Resources for Improving Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Finding Alternative Sources

The co-op's second goal is promoting energy efficiency and conservation, and we would like to help people do that, including by changing to more sustainable energy sources.  This page contains some resources we think are useful.

You can check out our Facebook page where fellow members can also post suggestions. Please do not post referrals to commercial suppliers please.

If you are just starting to think about this, Ulster County (which is a Silver level Climate Smart community) has a comprehensive website with links and information for both individuals and businesses

Other websites that give a bird's eye view of what can be and has been done across the region are and

If you want to see how you as an individual can use less fossil fuels - here are some ways:

  1. Heat pump hot water heaters (incentives through your utility co)
  2. Solar panel and battery installation (incentives through your utility co)
  3. Community Solar - you can sign up direct
  4. CCA (Community Choice Aggregation) - some towns already have set up CCAs, for example in Ulster County, Marbletown, New Paltz and Saugerties. Some, like Gardiner and Kingston are starting the process, some towns you may need to start lobbying them to do it.
Additional resources related to energy conservation:

Sustainable Hudson Valley offers group incentive purchase programs for insulation, solar and more for all of Ulster and Hudson Valley.

Incentive programs for heat pumps, hot water heaters and more are now provided at your electric utility co. (Central Hudson) Specifically for heat pumps (including groundsource/geothermal)

NYSERDA (NY State Energy Research and Development Agency) has many incentives for insulating and other ways to save energy, which are particularly helpful to lower income residents. If you get SNAP or help with heat you are automatically eligible. Renters can use these as well, by applying using income figures. The landlord has to sign on, at no cost, and the renter can access the programs. It usually results in money saving for the landlord also.

NYSERDA has free energy audits also, You can be eligible every two years. They check the whole house and come back with a list of things that can be done to improve energy efficiency, starting with the highest priority. Note that if you using the audit for one of the NYSERDA programs, these energy audits are more specific, so it is worth looking at the different programs available to you before signing up for an audit.

Cornell Energy Navigator information can be found here: Energy Navigator Voluneers are concerned and capable residents of the North Country who help their friends, neighbors, and other community members learn about ways they can reduce their energy use and energy bills, and enjoy safer and more comfortable homes.  The also try to lead by example!  Energy Navigators commit to a year-long program that includes a ten-session training where you learn about energy audits, energy bills and use, energy efficiency, renewable energy and heating options, as well as incentives, programs, and resources that are available to help support saving money and energy at home.  Volunteers are expected to give at least 60 hours of their time over the course of the year to related outrach activities, and help connect residents in the county with energy-related actions (see the file at for more information about program expectations).

Contact Nick Hamilton-Honey, Natural Resources & Energy Educator at [email protected] or (315) 379-9192, ext. 230