam, because the city’s population size puts it into a different state funding category. She said the Energy Improvement Corp. will determine if applicants are eligible using rules explained in the county’s resolution to authorize the financing program. The full text of the legislation can be found at www.co.montgomery.ny.us.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said the New York state Energy and Research Development Authority wants municipalities to do four of 10 “high impact actions” in order to be designated a “Clean Energy Community,” which will open up additional state funding.

“There are a number of things the state was looking for us to do. Having a loan program such as this is one of them,” he said. “I don’t know how much [the loan pool] will be used, but it’s one of those things; they wanted to see this, this and this and it will open up some funding.”

Bearcroft said NYSERDA will provide up to $250,000 in no-match grant funding for the purpose of energy improvement projects on municipal property. She says Montgomery County could really use the money.

“Because all of our buildings are old and everything seems to be failing all at once,” she said. “In the old courthouse [which houses the Montgomery County Economic Development Department] the boiler went last January. I mean, windows, lighting, it can be used for anything that essentially lowers your energy bills overall.”

Bearcroft said she’s been working on making sure Montgomery County completes at least four of NYSERDA’s action items, with the Energize N.Y. Benefit Financing Program being one of them. She said Montgomery County has already completed the “Benchmarking” NYSERDA action item, which is involves the annual reporting of energy used in local government buildings. The other items being worked on include the “Clean Fleets” action, which includes the installation of a two-port electric charging station on county property and the “Clean Energy Upgrades” item, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent through the installation of more energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

A complete list of the NYSERDA Clean Energy Community action items is available online: www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Clean-Energy-Communities/Action-Items.

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