Climate Committee Contact Info

The Town of Austerlitz Climate Committee has a new website. Please visit and don’t forget to bookmark it!

  • Jere Wrightsman

  • Climate Committee Chairman
  • email icon This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • home icon PO Box 238
  •       Spencertown, NY 12165


The Town of Austerlitz is proud to announce we are now a bronze certified Climate Smart Community.  One of only three towns in Columbia County, we are proud to show if we can do it, any town can.

CSC certified bronze



The Town of Austerlitz has approved a Community Solar Provider for the Solarize Austerlitz Campaign which will run from November 1st 2021 to October 2022. Astral Power, Inc has been recommended to Austerlitz enrollees in NYSERDA’s Community Solar Program. The board and the Climate Committee sub-group agreed that Astral Power had the advantage with regards to overall quality and marketing support. For example, the group was impressed with Astral Power’s dedicated focus on community solar. Astral also seemed more community oriented about outreach events. Austerlitz Town Board member Greg Vogler said, “the Town of Austerlitz has selected Astral Power to lead the Solarize Austerlitz campaign. Their vast experience and good reputation will help the people of Austerlitz in the fight against climate change, and save money while doing it. Austerlitz has a robust climate committee and getting solar power to all residents who want it is a prime objective, and this is a great way to achieve that.”
Solarize Austerlitz will highlight the advantages of Community Solar for Austerlitz Area residents and businesses. Supervisor Rob Lagonia stated, “The Solarize Austerlitz program is a great opportunity for the residents of the town to save money on their electricity bill while at the same time helping the environment. I recommend everyone check it out and see if it benefits you."
The key advantages of enrolling in Community Solar are the savings on electric charges and reduction of carbon emissions. The savings is passed to the utility account holder for supporting renewable energy produced in a remote location, without having to have solar panels on the home or in the yard. These discounts are available to renters as well.
A subscription to Community Solar requires no upfront costs, no credit checks or confusing billing. All billing is consolidated with the utility bill with net savings on the subscribers NYSEG bill.
When a resident or business owner subscribes to Community Solar, the utility (NYSEG) passes along “credits “to the subscriber’s utility bills as a separate line item which discounts supply and delivery charges. This savings can cut electricity costs by up to ten percent annually.
Astral Power is offering $100 (signing bonus) to the 1st fifty subscribers, and making a donation to the Austerlitz sustainability fund for each enrollment.

To sign up visit

Or call the Astral subscriber support line (866) 922-7335

The Town of Austerlitz Climate Committee has a new website. Please go to and don’t forget to bookmark it!

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!