April 29, 2019

Town of Geneva to Direct Geneva Community Power Sustainability Grant to Storm Water Control

KATONAH, N.Y., April 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 30, 2019, the Town of Geneva announced its intention to undertake a storm water control project that will benefit Seneca Lake. If 400 people enroll in Geneva Community Power, a local solar program launched by the Town of Geneva and Joule Community Power, Geneva will receive a $25,000 sustainability grant. 

In order to decide how to apply the grant award, the Town of Geneva sought input from its residents. Area residents were asked to choose—via an online poll and at informational meetings—between four sustainability project candidates. Winning 37% of the online votes, Storm Water Control was the winning project. Community-Owned Distributed Generation had 31% of the vote, Solid Waste Reduction received 18% of the votes, and 14% of online voters chose Home Efficiency Upgrades. 

Ontario County Water Resource Technician Katie Cappiello explained how the grant money could potentially be quadrupled, "The Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) program is a competitive reimbursement grant program through New York State that funds projects to address water quality concerns like those we're seeing in the Seneca Lake Watershed. It's a great opportunity for the Town and the watershed because this grant allows the Town of Geneva to really maximize their funds. WQIP requires a minimum local match of 25%, meaning that the $25,000 the Town of Geneva has to provide as match can be used to apply for $75,000 from the State for a total project budget of $100,000."

Mark Venuti, Supervisor for the Town of Geneva asks NYSEG customers in communities surrounding Seneca Lake to sign up for Geneva Community Power. "The Geneva Community Power Solar Program is really a win-win-win for NYSEG customers, area residents, and our environment. By joining this program, subscribers can expect to save about 10% on electricity annually for up to 25 years, the Town of Geneva will be able to sponsor a potentially $100,000 watershed project (or several projects) to benefit Seneca Lake, and we can reduce our carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy generation. If for any reason you'd want to withdraw from the program, there's absolutely no penalty."

Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association President Rick Weakland said of the announcement, "We're excited to learn that the Geneva Community Power sustainability grant will be directed to a project that protects and preserves the water quality of Seneca Lake. This amazing natural resource provides abundant amounts of drinking water, recreation, fishing, and economic opportunities for the greater Seneca Lake community and visitors to the region. We encourage those in the region to enroll in Geneva Community Power to ensure Geneva receives the grant money that will be used to protect the lake and benefit the region."

Jim Smith, Treasurer of the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization stated, "Seneca Lake is the largest of the Finger Lakes, with a surface area of 66+ square-miles and an average depth of 291 feet, it has a volume of 4.2 trillion gallons, roughly half of all the water in the Finger Lakes. It is the water supply for 100,000 people around the lake. The watershed itself covers 457 square-miles, spanning across five counties. As such, protecting the lake is a regional priority, and we applaud Geneva's decision to use the grant to obtain matching funds for a watershed project that could be impactful in maintaining and improving the quality of water in Seneca Lake." The Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization includes representatives from municipalities in the five counties of Chemung, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, and Yates.

"Geneva is leading the way to 100% renewable energy and taking an active role in protecting the environment and their local resources," said Joule Community Power's Glenn Weinberg. "Geneva Community Power provides cleaner and cheaper energy to those who enroll, and the grant will be used to protect their lake water. We expect towns surrounding the other Finger Lakes will see what Geneva is accomplishing and want to follow suit by working with us to design similar programs." 

The Geneva Community Power renewable energy program is not just for Geneva residents. Any NYSEG residential and small business customers in the Finger Lakes region and beyond are eligible to enroll in the program to take advantage of electricity savings, reduce their carbon footprint, and help protect Seneca Lake. Watershed project specifics, including location, are being explored and will be announced soon.  

About Geneva Community Power

Geneva Community Power is a local renewable energy program serving residents and businesses in the New York Finger Lakes region. The Town of Geneva and Joule Community Power have partnered to establish the program that allows subscribers to benefit from solar energy by spending less on electricity while supporting clean energy generation. For more information, please Visit www.GenevaCommunityPower.com

About Joule Community Power
Joule Community Power (Joule) works with municipalities and local partners to empower communities and facilitate their goals of providing residents and businesses with cleaner and cheaper energy. Joule principals were responsible for implementing New York States' first Community Choice Aggregation Program (CCA)—a program that enables communities to aggregate local energy demand in order to: 1. gain leverage to procure less expensive electricity for residents and businesses (i.e. save money), 2. create new revenue opportunities by participating in energy markets (i.e. make money), and 3. gain local control to opt for clean and renewable generation sources (i.e. go green). Joule is the only company in New York State offering CCA administrative services with a Public Service Commission-approved implementation plan that integrates local renewable energy projects, and only Joule has the expertise, relationships, and experience to effectively design, implement, and manage such a program. Joule's innovative approach for renewable energy strategies in New York is driving new regulation and encouraging the Public Service Commission to advance innovative solutions more rapidly. Joule Community Power is a division of Joule Assets. Learn more at: www.JouleCommunity.com