While protecting the environment and providing low-cost renewable energy to consumers is the primary goal for going green, sometimes it’s nice to be recognized for the efforts made. Marbletown, NY recently received a new certification level as a Climate Smart Community. The Bronze Level certification is thanks in part to the local community solar projects that have increased the production and distribution of clean energy to consumers.
Climate Smart Community certification is used to indicate communities that have pledged to reduce their CO2 emissions. Typically, this includes forming a task force that strategizes how a town is going to tackle clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction. Marbletown recently joined New Paltz, Rhinebeck, and Saugerties, who all received the Climate Smart Community certification.
Once a plan is in place, the local government must then act on those plans. Along with local community solar projects, actions taken can include switching municipal buildings to solar power, changing street lights to LEDs, and offering ports for electric and hybrid vehicles.
When the town does take action, it can then be selected as a Climate Smart Community. For each additional action taken, the town can earn a new certification level to recognize its commitment to reducing carbon emissions and switching primarily to green, renewable energy.
Marbletown’s Environmental Conservation Commission chairman, Tom Konrad, discussed the town’s need to plan for the future and the role that climate control, like the local community solar projects, have in those plans. He went one to chastise the leaders of the United States for their inaction on climate control, stating it’s up to the state-level governments to take action.
Konrad then confirmed that taxpayers have not been responsible for paying for the changes made in Marbletown. Instead, the cost to the town for many of its actions has been offset by the savings that come with things like a local community solar project.