In April 2020, the Town Board of Austerlitz, NY, voted to become a Climate Smart Community (CSC). An important step in the CSC process is the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory. It is an accounting, analysis, and report of the GHG emissions resulting from the day-to-day operations of our town. The GHG Inventory Summary Report is a summary of this information for 2019, established as the baseline year. It includes Direct GHG emissions (natural gas, propane, or fuel oil and Indirect GHG emissions (purchased electricity). A copy of the report can be viewed here: GHG Inventory Summary Report and a hard copy can be viewed at the Town Hall.
Meetings: Every third Wednesday of the month at 7PM
Formed by the Town Board on August 17, 2017, the Austerlitz Climate Committee serves in an advisory capacity, making recommendations to the Board. There are two main objectives of the Climate Committee:
First, to identify ways in which town operations might reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The goal of the committee is to identify emission reduction opportunities and ways in which these actions could be funded.
Second, to identify ways in which town residents, businesses and agriculture might reduce their greenhouse emissions. Any recommendations from this objective would be advisory only. The committee is not chartered with mandating any action to the town or its residents. In addition, no changes to our zoning laws are expected from these efforts.
The Climate Committee has been instrumental in these important environmental actions:
● They secured funding from a private donor and renovated the new Town Hall building to be more energy efficient. The Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) encourages the adaptive reuse of existing historical buildings (EPA: Smart Growth). This reduces the high-energy costs of new construction. Our new Town Hall uses air source heat pumps, high levels of insulation, water-efficient fixtures, LED lighting, and a building energy management system.
● They installed a 22.12 kWh solar array on the Town Garage with the help of a NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research & Development Authority) grant. The remote meter for the array was turned on by Consolidated Communications to relay usage information to NYSEG on February 11, 2021. The reductions in GHG emissions and energy cost were immediate. March and April 2021 NYSEG bills compared to March and April 2019 NYSEG bills showed a 54% reduction in energy usage with the cost reduced by 74%.
● They installed an electric car charging station (Level 2 with two ports) in the Town Hall parking lot with a ZEV Rebate (Zero-Emissions Vehicle from the NYSDEC (Department of Environmental Conservation). This charging station is free and available for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
● They established the Austerlitz Climate Smart Task Force in April 2020. Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a NYS program that helps local governments take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. CSC is sponsored by seven NYS agencies and administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
● They secured funding from a private donor, hiring a Climate Smart Task Force Coordinator (DeeAnn Veeder) in March 2021 to achieve Bronze Certification in the NYS CSC Program. Each Board Member is fully involved in implementing ongoing CSC actions that address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen our local ecosystems.
The work of the Austerlitz Climate Committee and Climate Smart Task Force is good for the environment and your taxes!
Come to a meeting if you’d like to help address climate change right here in Austerlitz!
Check out our Facebook page: AusterlitznyClimate Committee
Website coming soon!