In 2008, the Schenectady County Legislature enacted a package of green legislation, otherwise known as the 7 Point Plan, aimed at making Schenectady County a leader in energy conservation and efficiency standards. The outcomes of this legislation make county government more environmentally efficient and friendly by reducing the County’s energy consumption, reducing emissions and protecting the environment for future generations.
- County Purchasing of Energy Star Products
All County offices and departments are required to buy Energy Star products when purchasing unless the product is unavailable, unable to be received by a required date, or does not adequately meet necessary standards.
- Adoption of LEED Certification Standards for County Buildings
Buildings will be created and maintained in a way that will minimize adverse environmental impacts. Any building which is greater than five-thousand square feet will need to meet the Silver Standard of the Green Building Council and LEED.
- Transportation Audit of County Fleet
The County will Partner with NYSERDA to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the County fleet with a goal of improving the energy and environmental performance of the existing County fleet and looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions and petroleum usage.
- Promote Residential Home Energy Audits
The County will Partner with NYSERDA through existing outreach programs to educate Schenectady residents about ways that they can improve energy efficiency in their homes and about financial aid to make energy efficiency improvements to their home.
- Endorsement of New York State’s 15 by 15 Proposal
New York State has a proposal to reduce emissions in the state by 15% by 2015. Called “15 by 15,” plan focuses on energy efficiency, conservation, and investments in renewable energy sources as ways of achieving environmental and economic goals. The County endorsed this proposal and will be working with the state to continually seek new ways to reduce carbon emissions within the County.
An improved recycling program will be established throughout the County, as recycling is one of the biggest individual contributions that can be made to the environment as it preserve natural resources, saves energy, conserves landfill space, lessens water pollution, and reduces usage and lowers the production of the harmful emissions that cause climate change. Curbside recycling is required to be provided by any waste hauler who serves Schenectady County residents. There is a set schedule of days recycling is to be picked up and there are regulations for what can and cannot be recycled. The County also has a recycling center in Glenville.
- County Employee Energy Conservation
The County Manager will ask County employees to keep in mind energy consumption by turning off lights and computer equipment when unneeded and at the end of the day. The County Employee Energy Conservation measures have been implemented to help the environment, save valuable resources and cut costs. Employees are to be mindful of their electric use and reduce waste. Some of the ways to do this are keeping lights off when adequate sunlight is available and making sure computers are turned off when leaving for the day.