Monday, March 23, 2015
Canton Sustainability Committee
North Country Communities that are ready to do more about local energy needs and goals may wish to follow the example of Canton, NY in St. Lawrence County. The Village of Canton is breaking new ground with its Sustainability Committee, which has been in existence nearly a year. The Canton Community Action Plan, adopted in 2010, included a provision for the creation of the committee. The committee is made up of volunteers and membership is open. Early on, the Committee created three subcommittees; Food and Agriculture, Energy, and Transportation. The Energy Committee has focused on ways Canton's facilities can use alternative energy. A second project has been applying to participate in a Solarize community effort. The latter makes residential and small commercial projects more affordable by bundling small photovoltaic projects together in one package for an additional discount. This aggregation discount is in addition to federal and NY state tax credits, and NYSERDA incentives. The sustainability committee format is flexible enough it can be adapted to the particular needs and priorities of the community. Meanwhile to our east, Vermont provides another model for local energy efforts. Many Vermont communities have created Energy Committees to address energy conservation and alternative energy needs at the local level.