The town of Hillsdale NY has become the first municipality in Columbia County to earn a Clean Energy Community designation. The nod was given by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. It recognizes the town's leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and putting emphasis on clean energy practices locally.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Hillsdale Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski said that being named a Clean Energy Community will "help residents and the Town to save money by reducing energy consumption" and use those savings toward future opportunities. "It's the right thing to do economically and for the environment", Cipkowski said.

Hillsdale completed 4 of 10 high impact, clean energy actions under the guidelines of NYSERDA's Clean Energy Communities initiative. They include Benchmarking, tracking the town's energy usage; Unified Solar Permit, streamlining the town's residentila solar approval process; Clean Fleets, with the installation of a dual-port electric vehicle charging station; and Energy Code Enforcement Training.

The town will now be able to apply for up to $80,000 for additional clean energy projects with no local cost share and the option to receive up to 25 percent paid in advance toward those projects.