to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

309 North Aurora Street | Ithaca, NY 14850 | info@tccpi.org

Alternatives Federal Credit Union

  • Reduced electricity by 26,800 kilowatt hours through conservation and power management efforts, resulting in almost $9,000 in savings.
  • Currently researching solar energy options for headquarters building
  • Donated 100 trees to the City of Ithaca
  • Incorporated green principles in internal operations:  Provided TCAT bus incentive to all employees, instituted composting in lunchroom; composted all food and utensil waste at 2009 annual meeting
  • Loans to several notable alternative energy/green businesses in the community; continued participation in NYSERDA energy efficiency loan programs

    Cayuga Medical Center

    • The Medical Center received LEED Silver certification several months ago for the Southwest Building addition.  We were the first hospital in New York State to achieve silver!  Very exciting!! 
    • We have also been working on growing our recycling efforts in the organization. There is a team working on a number of approaches to how we capture materials to recycle, how we dispose of waste to better control waste streams and cost, as well as to offer more opportunities to everyone within the organization to be able to recycle their waste. 
    • In terms of improving energy efficiency, we have been working to trim electrical use by adjusting some staff parking patterns, allowing us to set back or turn-off parking lights in specific areas.  We have also been working to reduce heating in winter and cooling in summer in our common spaces.  Areas have also been assessed for use of additional light sensors
    • We are starting to work with Performance Systems Development's Compass product and looking at NYSERDA for some grant opportunities

    City of Ithaca

    • The City of Ithaca was recognized by the New York Conference of Mayors for our energy efficiency performance contract and sustainability training program
    • Common Council adopted the statewide Climate Smart Community resolution
    • Completed our online and classroom based sustainability training program for City employees
    • Developed a sustainability orientation training for new employees
    • Updated our greenhouse gas emission inventory for municipal operations (for 2008)
    • Submitted a draft green fleet policy to Common Council for consideration

    Cornell University

    Ithaca Carshare

    • Added three new cars to the fleet in 2009 to accommodate growing demand - two Honda Fits and a Scion xB. The Fits are ULEV (ultra low emission) vehicles and have instantaneous fuel economy gauges in them. For every carsharing vehicle that is added to the streets it is estimated that 15 personal vehicles come off the streets.
    • Gained 479 new residential drivers and 6 organizational memberships. 
    • 152 of 479 (31%) approved applicants said they were planning on selling a car or not buying a personal car because of Ithaca Carshare.
    • 32 approved applicants (6%) said they possibly, or maybe would sell or avoid buying a personal car because of Ithaca Carshare.

    Ithaca College

    • Finished Climate Action Plan
    • IC’s goal is to reduce ghg emissions by 100% by 2050 or 2.5% per year.
    • Trends:
      • Reduction in CO2 emissions per square foot
      • Reduction in CO2 emissions per student
      • Reduction in kWh usage/year

    Performance Systems Development

    • Energy benchmarking tool - Compass – being used on a national level to support home performance and energy efficiency programs
    • Performance Systems Academy trained hundreds of Building Analysts and Building Envelope Professionals in Ithaca and nationwide, helping to expand the energy efficiency industry throughout the country
    • In November, President Greg Thomas testified before the Senate to advise on energy efficiency housing

    Snug Planet

    • So far in 2009, Snug Planet has completed energy efficiency improvements on 62 homes, 25% more than during the same period in 2008. Improvements delivered include insulation, air sealing, windows, doors, and high-performance heating and hot water systems. Homeowners received federal tax credits and incentives through the New York "Home Performance with Energy Star" program.

    Sustainable Tompkins

    • Completed feasibility study for Finger Lakes Climate Fund and built carbon calculator and website to offer local carbon offsets that benefit low-income families with energy efficiency improvements (http://www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org).
    • Launched Marcellus Challenge to help residents make the connection between their consumption of natural gas and fossil fuels and the threats of hydrofracking for shale gas.  An energy pledge campaign and supporting events will help citizens make a commitment to reduce personal consumption of fossil energy and get help in reaching their personal energy goals (http://www.sustainabletompkins.org).
    • Established new headquarters in energy efficient building and hosted tours during the fall Green Building Tour.
    • Organized three days of energy-related programming for the inaugural We Make Our Future conference hosted by our new Finger Lakes Bioneers program.

    Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3)  

    • This fall, TC3 installed its first solar panels as part of a construction project which added 9 new classrooms. The solar panels are 2.1 KW and provide about 2/3 of the energy to light the new classrooms.
    • TC3 has reduced its energy consumption per square foot. Consumption per square foot decreased 4.2% between the ’07-’08 and ‘’08-‘09 school years.
    • TC3 has contracted with Cayuga Compost and has begun pre-consumer composting. Post-consumer composting should come on-line this spring.

    Tompkins Community Action

    • In the summer of 2009, about 40 youth aged 14-20 distributed energy-saving literature, CFLs and resource information to over 1000 homes in mobile home parks and other neighborhoods in Tompkins County
    • In November and December, Energy Services hosted "Toasty in Tompkins", a set of opportunities for those interested to learn about rebates, incentives, loans and other financing products available to make energy efficiency improvements in their homes.
    • Ramped up crew levels in Weatherization, NYSERDA and fee-for-service programs. Much of this was in anticipation of ARRA funding. Energy Services department (crews, energy auditors, and support staff) grew from 11 to 20 staff members working in "green jobs"
    • Began JobsBuild, a program combining education and hands-on training to young adults in various sectors, including a green jobs track in weatherization
    • Executive Director Lee Dillon presented information on our programs' involvement in ARRA at the fall Bioneers conference at Ithaca College.
    • Added 5 Hybrid SUVs to agency fleet of vehicles for use in various agency programs

    Tompkins County Government


    • The County Solid Waste Management Division received 3 awards in 2009:
      1. National Go Green Award- for work done with schools to educate and help them to reduce waste.
      2. NYS Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling "Recycler of the Year Award" for the Re-Business Waste Assessment program in schools and businesses.
      3. Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division was selected to be a U.S. case study for waste reduction (one of 2, the other is San Francisco) in the upcoming United Nations Habitat book about World Waste. The book will also feature 22 other countries and will be of great assistance to developing countries. 


    • Prius grant – The County was awarded ARRA funding toward the purchase of 3 Prius vehicles to begin greening the County fleet.  These vehicles will also initiate a new, shared downtown vehicle fleet pool that will expand access to and improve efficiency of vehicles. 
    • NYSERDA application – The County applied for ARRA funding for Phase 2 Energy Performance Contract - lighting, solar hot water, and efficiency improvements at county facilities


    • Development of a plan for financing to encourage energy efficiency improvements in buildings
    • Airport “Green” Master Plan Initiated – 1st FAA-funded in U.S.

    Capital Projects

    • Completed major renovation of new Health Dept facility LEED Silver - solar hot water has been installed, PV is planned


    • Green Fleet policy was adopted by County Legislature - November 2009
    • County Legislature passed a sales tax exemption for solar installations
    • Environmentally Preferred Purchasing (EPP) policy was adopted by County Legislature


    • Collaboration between weatherization, green job training and public information efforts

    Town of Caroline

    All of these accomplishments focus on our new office building:

    • Building is modular: less waste and requires less energy to build
    • Building is super insulated and has no openings on the north side
    • Building is heated with geothermal
    • Building will have 12.6 KV solar panel array, which covers 75% of the Town energy needs for both the new office building and the old town hall
    • Caroline has, since 2005, purchased 100% of its electric needs from green sources (2nd in NYS to make this commitment) 

    Town of Ithaca

    • Conducted a waste assessment of our two town facilities and the Bolton Point water facility via Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County Conducted an energy audit via NYSERDA
    • Conducted an energy audit via NYSERDA

    TCCPI Member Accomplishments: 2009