How is the Town addressing climate change?
Commitment to Sustainable Energy
In 2018, the NYS Energy Research Development Agency (“NYSERDA”) recognized the Town as a “Clean Energy Community” based upon the Town’s clean energy initiatives in: (1) adopting the State’s unified building permit application for building solar installations; (2) utilizing NYSERDA’s software to monitor the Town’s energy usage; and (3) installing a free EV dual charging station at Town Hall. The Town used a NYSERDA grant to convert Town Hall and parking lot lighting to LED.
In 2019, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation recognized the Town as a “Climate Smart Community.” The Town has pledged to address the effects of climate change by enacting climate-smart land use principles, setting goals for climate action, decreasing energy use and shifting to renewable energy.
In 2019, the Town partnered in a community solar installation in Amsterdam which has resulted in substantial energy credits from National Grid. The Town also recently issued a request for proposals for a solar facility at the Town’s closed landfill.
Open Space Preservation
The Town has over 700 acres of open space with over 200 of these acres acquired in the past three years. This open space will allow creation of a “green infrastructure” of multi-use trails connecting neighborhoods, schools, and businesses, and protecting stream corridors, see www.timesunion.com/news/article/Rail-Trail-grows-in-Guilderland-12969841.php. This open space was cited in ranking the Town as the “most desirable” upstate community by young adults, see www.timesunion.com/photogallery/article/Guilderland-rated-most-desirable-for-young-13172050.php.
As recommended in a 2017 neighborhood study, the Town created a Transit-Oriented Development District (“TOD”) which focuses upon CDTA’s
regional transit center at Crossgates Mall and the underutilized ring road with direct access to the interstate highway system. The TOD District encourages sustainable development with more dense residential development within walking distance of the transit center and shopping.
In 2019, the Town established a new water connection with Rotterdam with a pump station designed to allow water flow in both directions between the two communities. This municipal interconnection is the latest Town effort to diversify water sources to meet an ever-increasing demand for our growing Town. This new water resource will substantially reduce electricity and chemical treatments costs at the Town’s water filtration plant.
What other actions is the Town considering to address climate change?
Community Choice Aggregation
The Town is now exploring the Community Choice Aggregation (“CCA”) program which would allow the Town to purchase electric power on behalf of residents from an alternative energy supplier while still receiving delivery service from National Grid. The CCA supports the use of renewable energy. The Town has joined with Bethlehem, New Scotland, and Voorheesville in this effort.
Conversion of Street Lights to LED
The Town is working with the NYS Power Authority on purchasing more than 600 street luminaries from National Grid and converting them to LED. To reduce costs, the Town is partnering with New Scotland, Altamont and Voorheesville on a combined effort to maintain the LED lights.
Conservation Easement Program
The Town Board has commenced a Conservation Easement (“CE”) program which provides property tax benefits to owners interested in protecting farmlands and sensitive areas. The CE program complements the Town’s other environmental tools including planned unit developments, conservation subdivisions, and open space acquisitions.