to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

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

TCCPI Member Accomplishments: 2010

Alternatives Federal Credit Union

  • Made $1.33 million in "Green Loans" in 2010 
  • Expanded loan discounts to include all cars exceeding 30 MPG
  • Received Distinguished Recycler Award from Tompkins County Solid Waste for “an effective and comprehensive recycling program that maximizes the capture of materials that can be recycled in Tompkins County
  • Regularly disseminated information on topics related to sustainability through branches

Cayuga Medical Center

  • CMC has taken the lead in coordinating a feasibility study for the West Hill District Heating/CHP concept.  Current interested participants include:  CMC, PRI, Tompkins County and Park Foundation. We completed design of our new Clinical Laboratory building addition, with construction planned to commence in the next couple of months.  The building is being submitted for LEEDS certification and includes a Green Roof. 
  • We also have been working to finalize designs for a major Surgical Services renovation/ new construction project.  We are working with NYSERDA New Construction program for Energy Modeling and Commissioning grants.  This project is being submitted for LEED Silver designation
  • Our increased recycling efforts resulted in approximately 47,500 lbs. of paper recycled (equating to an estimated 344 trees saved), as well as 30,000+ lbs. of cardboard recycled change in our sharps disposal program resulted in a reduction of 16,523 lbs. of plastic

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

  • Coordinated a successful grant proposal to NYSERDA to fund positions for energy community education and town facilities energy efficiency upgrades on behalf of six towns: Dryden, Lansing, Ulysses, Enfield, Newfield, and Danby. 
  • Volunteers organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (CCETC) and the Tompkins Energy Conservation Corps distributed bags on October 30, 2010 containing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), coupons, and energy savings information to 5,000 County homes as part of Lighten Up Tompkins!  The effort was the largest effort of its kind in upstate New York. 
  • During the past year, we have continued to grow the Tompkins Energy Conservation Corps (or Energy Corps), a student-driven initiative to educate and engage local leaders on the economic potential for energy efficiency – 53 students have been trained in the program and over 125 community leaders have participated, of which almost a dozen were TCCPI members
  • CCETC worked with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services to roll out a 24-house pilot to see how much the combination of weatherization and switching from oil or LPG to wood pellets can save the average homeowner 
  • CCETC is working to adopt the Energy Corps leader education model for workforce development elsewhere in the state, including the city of Binghamton, and has worked with Cooperative Extension in Chemung and Schuyler counties to adapt it for work with senior citizens through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and a youth development agency in Norwich to work with AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers. 
  • CCETC has created a wide range of educational materials on building demand for energy efficiency upgrades that have been distributed across the state through the Cooperative Extension statewide Energy and Climate Change team, including video testimonials from homeowners, a “Path to Energy Savings,” online guide to financing home energy upgrades, and more (see www.ccetompkins.org/energypath
  • We developed a tool for demonstrating economic value of energy efficiency in every town and county in the state and published an article with the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) on the tool that received statewide coverage

Cornell University

  • Cornell filed its biannual greenhouse gas inventory with the American College and University Presidents’ College Commitment (ACUPCC).  The 2010 emission was 236,000 gross metric tons of C0equivalent (scope 1, 2, and 3).  This is a 26% reduction from the 319,000 tons reported in 2008.  The major contributing factor was the start-up of the Combined Heat and Power Project and the ongoing phase-out of coal.
  • Cornell was awarded one of the first annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership at the 4th Annual American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, Colorado
  • Energy Conservation Green Jobs:  Cornell added 4 full-time, skilled union controls technicians to maintain and improve the building energy systems. There are now 9 full-time employees devoted to energy conservation.
  • Energy Conservation Projects:  Cornell approved and began $10M worth of energy efficiency building retrofits to save energy, costs and carbon emissions. This is part of an overall project that may expend $46M over the next 5 years.  The projects are expected to reduce carbon emissions between 22,000 to 30,000 metric tons, equivalent to 9% to 13% of Cornell’s FY 2010 footprint. 
  • Moving Beyond Coal:  In January 2010, Cornell announced it was Moving Beyond Coal, and would end the use of coal after the winter of 2010/2011 (sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/energy/beyondcoal.cfm).
  • Cornell University sent 3 faculty presenters and 21 researchers, students, and staff to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. For more information, see http://www.sustainablefuture.cornell.edu/news/CU-COP/index.php
  • Cornell Facilities Services received a grant from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to maintain the web resource, Climate Neutral Research Campuses.  In addition, Cornell has partnered with the Environment Protection Agency to sponsor this web resource as a Labs 21 Center of Excellence.
  • CU received the following rankings in 2010:

Downtown Ithaca Alliance

  • The procurement and installation of two solar garage can compactors on the Commons. 
  • These cans hold up to nine times the volume of a normal can, reducing staffing costs. 
  • Downtown Ithaca was one of eight communities nationally to be selected to host a SDAT (Sustainable Development Assessment Team) organized by the American Institute of Architects. 
  • The DIA completed its 2020 Strategic Plan which focuses sustainable development and the creation of an urban core transit spine that will have a dramatic positive impact on energy consumption in our community. 
  • The DIA has expanded its commitment to producing community festivals that utilize practices that reduce waste and promote composting. 
  • By renovating and improving historic downtown properties, we are promoting both good stewardship of our built environment and a more sustainable and energy efficient way to live and work. 
  • Fifteen downtown facades were restored and improved in 2010 and several buildings are under rehabilitation.

EcoVillage at Ithaca – Center for Sustainability Education

  • Climate Showcase Communities EPA Grant. In partnership with the Tompkins County Planning Department, EVI-CSE will take the lead on a three year EPA grant to document and disseminate the lessons learned from its twenty years of experience in building an internationally recognized sustainable community – one in which residents report an exceptionally high quality of life while using 40% less energy and natural resources than typical Americans. The grant will allow EVI-CSE to help write new zoning ordinances and building codes which encourage a comprehensive approach to creating energy-conserving residential communities.In addition, it will apply these lessons learned to three pilot projects at the hamlet, village and urban scale, monitor and measure GHG reductions at these projects, and educate a broad audience about these models.
  • Exceptional Green Building Standards Planned for New Neighborhood.EcoVillage at Ithaca’s planned third cohousing neighborhood will utilize the principles of one of the world’s most stringent energy conserving green building standards. Passive House buildings are so energy efficient that a whole house can be heated with the equivalent of a hair dryer. TREE, the third neighborhood, plans 30 such homes, some as apartments, and some as houses. Currently there are only 13 certified Passive Houses in the entire U.S.
  • Solar Electric for a Neighborhood  The first cohousing neighborhood in EVI installed a 6KW photovoltaic array on its community center in 2010. The system is expected to produce 50% of the electricity needed by the Common House, which is at the heart of this cohousing community, and is used frequently for meals, classes, laundry, offices, kids’ play space, a Re-Use center, and more. Plans are also underway for a 220 panel ground-mounted PV array which will supply electricity for the entire 30 household neighborhood, and will be master-metered through four energy centers. Resident investors will be paid back over twenty years at 4% interest, while household bills remain at typical utility rates.

HOLT Architects, PC

  • HOLT continues to encourage a large variety of clients to consider and implement a wide range of sustainable design and construction practices. These are all targets of specific LEED® Rating System credits, although the majority of projects are not pursuing LEED certification and we encourage implementation of these practices where appropriate regardless of whether LEED certification is a desired target.
  • HOLT continues to actively endorse and pursue on-going staff education with regard to understanding sustainable design practices, and acquiring knowledge of sustainable materials and technologies. In this vein, HOLT also promotes and assists staff who desire to become LEED Accredited Professionals, as well as those who are pursuing LEED Continuing Education requirements.
  • In August 2010, HOLT Architects became a signatory of the American Institute of Architects’ AIA 2030 Commitment (which presently includes roughly 150 architectural firms in the US). The commitment states:
    • Buildings are the major source of global demand for energy and materials that produce by-product greenhouse gases (GHG). Slowing the growth rate of GHG emissions and then reversing it is the key to addressing climate change and keeping global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
    • To accomplish this, Architecture 2030 issued The 2030 Challenge asking the global architecture and building community to adopt the following targets:
      • All new buildings, developments and major renovations shall be designed to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% below the regional (or country) average for that building type.
      • At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area shall be renovated annually to meet a fossil fuel, GHG-emitting, energy consumption performance standard of 60% of the regional (or country) average for that building type.
      • The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations shall be increased to:
        • 70% in 2015
        • 80% in 2020
        • 90% in 2025
      • Carbon-neutral in 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG emitting energy to operate).
    • These targets may be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating on-site renewable power and/or purchasing (20% maximum) renewable energy.
  • Toward identifying and implementing appropriate policies and operational changes in order to meet the above goals, HOLT has identified staff to collect, analyze and report to AIA 2030 Commitment the following:
  • Sustainable Operations: All aspects of sustainable practices with regard to physical plant, with particular emphasis on energy efficiency, waste reduction and material conservation. To include identification of four operational action items to be implemented within six months
  • Sustainable Business Strategy: Development of a business strategy that communicates why a sustainable design approach is important.
  • Reporting of energy and water use metrics for each design project.
  • Development of a long range sustainability action plan that aligns with the stated 2030 benchmarks for achieving carbon neutrality.
  • Of the (9) LEED Certified buildings in Tompkins County, HOLT is the Architect of (4) of those projects (2 Silver-, 1 Gold- and 1 Platinum-Certified projects).

Ithaca Carshare

  • Community Mobility Project and Establishment of Low-Income Easy Access Plan
    Ithaca Carshare has worked in collaboration with the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and the Way2Go Transportation Education program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County on a project to bring more affordable and sustainable transportation options to low-income and under-served populations in Ithaca. Grant money from Federal Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) funds and also from the Park Foundation has made this project possible.  The project has resulted in the creation of Ithaca Carshare's new Easy Access membership plan, which subsidizes regular membership costs by more than half and reduces financial barriers to getting started. We have 15 members currently on this plan, several of whom have avoided purchasing or driving old and ill-maintained vehicles that typically produce high levels of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollution. Additionally we have been able to add two new vehicle locations in the Southside and also near West Village on West Hill to increase convenient access to the service by those with lower incomes.
  • Reached 1,000 Member Milestone
  • We reached a significant milestone of 1,000 members, demonstrating that the carsharing model really works in a small urban area like Ithaca, and not just in large metropolises. Members report that the service has helped them sell or avoid the purchase of 450 total vehicles over the past 2.5 years.
  • Charter member of the CarSharing Association
  • Ithaca Carshare helped found the new CarSharing Association, with member organizations in North and South America and Australia representing almost 100,000 members sharing over 3000 vehicles. The 18 member organizations have agreed to operate under a strict code of ethics that prioritizes environmental and social impacts instead of a primary focus on profits

Ithaca City School District

  • In 2010 the Ithaca City School District continued its commitment to “going green.” Through the bond projects the district has:
    • Placed high efficiency boilers in 11 buildings Installed high efficiency chillers at Boynton, DeWitt and Beverly J Martin schools 
    • Installed highly reflective roofs at 7 buildings 
    • Placed energy recovery units in each building that had HVAC renovations  
    • Installed lower intensity lighting at Beverly J. Martin Elementary School and Lehman Alternative Community School Placed occupancy sensors in renovated class rooms Implemented direct digital control energy management systems in most buildings 
    • Installed protective film on many south-facing windows to reduce heat buildup in warm months 
  • In addition, each school’s “green team” is working within its school community to foster sustainability awareness and improve the environment. 
  • At the District level, the district-wide “green team” has been meeting regularly to promote several green initiatives.
  • In December, Sustainable Tompkins recognized the District for the following:
    • The Green–ICSD website, which documents ongoing efforts in the District to encourage sustainability 
    •  New solar walkway lighting at Belle Sherman Elementary School  
    • Its participation in NY-CHPS, designed to support sustainability efforts in K-12 schools with a focus on energy reduction 
    • The Retired Educators Drive (RED) program, a volunteer-based effort is designed to help parents who do not have easy access to a car

Ithaca College

Annual GHG emissions inventory updated, showing a 5.7% decrease from FY 2007-2008 to 2008-2009. This far exceeds the College’s annual reduction goal of 2.5%

CAP Facilities Implementation Team
  • The new position of Energy Manager was developed and successfully searched. Michelle Jones started her tenure in summer 2010.  Michelle has been conducting energy audits of a number of buildings and is working with other trades and with departments to improve energy efficiency. Michelle also renegotiated much more favorable rates for the campus’ electricity and natural gas purchase contracts. 
  • Upgrades of lighting and direct-digital controls for HVAC systems continue as funding permits. Additional Variable Frequency Drives have been installed. The Facilities Electricians have “leapfrogged” from incandescent lighting over fluorescent fixtures directly to extremely high efficiency LED technology for many applications. 
  • A proposal for a complete campus energy audit and “retro-commissioning” study has been solicited. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority agreed to fund half of this project. The proposal has been tabled until Spring 2011 pending release of year-end surplus funds. 
  • Installing submeters on all energy (and water) systems in all campus buildings was identified as a priority. The Energy Manager identified the types and brands of desired submeters for electricity; installing these units is included in the energy audit proposal (see above). 
  • Solar domestic water heating demonstration projects and small wind projects have been identified and funding proposals submitted for Capital Budget review.
CAP Transportation Implementation Team
  • The Transportation team continues to work to establish Transportation Demand Management (TDM) goals and targets, which include increasing transit ridership, increase use of carsharing, ridesharing, walking and cycling as preferred modes of commuting to campus over use of single occupant vehicles.
  • Ithaca College expanded its support for TCAT transit service, by covering bus ridership costs by dining service workers and Challenge employees using bus service to commute to work on campus. Ithaca College also now covers ridership on two out-of-Tompkins-County routes on TCAT. Ithaca College worked with TCAT to implement its new fare system, which accepts employee IDs as verification for free transit ridership, and allows for purchases of student bus passes to be validated on student IDs.
  • Ithaca College committed support for the TCAT/VPSI vanpool program, contingent upon college employee participation, and will underwrite part of participating employees’ vanpool costs.  As part of the vanpool program, Cornell will provide guaranteed ride home service for any participants in the program. 
  • Facilities Grounds and Transportation have established fleet fuel economy standards for new vehicle purchases. Grounds converted one of its side hill mowers to utilize used vegetable oil from the dining operation. 
  • Human Resources is working to expand flex-work and tele-work programs. 
  • In an effort to initiate pedestrian and bike infrastructure improvements, Ithaca College convened a committee of stakeholders, including transportation planners from the state, county, Town of Ithaca, and city of Ithaca, along with representatives from the South Hill Civic Association, Challenge, LongView, and the South Hill Business Park, to discuss pedestrian and bicycling safety issues on South Hill, especially along Route 96B South, but also along Coddington Road and Hudson Street. 
  • Ithaca College collaborated with Cornell, TC3, Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit, Tompkins County Department of Social Services, and Zimride to successfully apply for funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for a 3-year pilot of a community-wide rideshare program. This program is slated to be implemented in Spring 2011.
  • REMP Installments (information sheets about sustainability and CAP-related energy, water and recycling programs placed on the inside of bathroom stall doors) are now in place in academic and administrative restrooms. 
  • The REMP team is evaluating Institutional policies and processes related to campus procurement to assess needed changes. With the dissolution of the purchasing department and reassignment of central procurement tasks to different areas, the need for formal purchasing policies that reinforce CAP goals is even more critical. 
  • The REMP team consulted on the design of new recycling stations in the School of Communications and  the lobby of the Campus Center. The intent is to standardize on a design that supports increased recycling of paper, bottles/cans, compostable items, and trash. 
CAP Education Implementation Team 
  • The Education implementation team, along with representatives from the REMP, Transportation, and Facilities teams, developed a successful proposal for an (IC)2 course, called Climate Action Research Teams (CARTs). This three-year pilot course will develop protocols for student researchers to partner with campus operational managers to study and make recommendations for emissions reductions. The first course, being delivered in Spring 2011, will explore behavior change programming.

Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services

  • Green Housing Development: INHS has become a national leader in the development of green affordable housing.  Over the past two years, INHS has competed 49 new rental and homeowner housing units that incorporate extensive green features. This includes 10 single family homes that achieved either LEED Gold or LEED Platinum certification.  An ambitious pipeline of new projects in includes 101 new housing units, all of which will be LEED certified. INHS is committed to smart growth principles, so all of its new housing is built in places with full municipal services; easy access to public transportation; and close to shopping, recreation and jobs.
  • Permanently Affordable Housing: In 2010, INHS launched its Community Housing Trust program, which guarantees that the homes that its sells to buyers with modest incomes remain permanently affordable to future homebuyers.  The Community Housing Trust produces high quality homes that are sold at below-market prices. Deed restrictions ensure that the valuable public subsidies that enhance affordability are utilized to their maximum benefit and that these homes remain community assets.  INHS also provides new buyers with extensive homebuyer education services and affordable financing alternatives, both of which help to guarantee long-term affordability for the home buyers.
  • Energy Efficient Rental Housing: INHS analyzed and upgraded the energy efficiency of its entire rental portfolio consisting of 164 units.  Insulation, air sealing, heating system upgrades, high efficiency lighting, reduced water consumption and heat heat exchangers were the primary tools used to upgrade these 100+ year old buildings. The INHS program has been cited as a model for other rental property programs throughout New York State.
  • Energy Efficient Owner Housing: INHS became the first non-profit in New York State certified by NYSERDA as an Energy Smart lender. Since then, INHS has been the leader in providing energy upgrade loans and grants in Tompkins County. INHS has helped over 200 homeowners improve energy efficiency and overall building performance through its homeowner rehabilitation program. INHS provides extensive technical assistance to homeowners in addition to its low-cost financing.
  • Non-Profit Leadership: INHS staff has been active at the national, state and local levels in the creation of new tools and new programs to promote green, energy-efficient housing. On the national level, Executive Director Paul Mazzarella has helped to secure over $100 million in new loan capital for affordable housing development through his service on the board of Community Housing Capital, a national lending corporation. Scott Reynolds, Director of Real Estate Development, was instrumental in the creaton of the LEED for Homes program and plays an active role with NYSERDA, the US Green Building Council and private consultants in the development of new housing technologies. Houses developed by INHS incorporate new construction methods and are being monitored for long-term energy performance. Locally, INHS staff is very involved in a county-wide effort to enhance the energy efficiency of existing homes.

Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport

  • Airport Manager Bob Nicholas addressed the “Airport Going Green” Conference, hosted by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daly in November 
  • After the presentation on Ithaca’s Sustainable Airport Master Plan – the first in the nation – Nicholas was asked to join an Airport CEO Roundtable with airport managers from Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego, Chicago and Beijing to answer general questions from the floor
  • The conference was attended by over 300 U.S. and international airport executives, aviation industry leaders and environmental experts

Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council

  • The work in the transportation sector is being achieved by a number of community partners, not just the ITCTC. Partners include TCAT, Tompkins County Department of Social Services, Ithaca Carshare, Extension's Way2Go program, Cornell University, Ithaca College, TC3, City of Ithaca, and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.Transportation accomplishments include:
  • Awarded a NYSERDA Grant to set up a web based ridesharing program for Tompkins County - Zimride Tompkins at http://www.zimride.com/tompkins
  • Launched the initial vanpool serving a group of commuters from Schuyler County. A vanpool is a transportation service for people who make the same trip most days. VPSI, the local vanpool company, provides a passenger van for a group of at least 5 and up to 15 people who agree to commute together. Vanpoolers pay by the month. VPSI can be contacted at 1-800-VAN-RIDE (800-826-7433), ask for Jesse Kafka.
  • Continued implementation of the federally required Coordinated Human Services-Public Transportation Plan has resulted in increased resources and services for low income, disabled and senior populations in the Tompkins County. Funded programs include driver training, rural demand response transit, volunteer driver programs, low-income family subsidies for Carshare, travel training programs. More information on the Coordinated Plan can be found at: http://tccoordinatedplan.weebly.com/index.html
  • Completion of Phase 3 of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail in the City of Ithaca. Much "behind the scenes" bureaucratic work was done to advance the purchase of new, more efficient vehicles for TCAT and Gadabout in 2011. Prep work was also done towards the implementation of a  muti-county Regional Transportation Study in 2011.

The Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth

  • Published a book called Climate Change - Past, Present, and Future: A Very Short Guide (Paleontological Research Institution Special Publication 38, 200 pp.)
  • Wrote a curriculum and ran NY State 4-H educator professional development workshops for the NSF-funded project Tracking Climate in Your Backyard
  • Participated in the Climate Literacy Network, which seeks to increase climate literacy nationally
  • Tested approaches to climate change exhibit signage for its My Climate My Community project, at the NY State Fair in Syracuse
  • Designed a survey on public perception of climate change in rural communities in collaboration with the Cornell Human Dimensions Resource Unit
  • Posted 103 entries for its Climate Change 101 Blog (climatechange101.blogspot.com)
  • Began a broad plan for energy conservation renovations, such as lighting, doors, insulation, in its older facilities with a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
  • Helped plan and participate in the Great Lakes Student Summit, a two day environmental education program for 5th to 8th grade students, and presented a workshop on understanding and reducing carbon emissions
  • Facilitated Low Carbon Diet groups in Western New York, based on David Gershon's book of the same name
  • Participated in the Western New York Environmental Alliance, which is facilitating collaboration amongst different groups working on environmental issues (www.grow.ny.org)
  • Participated as a group leader in the Climate Lifelines Project for high school teachers, where participants share resources and strategies for teaching about climate change through virtual study groups
  • Maintained and expanded its Global Change website (www.museumoftheearth.org)


  • Delivered field trips on the topic of renewable energy to over 200 2nd grade students in the Ithaca City School District through the Kids Discover the Trail! program.  
  • Delivered ocean health and science field trip to over 750 2nd grade students in rural Tompkins County and Cortland City School Districts through funding from the TRIAD foundation and the Sciencenter endowment. Published online Climate Change Toolkit, a suite of climate change education resources for formal and informal educators at schools, museums and other venues. Available at www.sciencenter.org/climatechange
  • Launched the Green Business Challenge, a project of the teen-directed ScienceWorks program that works with local businesses to reduce their energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Provided free afterschool programming to Dewitt and Boynton Middle Schools in Ithaca City School District through the National Science Foundation’s Communicating Climate Change program.  
  • Installed a water filter with educational signage about bottled vs. filtered water with funding from Sustainable Tompkins. 
  • Implemented facility sustainability plan that included the installation of waterless urinals, dual flush toilets, recycled carpet, composting for educational programming and birthday parties.  
  • Powered the museum’s electricity with 100% wind power for the 4th consecutive year.  
  • Developing new “Sustainability Corner” with new exhibits on waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, composting, and consumer behavior. 
  • Supported local health and human services agencies by participating as a United Way Pacesetter Organization.  
  • Grew Sciencenter endowment to over $2 million to ensure continued funding in support of the museum and its programs.

Sustainable Tompkins

  • Launched the Finger Lakes Climate Fund in February, ran initial marketing campaign, recruited grantmaking committee, and awarded our first carbon offset grant in December to a Dryden family for the installation of a new high efficiency pellet stove (see details at http://www.fingerlakesclimatefund.org). 
  • Hosted an Energy Teach-In in January for 12 anti-fracking leaders to help them reduce their fossil energy consumption and become conversant on energy efficiency measures. 
  • Hosted an Energy Fair for the Marcellus Challenge in March to introduce our online platform of homeowner and business pledge forms and resources for reducing fossil fuel consumption.  
  • Over 150 people attended to interact with exhibitors, take the pledge, listen to inspirational speakers, and win door prizes and coupons for energy services (http://www.sustainabletompkins.org).
  • Shared the message of the Marcellus Challenge in speeches and tabling at rallies on gas drilling. 
  • Renamed Marcellus Challenge the Finger Lakes Energy Challenge to reflect the broader nature of the destruction of coal, oil, and gas mining and the challenge of energy transition. 
  • Engaged students and community leaders with two role-playing simulation games on climate change and sustainable development at the Finger Lakes Bioneers conference http://www.wemakeourfuture.org) Awarded 3 Neighborhood Mini-Grants related to energy: Ithaca Biodiesel Cooperative publicity campaign, Watt Meter Lending Program of the Green Resource Hub, and Biofuel the Jenny – the conversion of a generator to biodiesel at the Dacha Project. 
  • Organized meeting with Doug Coward of St. Lucie County, FL for local bankers, investors, and economic development agencies to learn how he established a $23 million community energy fund. 
  • Began hosting series of meetings with local leaders to explore creation of community energy financing in Tompkins County. 


  • Year-long monthly series in the Ithaca Journal
  • TCCPI feature in Syracuse Post-Standard
  • Feature on TCCPI and Tompkins Energy Conservation Corps in Second Nature’s 2010 American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment Annual Report
  • Continued to develop and update the TCCPI website continued throughout the yea
  • Collaborated with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County on rollout of Tompkins Energy Conservation Corps
  • Co-sponsored with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the Park Foundation a public lecture by David Orr in early May on the Oberlin Project
  • Co-sponsored with the Cayuga Medical Center a luncheon the following day with about 3 dozen community leaders with David Orr to discuss how the lessons of Oberlin might apply to downtown redevelopment in Ithaca
  • Co-sponsored with Cayuga Medical Center and ASI Renovations a luncheon talk for community leaders at the Finger Lakes Bioneers Conference in late October focusing on financing clean energy projects and creating green jobs
  • TCCPI also co-sponsored a climate change role play at the Bioneers Conference involving local residents and high school students
  • Collaborated with the Tompkins County Landlords Association to carry out a survey of landlords in the county about energy efficiency and barriers to more widespread investment in this area of property management

Tompkins Community Action

  • Completed solar DHW and high-efficiency measure installation in an affordable rental duplex owned by Community Housing of Ithaca (CHI). The project was a partnership between TCAction, CHI and the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency and the first known incorporation of renewable technology into affordable housing in Tompkins County. 
  • Completed weatherization of 20-unit senior housing complex in Trumansburg, Juniper Manor 2. 
  • Received two incentive awards for high performance under our Weatherization American Reinvestment and Recovery Act contract, bringing that contract from $1.4M in May to just under $2.5M in September. 
  • Completed weatherization on all the residential facilities operated by Franziska Racker Centers in Tompkins County. 
  • Doubled our staff performing energy audits under the weatherization program and increased our crew capacity by 150%. 
  • Almost half of our department – nine people – holds at least one certification from the Building Performance Institute, the national organization that provides the gold standard for energy efficiency contractors, and half of them hold multiple designations. 
  • Completed a year-long training program called JobsBuild for entry level workers with no previous experience in energy efficiency, and four participants were able to land living-wage, full time positions in our weatherization department based on their success. TCAction was one of three groups statewide to win a Sustainable Energy Resources for Consumers (SERC) grant, a new demonstration project funded by the Department of Energy that will allow us to combine renewable technologies in solar hot water applications with our more traditional energy conservation methods. 
  • Awarded a “Sign of Sustainability” by Sustainable Tompkins for planning of Magnolia House, a facility to be built in 2011 to assist women in recovery. 
  • In December, worked with Sustainable Tompkins to bring Finger Lakes Carbon Fund grant into the mix of resources available for a family in our Home Performance with Energy Star program

Tompkins County Planning Department

  • Legislature endorsed the Tompkins County 2020 Energy Strategy
  • The Tompkins County Legislature has adopted a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the community by at least 80% from 2008 levels by 2050.  The first      step along that path is to achieve a 20% reduction by 2020.  The strategy for how this goal can be achieved was endorsed by the Legislature in September, 2010 and serves as a guide for energy and emissions work being done in the community.
  • Grant application submitted for EPA Climate Showcase Communities Program
  • County Planning worked collaboratively with various for-profit and non-profit partners to submit a grant to the EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities for funding of $375,450 to utilize the principles and lessons learned from a local example of sustainable community development, EcoVillage at Ithaca, which has achieved national and international recognition. Residents report an exceptionally high quality of life, while using 40% less resources than typical Americans. Tompkins County plans to create models for new zoning and building codes, support the creation of three pilot projects (hamlet, village, and urban), monitor and measure GHG reductions in these projects, and promote widespread dissemination of these replicable models through multiple educational strategies.
  • Energy and Greenhouse Gas 10-Year Emissions Inventory and Report Issued
  • In 2010, the County completed and published two 10-year reports assessing emissions resulting from the County government and community. The County government report evaluated progress made toward a 20 percent reduction goal in government emissions that was set for 2008.Though the County did not achieve its goal of overall emissions reductions, findings showed that facility efficiency improvements directly resulted in building emissions reductions. The government emissions report clarified the need for focused attention on the County’s vehicle fleet for emissions reductions and also brought to light the importance of accurate and thorough emissions tracking throughout the government.The Tompkins County community saw an increase in emissions over the ten-year period, as expected.  Data from the community emissions inventory report will serve to establish a community emissions baseline of the 2020 Energy Strategy, also published in 2010.
  • Purchase of Three Hybrid-electric Vehicles
  • The Legislature adopted a Green Fleet policy in 2009 to assure that the carbon footprint of the county’s vehicle fleet continues to be reduced in accordance with the Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions goals established by the Legislature. As a result of County and Department of Energy grant funding three hybrid-electric vehicles were added to the fleet in 2010 to be shared among Courthouse Complex departments.
  • Analysis of Energy-Related Programs Serving Low-Income People of Tompkins County 
  • In partnership with local low-income energy services providers, Tompkins County produced a report detailing recommendations for improving energy-related programs serving low-income people in Tompkins County.  It is anticipated that several of the key recommendations will be implemented in 2011.
  • PACE and Residential Financing
  • Working with local, state and national energy financing experts, Tompkins County advocated for state and national legislation to allow municipalities to develop programs to create financing incentives for property owners wishing to make energy upgrades to their buildings.
  • Energy Awareness Campaign and One-Stop Web Portal for Energy Efficiency 
  • In partnership with local energy partners, Tompkins County planning staff has been actively working on creating motivating strategies and messaging around the topic of energy efficiency in the community.
  • Commercial Wind Farm Atlas
  • The Department produced a map atlas showing geographic features that could impact wind farm siting in Tompkins County.
  • Marcellus Shale Gas Analysis
  • The Commissioner spoke at the February New York State Association of Counties Annual Legislative Conference in Albany on a panel regarding Marcellus Shale issues. Other panel members represented the NYSDEC, industry and academic research. The Planning Department continued to support efforts by the Legislature to advocate for a ban on drilling until it can be shown that adequate safeguards are in place to protect important resources and mitigate impacts on communities.
  • Park Foundation Grant Funds Planner to support TCCOG Gas Drilling Task Force
  • The Department submitted a successful grant application to the Park Foundation for funding to support a Planner dedicated to working with the TCCOG Task Force on Natural Gas Drilling and assisting local municipalities with preparing for potential impacts of this activity.

Tompkins County Solid Waste

  • TCSW issued a Request for Proposals for the private sector to build improvements and operate the Recycling and Solid Waste Center for the next decade. This resulted in awarding a 10 year contract to FCR Recycling LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina. FCR Recycling currently operates 20 recycling facilities in the U.S. This contract will provide our community the opportunity to recycle more material and combine curbside recyclables in one bin, resulting in greater waste diversion from landfills and a reduction in energy and greenhouse gas  
  • In 2010, we assisted 39 new businesses and continued supporting just over 200 businesses and schools by enhancing their waste reduction and recycling programs. Through this ReBusiness Partners Program, we supported participating businesses in diverting 991.3 tons of organic material from the landfill through a local compost collection service with Cayuga Compost. 
  • Throughout 2010, we provided education and support to members of the Finger Lakes Environmentally Preferred Procurement Consortium to strengthen their green purchasing practices, reducing the life cycle impact of products and maintaining an efficient use of resources. Information was also provided to the TC community through the Finger Lakes Buy Green website.

Town of Caroline

  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy features part of new town hall:  
    • Sun tubes to lighten spaces on the north side 
    • Powered by 12.6 W PV array, which is net metered into the grid
    • Heated solely by geo-thermal, and has roof overhangs sized to reduce thermal loading in the summer and maximize solar gain in the winter

Town of Ithaca

  • Became a “Climate Smart Community,” pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emission locally and adapt to climate impacts  
  • Joined ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, committing to fight climate change and create a more sustainable community 
  • Integrating sustainability principles into Town’s Comprehensive Plan  
  • Undergoing lighting upgrade  
  • Conducted greenhouse gas emissions inventory  
  • Climate Action Planning process underway 
  • Collaborating with community partners on a County-wide energy efficiency campaign