Town looks for energy baseline for future efficiency steps
The town will audit the electricity and fuel now being used in municipal buildings, with an eye to being able to assess energysaving efficiencies to come.
At a Town Board meeting last week, Councilwoman Jennifer Metzger said the study is part of town participation in the state Energy Research and Development Authority Clean Energies Program. “It is essentially tracking the energy performance of the town’s buildings ... that are over 1,000 square feet,” she said.
Buildings to be reviewed are the former Rosendale Elementary School — now used for town offices as the Rondout Municipal Center — the Rosendale Recreation Center, the town highway garage and the town Highway Department offices. “It’s pretty straightforward,” Metzger said. “There’s already a benchmarking ... computer program.
The department heads that are responsible for the buildings, in collaboration with our town clerk, who have access to all the utility bills, will be cooperating in putting these annual reports together.”
State officials have established 10 types of programs and studies that municipalities can undertake to qualify for grants. Included are:
• Annual reports on energy use in the building.
• Upgrade facilities to achieve a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
• Convert to LED street lights.
• Install electric vehicle charging stations or update municipal vehicles that use alternative fuels.
• Initiate a local campaign to increase the use of rooftop solar arrays.
• Adopt a local policy that makes it easier for property owners to install solar equipment.
• Become certified as a Climate Smart Communities municipality.
• Participate in a community choice aggregation program that allows local selection of the type of electricity that is purchased by property owners.
• Offer energy upgrade financing to businesses and non-profit organizations.
Rosendale has already updated its planning regulations to simplify solar equipment applications and approved training for the Building Department to be certified under the Climate Smart program.
Board members said that a review of electric charging stations would be reviewed next month.
“We have to take part in at least four high-impact actions to be in the running for this funding,” Metzger said.