Clean Energy Communities Institute (CECI)

As the Mid-Hudson representative for the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program, the Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC) is pleased to introduce the Clean Energy Communities Institute (CECI). Our goal for this Institute is to walk you step-by-step through the CEC High-Impact Actions and how to accomplish them. Over the next year, we will be focusing on a single High Impact Action each month, providing action-oriented webinars, testimonials, in-person cohort-style workshops, and useful content.


Climate Smart Communities Tutorial Videos

This Climate Smart Communities tutorial series was created by HVRC in partnership with NYSDEC and NYSERDA to help guide municipalities through the Climate Smart Communities Portal, Certification Actions, and Certification Applications. After viewing HVRC’s tutorials, explore the excellent content available in the NYS Climate Smart Communities Portal.

Tutorial 1:

00:00 - Intro

00:40 - Check for Prior Registration

02:19 - Create an Account

03:25 - Registration

04:55 - Update Municipality Profile & Manage Users

Tutorial 2:

00:00 - Intro

00:56 - About Certification

01:43 - About Actions

04:22 - Locating CEC/CSC Crosswalk Document & CSC Certification Checklist

06:03 - Exploring Certification Actions

07:22 - Selecting Certification Actions

09:40 - Viewing Other Communities' Approved Submission Documents

Tutorial 3:

00:00 - Intro

00:57 - Certification Application Cycle

02:24 - Submit Action Documentation

05:04 - Review & Submit Application

NYStretch Energy Code Case Studies

HVRC created the NYStretch Energy Code Video Case Study Series to provide an in-depth perspective on communities’ adoption of NYStretch. We interviewed some of the early NYStretch adopters to understand why they adopted the code, what the challenges were and how they were overcome, and what the code implementation experience has been. Special thanks to the three communities interviewed for sharing their NYStretch experiences (ear buds or headphones may result in the best listening experience for the videos). 

NYStretch Resources

Town of Bethel, Sullivan County

0:00  Introduction  

2:36  Welcome to NYStretch in Bethel 

3:13  Bethel’s motivations for adopting NYStretch  

7:09  The elected official perspective  

10:06  Building department concerns 

13:16  Builder and resident concerns 

Speakers:  Supervisor Daniel Sturm and Sustainable Bethel Co-Chair Jeffrey Allison 

Contact:  Supervisor Daniel Sturm ( 

Town website: 

Sustainable Bethel Facebook page: 

Town stats:  population of 4,255 (2010 census); land area of 85.27 square miles 

Favorite clean energy project:  Solar array being constructed on the Town’s capped landfill will secure 100% solar energy for all municipal operations and will provide electric energy to 400 residents through a Community Solar Community Campaign.  This project transitions Bethel residents and other utility users to renewable energy, generates $26,000+ annually to the Town in lease payments for the next 25 years, and uses an otherwise undevelopable Town property to achieve all of the foregoing. 

Municipal buildings owned/operated:  6, five of which are 1,000SF or larger 

Permits applications:  420 – 500 applications received annually 

Building department size:  1 full-time code enforcement officer, 1 part-time building inspector, 1 part-time seasonal clerk 

NYStretch adoption timeframe:  11 weeks; serious deliberations began February 24, 2021, with the Town adopting on May 12, 2021 

CEC HIAs completed:  Benchmarking Municipal Buildings & Advanced Reporting, Clean Fleets, CSC Bronze Certification, Community Solar Community Campaign, ECET (CEC round 1), LED Cobra Head Street Lights, NYStretch, and Unified Solar Permit. 

Village of Hastings-On-Hudson, Westchester County

0:00  Introduction 

2:57  Why Hastings adopted NYStretch 

4:15  What is new or different in NYStretch 

5:45  Challenges associated with adopting and implementing NYStretch 

7:50  Communicating about NYStretch 

11:35  NYStretch impact on workload 

SpeakersMayor Nicola Armacost and Building Inspector Charles Minozzi 

ContactMayor Nicola Armacost (

Town website

Sustainability WebpagesThe Village has several webpages related to sustainability issues including the Climate Smart Community Task Force page, the Conservation Commission page and an Addressing Climate Change page 

Town statspopulation of 8,590 (2020 census); land area of 2.5 square miles

Favorite clean energy projectAdoption of Green Concrete Resolution and public education campaign 

Municipal buildings owned/operated5 that are 1,000SF or larger 

Permit applicationsApproximately 750 applications received annually 

Building department size2 full-time staff plus one part-time secretary 

NYStretch adoption timeframeThe whole process from first learning about the code on April 29, 2020, to adopting NYStretch on June 18, 2020, took less than two months.

CEC HIAs completedBenchmarking – Municipal Buildings and Advanced Reporting, Clean Fleets - Light/Medium Duty Electric Vehicles, Climate Smart Communities Certification -  Silver, Community Campaigns - Community Solar and Demand Response, Community Choice Aggregation, Energize NY Finance (CEC Round 1), LED Street Lights – Cobra Head and Deocrative Fixtures, NYStretch Energy Code, and Unified Solar Permit. 

City of Kingston, Ulster County

0:00  Introduction 

2:45  Welcome to NYStretch in Kingston 

3:26  Kingston’s motivations for adopting NYStretch 

8:25  Overcoming initial hesitancies: elected officials & staff 

14:09  Addressing community concerns 

Speakers:  Environmental Education & Sustainability Coordinator Julie Noble and Environmental Specialist Arielle Gartenstein. 

Contact:  Sustainability Coordinator Julie Noble ( 

City sustainability website: 

City stats:  population of 24,609 (2020 census); land area of 7.48 square miles 

Favorite clean energy project:  LED Streetlight Retrofit.  Kingston’s street lights consumed 1.9 million kWh of energy annually.  In 2020, the City retrofit all of the existing municipal street lights (over 2,200) to energy efficient LED street lights, which will result in an annual energy savings of 1,160,353 kWh and an annual cost savings of over $100,000 per year. 

Municipal buildings owned/operated:  61, of which 26 are 1,000SF or larger 

Permits applications:  To date in 2021, the City’s Building Safety Department has approved 1,318 permit applications, which is reported to be the most in the last 19 years by this date. 

Building department size:  9 full-time staff, which includes the director, administrative staff, and the zoning enforcement officer. 

NYStretch adoption timeframe:  Explored over the period of 15 months, resulting in the City’s adoption on April 6, 2021. 

CEC HIAs completed:  Benchmarking Municipal Buildings & Advanced Reporting, Clean Energy Upgrades, Clean Fleets Charging Station & EV, Clean Heating & Cooling Demo, CSC Bronze & Silver Certification, Community Solar Community Campaign, LED Cobra Head & Decorative Street Lights, NYStretch, PACE Financing, and Unified Solar Permit. 

CECI Brochure