Climate Smart Claverack’s projects, both current and completed, are described below. We are excited to share the work of our committee and hope that it inspires you to join us in our efforts to help Claverack become a town that acts in the best interests of its residents and the planet.
Heat Pump Campaign
Climate Smart Claverack participates in the Regional Clean Heating, Cooling, and Energy Efficiency Campaign which is sponsored by the Columbia County Climate Smart Task Force and Capital District Heat Smart. The campaign provides information on current technologies on heating and cooling and can link interested persons with NYSERDA approved vendors to evaluate their options. Heat Pumps are an important technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs for heating and cooling in homes and buildings. Information on low income subsidies as well as tax incentives is available.
The Capital District Heat Smart website has much more information on heat pump technology, program incentives, installers, how to enroll, and how to contact a program staff.
Municipal Climate Action Plan
A climate action plan (CAP) is a strategy document that sets goals and outlines initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. When we initiate a CAP, we are identifying the ways in which our Town can reduce carbon-based emissions. These emissions vary according to the type of energy we use in the operation of municipal buildings, the type of materials used to construct those government buildings, how our municipal vehicle fleets are powered, and how other types of government land and infrastructure are managed, such as parks and outdoor lighting.
We reported last year that in 2020 the Town conducted its first GHG inventory. This serves as the benchmark for the accounting and analysis of emissions moving forward. Using this data, the CAP establishes goals to reduce these emissions, and develops a timeline and an action plan to achieve the goals. The action plan includes a series of projects in several primary areas of municipal management – building management, the management of government vehicles and other equipment, and in waste management.
The CAP must be developed as a collaborative process in which the Town board and municipal officials endorse and commit to the goals, action plan and timeline, and it should help to facilitate coordination in meeting these goals across Town departments. In addition, the CAP establishes methods for assessing progress and methods to adjust the local strategy if GHG targets are surpassed or not fulfilled. Ultimately, the process of developing and following a CAP helps to increase the ability of the Town to operate efficiently and use taxpayer resources even more effectively than already employed.
Solarize Claverack is an exciting community solar opportunity that allows homeowners, renters and businesses to purchase their electricity from local solar farms. This is ideal for people whose locations are not suited for solar panels, who do not want to install panels or who do not own the building in which they reside or work but still pay for the utility.
This initiative is organized through Columbia County and you can find more information and details about signing up here.
Solarize Claverack was sponsored by the Town of Claverack, The Columbia County Board of Supervisors and the Climate Smart Communities Committees of both the Town and the County.
We are focused on bringing sustainable practices and resources to people who own or manage gardens or land. We host community education events throughout the year and continuously post valuable resources. We encourage the planting of native species and the utilization of local garden centers and experts. The Land Stewardship page contains videos of past events and information about why and how to manage land for biodiversity and ecosystem regeneration.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
In 2021, the Claverack Climate Smart Committee and the Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) completed an inventory of the 2019 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the associated costs for Claverack’s operations. The GHG Inventory found that the largest sources of both costs and emissions were from the vehicle fleet, heating fuel oil for the garage and the streetlights. Click here to read the full report.
This Inventory acts as a guide, highlighting the most cost effective and climate conscious choices when the Town Board needs to make decisions about Claverack’s future operations.