Community Climate Action

 ULSTER COUNTY GOVERNMENT

  • The County is participating in the New York State Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Program, demonstrating its leadership by achieving Silver-level certification in 2016. The County also supports local community engagement with the CSC Program - **check the webpage see if your community is  participating in the CSC Program and link to your community's climate smart task force, conservation advisory committee, or other relevant advisory body.
  • The Government Operations Climate Action Plan (2019) sets a clear path forward to meeting the directives of the County Executive and County Legislature to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with operations by 25% by 2025, purchasing 100% renewable energy for government operations, and operating a carbon neutral government operation.  
  • The Ulster County Government Sustainability Initiatives Guide (2019) documents the County’s progress and achievements. Ulster County has been recognized for its innovative approach to environmental action. This guide provides information and documentation on both how we have gone about this significant body of work and what has been accomplished.
  • The County’s Green Fleet Initiative supports greening the County’s fleet and deployment of public charging stations county-wide.

RESIDENTS

Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy
  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Home energy efficiency and clean energy projects- including weatherization and upgrading to energy efficient and electric applicances- can save you money on your utility bills and reduce your home energy usage.
  • Solar
    • Onsite Solar System: A roof or ground mounted solar system has many benefits including generating renewable energy onsite and reducing the electricity you get from the grid. More information is available on NYSERDA’s How to Go Solar webpage.
    • Community Solar: If an onsite solar installation is not right for you, you can still support local solar development and save on your electric bills by subscribing to a community solar project in your community. Search NYSERDA's Community Solar webpage to find project community solar providers offering subscriptions near you. Additionally,  NYSERDA's Solar For All Program offers discounted community solar subcriptions to income-elibible New Yorkers.
  • Community Choice Aggregation
    • Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a municipal energy procurement model that replaces the utility as the default supplier of electricity for virtually all homes and small businesses within your jurisdiction. CCA puts control of choosing an energy supplier in local hands. By pooling demand, communities build the clout necessary to negotiate lower rates with private suppliers and are able to choose cleaner energy.
    • Several Ulster County communities are participating in the Hudson Valley Community Power CCA (these include the Town/Village of New Paltz and Marbletown) and several others are in various stages of considering participating in a CCA. 
Electric Vehicles (EVs) & EV Charging
  • Purchasing an EV can be the single most impactful action that most households may take to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. There are many other advantages to EVs as well, including very little routine maintenance (no more oil changes!), lower operational costs, and both state & federal rebates and tax incentives.
  • EV Models: See the Drive Change Drive Electric webpage.
  • Incentives
    • State: NY's Drive Clean Rebate is a point-of-sale rebate of up to $2,000 off the purchase or lease of a new electric car.
    • Federal Tax Credit: Up To $7,500. All-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased new in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. Check FuelEconomy.gov to find the federal rebate availability by EV make and model.
  • EV Charging: There is now a robust network of local and regional public EV charging stations, including the 20+ charging stations hosted by Ulster County. See the PlugShare map & the County’s EV Charging Stations webpage for more information. 
Electric Lawn & Garden Equipment
  • Electric equipment is quieter and, like EVs, doesn't require gas or oil changes! There are now many cordless options available for mowers, chain saws, blowers, trimmers, and other tools, and many brands offer interchangeable battery platforms. This Popular Mechanics article reviews several companies' offerings, and you can check out what products are available at your local hardware store.
Waste Reduction
  • The EPA estimates that food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 30% of our household garbage. If you have the outdoor space for a compost pile or bin onsite, you can keep these materials out of landfills by composting at home!
  • Visit the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency's Home Composting webpage for more information. Additionally, some local communities including New Paltz and Saugerties offer compost drop off programs at their transfer stations for residents.

BUSINESSES

Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy
  • Onsite Solar System: More information is available on NYSERDA’s Solar for Your Business webpage
  • Central Hudson Business Incentives: There are various incentives available for non-residential customers for:
    • Improving efficiency by one-for-one replacement of existing lighting fixtures and/or refrigeration motors and controls
    • Energy efficient improvements and the flexibility for lighting, HVAC, refrigeration and plug loads
    • Replacement of old kitchen equipment
    • Custom projects: implementation of energy efficiency projects beyond prescribed incentives
  • EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a free online tool you can use to measure and track building energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings (register here). You can use Portfolio Manager to manage the energy and water use of any building, all you need are your energy bills and some basic information about your building to get started.
  • Open C-PACE Financing: Ulster County is a member of the Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC). EIC’s member municipalities offer PACE financing to commercial and non-profit building owners to help pay for improved energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. PACE financing is a public benefit, authorized through state and local law, with repayment secured through a special assessment lien on the benefited property.
EVs & EV Charging
  • In addition to the NY Drive Clean Rebate (for purchase or lease of new electric vehicles), Charge Ready NY offers public and private organizations that install Level 2 EV charging stations at public parking facilities, workplaces, and multifamily apartment buildings rebates of $4,000 per charging port they install, a significant savings of 30 percent to 80 percent, depending on station and installation costs.
Waste Reduction
  • The County’s Waste Reduction webpage outlines several County laws which serve to reduce waste county-wide, including Skip the Straw; the Food Service Waste Reduction Act banning  polystyrene foam food and beverage food service ware; and the Food Waste Prevention and Recovery Act regulating large food scraps generators.
  • Food Waste: There are many benefits to reducing food waste. Visit the Food Waste Prevention & Recovery Act and the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency’s Food Waste webpages for more information and resources.