Save Your Energy – Taxpayers Will Thank You

Save Your Energy – Taxpayers Will Thank You

Last updated on October 11th, 2022

With all the financial uncertainties that exist today, no doubt your constituents would be pleased to know your municipality is doing its part to bring down costs and operate responsibly by conducting an energy audit.

As an added benefit, your actions can serve as an example and help others in your community save, while living greener and cleaner.

Energy Star, EPA sets the standard for energy audits.

According to its website, it “has helped dozens of state and local governments design and implement voluntary policies and programs focused on commercial and multifamily buildings to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate local economic growth. And for the dozens of governments that have chosen to pass laws requiring the use of Portfolio Manager and ENERGY STAR metrics, EPA has provided expert advice on the most appropriate use of the program’s tools and resources.”

Its online benchmarking tool helps you create a comprehensive energy management program by identifying buildings to target for improvements; learning best practices; prioritizing investments; verifying savings; reporting performance; and more. It can also help you measure and track water use, waste and materials, and greenhouse gas emissions. As an added benefit, making improvements can help maintain the integrity of municipal buildings and decrease the need for more costly updates in the future. (Here’s an overview of how the program benefits local and state governments and policymakers.)

While you’re at it, check out the resources available through the Hudson Valley Regional Council, mid-Hudson’s representative for the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Institute (CECI).

While reducing energy costs, CECI actions can help move your municipality forward in supporting and driving clean energy goals. “NYSERDA developed a list of high-impact actions that local governments can take to save energy, cut costs, and earn designation.” Earn points for grant funding with a variety of programs:

  • Make it easier and faster to install solar in your community. View Toolkit
  • Improve energy code compliance for new and renovated buildings. View Toolkit
  • Establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing program. View Toolkit
  • Save energy and money by replacing old equipment with new smart and efficient technology. View Toolkit
  • Convert a municipal facility to all electric with ground- or air-source heat pumps. View Toolkit
  • Purchase renewable energy for municipal electricity needs. View Toolkit
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions. View Toolkit
  • Reduce streetlight energy use by up to 65% with energy-efficient LED lighting. View Toolkit
  • Need new vehicles? Go electric. View Toolkit
  • Adopt a policy that requires annual reporting of energy used in buildings. Set up a system for measuring and sharing energy use data to help identify opportunities to cut energy waste and associated costs. View Toolkit
  • Engage your community with a campaign promoting solar, clean heating, and cooling and energy efficiency. Action grants are eligible up to $60K. View Toolkit
  • County-hosted training on how to manage clean energy development in your community. View Toolkit
  • Choose your community’s energy supply, negotiate lower rates, and support the use of renewable resources. View Toolkit

For detailed information on each of these actions, including requirements and recommendations, or to determine which actions are right for you, read the Guidance Document [PDF] or contact your Clean Energy Community Coordinator.

While you’re focusing on how to help your municipality and ultimately taxpayers save money on energy, you can count on RBT CPAs to get the numbers right. We’re a leading accounting, tax and audit firm in the Hudson Valley and beyond, that believes we succeed when we help you succeed. Give us a call today.