Climate Smart Communities (CSC) is a New York State program that supports local governments in leading their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the effects of climate change, and thrive in a green economy. The benefits of participating include leadership recognition, free technical assistance, and access to grants. Local governments participate by signing a voluntary pledge and using the CSC framework to guide progress toward creating attractive, healthy, and equitable places to live, work, and play.
The Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program provides the tools and resources needed to create a healthy and sustainable environment by investing in future-focused clean energy solutions. The CEC program allows communities to earn points for every high-impact action it completes. As a community earns more points, it becomes eligible for larger grant amounts. Communities need not need to be a designated CEC community to access point-based grant funding.
At the November 9, 2020 meeting of the Town Board, the following resolution was adopted:
IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that Town/Village/City/County of Taghkanic, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate, adopts the New York State Climate Smart Communities pledge, which comprises the following ten elements:
(Read the full resolution here.)
On July 15, 2021 the town held its first organizing meeting of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force, and tentatively appointed the following community members: Larry Kadish as the Climate Smart Communities Task Force Coordinator; Perry Ascher, Doug Craig, Anna Kadish, Tim Kennelty, Scott Marinoff, Tony LaSalvia, Robert Brush, Peter Paden, David Koehler and Joyce Thompson as initial members, and Elisabeth Albert as Town Board representative. The membership of the Task Force was codified officially by Town resolution in November 2022.
Understanding the sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and establishing a GHG baseline are critical first steps in the local climate action process. Baseline 2021 & 2022 data for the Town Hall and Highway Department Garage were recorded and these data will be tracked and recorded on this page annually to monitor our effort to reduce GHG emissions.
Buildings account for about 32% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York State. Building energy benchmarking involves tracking energy use, measuring performance over time, and comparing building performance against similar buildings and against expected performance under the same climatic conditions. Benchmarking helps building owners and managers identify opportunities to reduce emissions, cut energy waste, drive continuous improvement, and quantify energy savings. When used for government buildings, energy benchmarking typically involves annually reporting and publicly disclosing the data.
This annual report is used to track energy performance for municipal buildings and has been created in compliance with a Resolution passed on November 12, 2018. Comparisons between annual reports can provide insights into energy use, including potential cost savings. This report includes only municipal buildings larger than 1,000 sq. ft.
This table provides basic information about each municipal building over 1,000 sq. ft. in size.
|Property Name||Address||Gross Property Area (ft2)|
|Town Hall||909 State Route 82||2,511|
|Highway Garage||1877 County Route 27||4,725|
The ENERGY STAR Score is a measure of how well your property is performing relative to similar properties, when normalized for climate and operational characteristics. A 1-100 scale is used so that 1 represents the worst performing buildings and 100 represents the best performing buildings. A score may not be available for certain properties because of use type or insufficient information.
|Property Name||Energy Star Score|
The Site Energy Use divided by the property square foot. Site Energy is the annual amount of all the energy your property consumes onsite, as reported on your utility bills. Use Site Energy to understand how the energy use for an individual property has changed over time.
|Property Name||Site EUI (kBtu/ft2)|
Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. This number includes both direct greenhouse gases, which comes from burning fossil fuels like oil, propane and natural gas, and indirect emissions like electricity.
|Property Name||Total GHG Emissions (Metric Tons CO2)|
It is important for local governments to have complete, accurate information about the vehicles they own and operate. In our case, the "Fleet" is the various vehicles in the Highway Department. These heavy duty vehicles are notorious for the low MPG they achieve. Nevertheless, as these are replace with newer alternatives, we may see their efficiency increase. This information will be tracked here.
This table provides basic information about each vehicle (D, diesel; G, gas), and is to be updated each August by the Climate Smart Communities Task Force, in cooperation with the Taghkanic Highway Department.
|2016 INT Work Star 7500 Dump, 4WD, D, > 8500lbs||Plow/Wing||$227242||Good||2016||8||81827||HD|
|2016 GMC Pickup, 4WD, G > 8500lbs||Plow/Sand||$36850||Good||2016||12||145293||MD|
|2011 Chevy 1 Ton w/Dump, 4WD, G > 8500lbs||Plow||$33000||Fair||2016||12||114673||MD|
|2015 Caterpillar Backhoe 415F2, 4WD, D > 8500lbs||$86155||Good||2015||6||1461 hrs||HD|
|1988 Case Tractor 685, 2WD, D < 8500lbs||Broom||$28000||Good||2015||6||n/a||MD|
|2005 INT Dump INT, 2WD, D > 8500lbs||Plow/Sand||$98000||Poor||2005||8||86327||HD|
|2006 INT Dump INT, 2WD, D > 8500lbs||Plow/Sand||$116266||Good||2006||8||81827||HD|
|2009 Doosan Loader, AWD, D > 8500lbs||$106601||Fair||2009||6||6537 hrs||HD|
|1991 INT 595 Tractor, 2WD, D > 8500lbs||Mower||$12500||Poor||1991||6||n/a||MD|
|2014 Dresser 3/5 Ton Roller, Roll, D > 8500lbs||Roller||$3300||Good||2014||n/a||n/a||HD|
|2017 INT Work Star 7500, 2WD, D > 8500lbs||Plow/Wing||$191520||Excel||2017||8||19745||HD|
|2007 Volvo Grader, 4WD, D > 8500lbs||$191520||Good||2017||8||7557 hrs||HD|
|2004 Kenworth T-800 Tri-axle, D > 8500lbs||$114000||Good||2004||6||n/a||HD|
|1985 Blaw-Knox PF150, 2WD, D > 8500lbs||$ ---||Fair||1985||4||n/a||HD|
|2022 ZTR BadBoy, G, 2WD, < 8500lbs||Mower||$4500||Excel||2022||10||10 hrs||LD|
|1992 Eager Beaver Chipper, D, < 8500lbs||Chipper||$6000||Poor||1992||n/a||2644 hrs||LD|
In February 2022, the Task Force held a town-wide public information presentation on heat pump technology. In New York State, which aims to generate 70% of its electrical energy from renewable sources by 2030, heat pumps offer a means to both eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from oil-based heating systems and to use renewable electrical resources more efficiently. As we learned at the presentation, which was attended by over 40 town residents, the newest generation of heat pump technology has impressive heating capacity at winter temperatures down to 0°F, as well as cooling efficiency in hot summer months that surpasses conventional central or window-unit air conditioners.
In June this year (2022) the Town Board voted to install heat pumps in the Taghkanic Town Hall, which at the time was served by oil-based heating and window air conditioning units. The work involved the installation of a total of 4 Mitsubishi air-source heat pumps, two upstairs and two downstairs.
After application of a rebate program issued through National Grid in the amount of $7,896, the total cost for the project was $21,311. As a result of completing the community solar project (above) and achieving the designation as a Climate Smart Community, the Town was invited by NYSERDA to apply for a $5000 Action Grant and a second $5000 Designation Grant. The applications were successful, and the Town was awarded both grants and received the sum of $10,000. This money was applied to the cost of the heat pump system, which reduced the overall cost to the Town to $11,311.
The conversion to heat pumps in Town Hall has been calculated to reduce its direct annual contribution of greenhouse gases by the equivalent of 1000 to 1200 gallons of heating oil, which will be replaced by electricity from a grid that is increasingly reliant on renewable resources. At the current costs for heating oil (around $5 to $6 per gallon) and electricity ($0.22 per KW plus service charges), the estimated annual savings for heating/cooling is projected to be around $2484. This translates to a roughly 4.5-year break-even period on the investment.
Each of the four units can be adjusted remotely, so if someone forgets to turn off a unit after leaving, they can turn off the unit from home. This also means the units can be turned on and the building can be warmed up or cooled down in the hours before people are scheduled to arrive.
The installation at the Town Hall also provides an example for town residents to experience first-hand the heating and cooling effects of heat pumps. The next time you visit the Town Hall, you’re welcome to check out the installation inside and out and, of course, see what kind of job you think they’re doing at heating and cooling the building. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to switch to heat pumps too!
As stated above, the efficient use of energy with the new Town Hall heat pumps has been enhanced through the use of a wifi-controlled phone application, which allows town hall users to run the heat pumps on a schedule or to make modification to the schedule remotely. As a result, the A/C and heat do not run at times when the building is not in use, but can be adjusted so the building is comfortable when people arrive for work or meetings.
The outdoor lighting at Town Hall has been upgraded so that all fixtures now use LED bulbs. In addition, instead of parking lot Lighting running constantly, spotlights are now have wither motion detectors or only run after sundown.
The Energy Code is a minimum building standard for energy efficiency, applicable to new construction and renovation of commercial and residential buildings in New York State. The Energy Code is a complex document and one of nine building codes in New York State, making implementation and enforcement complex and time consuming.
Since buildings represent roughly 60 percent of New York’s total energy consumption, there is significant opportunity for energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through improved Energy Code compliance. This training focuses on what code enforcement officials need to know about the Energy Code in the context of its practical application on active construction projects.
|Code Enforcement Officer||Training Date|
|Dennis Callahan||Scheduled for 2023|
The Taghkanic Climate-Smart Task Force sponsored a campaign from November 2021 through the end of January 2022 to encourage town residents to sign up for community solar. It was designed to benefit residents, who were to receive a Visa gift card for signing up, and once assigned to an existing solar farm were assured an annual savings of around 10% on their electric bill.
The results of the campaign were well beyond our expectations, with Taghkanic residents signing up for 45 (official tally) new community solar accounts. The town, for its efforts, received $3950 from Ampion, and an additional $5000 grant from NYSERDA that was applied to the cost of installing heat pumps in Town Hall.
One year later: It is now Nov 2022, and if you are one of the residents who signed up for community solar through this campaign, we welcome your feedback. Did you receive your Visa gift card? Have you been assigned to a solar farm? Do you know if your solar farm is operational, and have you started to receive credits on your utility bill. You can email the Task Force with your feedback by clicking on this link: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, February 12, 2022 the CSC Task Force sponsored a community presentation entitled An Overview of Heat Pump Technology. The presentation was given by Scott Arnold and Rob Penny from RYCOR in New Paltz, NY.
According to the New York State Energy Research and Development Association (NYSERDA): In New York State, conventional heating and cooling systems are responsible for 37 percent of energy consumption and 32 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Clean heating and cooling technologies, such as heat pumps, are making it possible for homes to stay comfortable year- round, save energy, and reduce their carbon footprints.
Heat pumps are two to four times as efficient as conventional oil, propane, or electric resistance heating, and ground source heat pumps provide cooling much more efficiently than other cooling systems. They are also a safer and healthier choice for homes, with no combustion of fossil fuels, fuel storage, or carbon monoxide emissions.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in the summer of 2022, includes additional incentives that will make the purchase of heat pumps more affordable for more households. These include a federal income tax credit covering 30% of the cost of equipment and installation of a heat pump, with maximum credit of $2000 per tax year, and direct rebates to be administered by the states. A new community presentation is planned for 2023 to discuss the incentives and how to apply for each, as soon as these details are available.
A series of community presentations has been planned to address issues of sustainable gardening. The first of these, Gardening for Pollinators, was presented by Master Gardner Tim Kennelty on Oct 22, 2022 at the Taghkanic Firehouse. The talk highlighted the inter-relationships and interdependencies of various important native caterpillars, bees, moths, and butterflies and the native flowers, shrubs, and trees on which these pollinating insects rely.
The second in the series will be presented at the Taghkanic Firehouse on Jan 14, 2023. The presentation, entitled Managing Your Land Sustainably: An Introduction to the Homegrown National Park, will highlight ways in which homeowners / landowners can transform lawns into productive sustainable gardens that contribute to a rich diversity of native plants, insects, and birds - counteracting the current dramatic loss in biodiversity occurring throughout North America. This presentation will consist of a 75-minute viewing of a video by Doug Tallamy on Homegrown National Parks, followed by a 45-minute open discussion.
The DEC's Trees for Tribs is a statewide program of the Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery. Trees for Tribs has been working to reforest New York's tributaries - small creeks and streams that flow into larger rivers and lakes. The program's goal is to plant trees and shrubs along streams to create a forested riparian (streamside) buffer that helps decrease erosion, reduce flooding damage, improve wildlife and stream habitat, and protect water quality.
The Riparian Buffer planting was performed under the Trees for Tribs Program of NY DEC. This was performed in two parts.
Riparian Buffer — Riparian buffers are strips of vegetation (trees, shrubs or grass) planted next to streams or other water bodies. By planting vegetation along streams, space is created between the water and upland land uses, which helps protect the water quality and stream habitat.
In May of 2012 approximately 200 trees and shrubs were planted along the Taghkanic Creek behind the Taghkanic Town Hall on Route 82. This area was previously a grassy area right up to the creek bank (See photos). This allowed for full sun exposure to the creek. As a Class A Trout stream it is important for the water temperature to remain low making this an important location for the replacement of the riparian buffer. This initial area covered approximately 9,150 square feet along most of the bank.
On May 14, 2022 the second planting was performed. This expanded the previous planting to widen the area to 50' and to cover an area behind the parking lot that was not previously planted. This brought the total size of the planting to approximately 10,460 square feet. The initial 2012 area, as well as the new 2022 plantings, are being maintained following the Trees for Tribs Site Maintenance Guide for Streamside Plantings (https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/remediation_hudson_pdf/hrewcare16.pdf) and NYSDEC seasonal guide (https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/tftcalchecklist.pdf).
In May of 2015 a Riverkeeper Sweep was performed on the site. During this procedure tree tubes were removed or maintained, the areas around the trees and shrubs were cleaned and most importantly, invasive plants were removed. We used the Spring Invasive Plants, Site Maintenance Recommendations, (www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov). The 2022 plantings were watered several times over the summer months due to the drought conditions experienced.
|Black Gum||5||White Spruce||5|
|Bur Oak||5||Red-Osier Dogwood||27|
|Silky Dogwood||15||American Hazelnut||7|
|Cranberry Bush Viburnum||32|
|Red Maple||2||Sugar Maple||1|
|River Birch||2||Black Gum||2|
|Service Berry||5||Silky Dogwood||10|
|Gray Dogwood||5||Swamp Rose||6|
The Unified Solar Permit is a standardized permit application designed to streamline the approval process for installing solar in the community. The standardized permit is expected to cut costs by creating a uniform permitting process in municipalities across New York State. As local governments adopt the permit, installers and communities alike will save time and resources permitting solar electric systems. An expedited process will allow these standard systems to pass quickly though the jurisdictional review process, freeing up time for all involved parties, decreasing the overall installation time for customers, and allowing non-standard systems the necessary time for detailed review.
The Town of Taghkanic passed a resolution adopting the Unified Solar Permit on August 12, 2019. A copy of the resolution can be found here: 17-2019 Resolution Unified Solar Permit
In collaboration with our Conservation Advisory Committee and CAC’s from several adjoining Towns, we sponsored the creation of a brochure that identifies issues that arise in planning for and constructing a home and suggests solutions that are compatible with a healthy ecology and sustainable land management principles. The brochure was designed to be distributed to local realtors to be shared with prospective purchasers of real property thinking about building or extensively renovating a home. See the brochure here.
Coming soon ...
Copy of the Town Resolution for the Taghkanic Headwaters Plan: 19-2022 Resolution Taghkanic Headwaters.
More to come ...
Copy of the
Coming soon ...
Coming soon ...
Coming soon ...
All meetings and activities of the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) Task Force are open to the public. We have worked consistently throughout the year to keep residents informed of our work and the issues we seek to address. Meetings of the Climate Smart Communities Task Force are posted on this website, along with a Zoom link for anyone who wishes to attend remotely. Notices of upcoming community presentations and activities are posted as Public Notices on the website, and are announced in the Tgazette as well as the online site IMBY.
The following are activities the Town has either completed, or in the case of long-term ongoing actions, has gathered initial baseline data for (e.g., benchmarking greenhouse gas emissions). Each action has an associated point value, which provides a method of tracking progress relative to other communities across NY State.
✓ - Completed, ✗ - In Progress, *Also a CEC Activity
Climate Smart Communities Scorecard
|Create CSC Task Force||1||20|
|Appoint CSC Coordinator||1||10|
|National/Regional Climate Program||1||3|
|Benchmarking - Municipal Buildings||1||2|
|Building Energy Management System||1||2|
|Outdoor Lighting Upgrade||1||4|
|Unified Solar Permit||1||5|
|Heat Pumps - Town Hall||1||12|
|Energy Code Enforcement Training||1||5|
|Smart Growth Policies||1||4|
|Natural Resources Inventory||1||10|
|Zoning for Protection of Natural Areas||1||4|
|Riparian Buffer - Trees for Tribs||1||2|
|Watershed Plan for Water Quality||1||4|
|Evaluate Policies for Climate Resilience||1||6|
|Climate-resilient Hazard Mitigation Plan||1||4|
|Culverts & Dams||1||4|
|Local Climate Action Website||1||3|
|Climate-Related Public Event||2||3|
|Climate Change Education & Engagement||2||8|
|New Innovative Actions||1||9|
|See NYSERDA list of proposed Climate Smart Communities Actions|
✓ - Completed, ✗ - In Progress