Saturday, October 14, 2023

NYSERDA Designates Town Of Jay A Clean Energy Community

Three converted Prius Plug-In Hybrids charging at San Francisco City Hall

NYSERDA has designated the Town of Jay a Clean Energy Community, which over time will help the community transition to cleanly produced electricity and become less reliant on fossil fuels.


To become a Clean Energy Community, the town met several state benchmarks, such as installing more efficient LED lighting, attending energy code enforcement training, adopting the NYS unified solar permit and adopting an energy benchmarking policy for municipal buildings.


NYSERDA, the New York Energy Research and Development Authority, rewarded the town with a $5,000 grant to be applied toward green-energy projects. The town will continue to work toward short- and long-term goals, including a community campaign to sign 10 residents up for community solar and encourage five residents to install air source heat pumps.


Jay Supervisor Matt Stanley said the initiative is part of an overall planning process to prepare Jay residents for the future in terms of energy, economy, community development and climate.

“Tropical Storm Irene showed us the value of planning and the need for resilience,” Stanley said. “With NYSERDA’s help, we’re working on becoming more energy efficient and encouraging Town of Jay residents to do the same.  As we work on updating our comprehensive plan, we will be incorporating more of these initiatives, through the use of our Climate Smart Task Force and input from our residents, that will provide new ideas and new opportunities.”


Community solar is an easy way for the community to participate. By signing up for community solar, power customers are effectively buying electricity, in the form of credits, from small solar arrays across the state.


Stanley said this allows power customers to participate in solar generation without installing panels themselves, which can be impractical for homes in wooded communities. Customers can realize cost savings with community solar with no change in service.


Heat pumps, meanwhile, are considerably more efficient than other heat sources, and are currently the beneficiary of state and federal tax credits. According to ADK Solar, heat pumps designed for northern climes are effective down to 15 below zero.


“Our goal is to educate people and help develop climate-smart and resilient communities,” said Town Board Member Knut Sauer. “This is all voluntary, we’re not making people do anything they don’t want to do.”


Nancy Bernstein, Energy Circuit Rider for the Adirondack North Country Association, said Jay can work next toward achieving Bronze Certification as a Climate Smart Community, which makes the community more attractive for further grants. Some communities have met these benchmarks by installing solar panels, purchasing electric vehicles or converting to battery-operated landscaping equipment. They also complete greenhouse gas inventories and climate vulnerability assessments, as well as engaging in waste reduction and organics management and community resilience planning.


To learn more about community solar or installation of heat pumps, residents are encouraged to call the Town of Jay at (518) 647-2204, or by emailing


Photo at top: The Town of Jay will use its designation as a Clean Energy Community to support a transition away from fossil fuels. Photo Credit: Felix Kramer (CalCars).

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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