Climate Smart Communities

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Climate Smart Communities

January 2024

 

State Support for Local Climate Action

 

Climate Smart Communities (“CSC”), a New York State program administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation, helps local governments take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Through the CSC program the Village of Sag Harbor has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat the climate crisis.  

Registered Communities, of which there are 400 statewide, have made a commitment to act by passing the CSC pledge. Sag Harbor Village made the pledge in 2021 and named a Coordinator and Task Force members. Certified Communities (120 Bronze Certified and 10 Silver Certified since 2014) are the foremost leaders in the state; they have gone beyond the CSC pledge by completing and documenting a suite of actions that mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level. The Village has worked over three years to attain Bronze Status certification. Local governments that have achieved Bronze Status certification include both the Towns of Easthampton and Southampton.  Suffolk County has achieved Silver Status certification. By attaining Bronze Status certification, the Village of Sag Harbor will have better access to grant funding, save money by increasing efficiency, and have state level recognition. 

 

 

January 5, 2024:  Sag Harbor Village submitted for Bronze Status Certification.  We submitted 146 points hoping that after review we will have the 120 points necessary for certification.  Decision will be announced by March 1, 2024. 

https://climatesmart.ny.gov/


Village of Sag Harbor Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

 

Background

The CSC program, administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”), offers a robust framework to guide the actions of communities such as ours to reduce Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) emissions and to adapt to the effects of climate change.  With the thought that “you can’t manage what you haven’t measured” the Village took on one of the most important and laborious challenges in the framework that a community can tackle: the GHG Inventory for buildings, vehicles, and operations that are controlled by the Village government.

 

Methodology

Baseline Year

In Sag Harbor a baseline year of 2019 (January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019) was chosen for the Inventory as it was the most recent non-Covid year at the time the Inventory began; it was felt to present a “normal or typical” picture of Village GHG emissions. Data was available and was gathered from monthly bills for electricity (45 separate accounts!), natural gas, propane, fuel oil, gasoline, and diesel from Street Lights, Parks, Village Office, Police, Fire, Ambulance, Docks, Drainage, Department of Public Works, and the Sewage Treatment Plant. The GHG emissions for all operations are measured in metric tons of CO2 equivalents, MTCO2e.  

 

Emissions Scope

For the Government Operations Inventory, emissions are categorized by scope; there are three emission scopes:

  • Scope 1: All direct emissions from a facility or piece of equipment operated by the local government, usually through fuel (natural gas, propane, and fuel oil) combustion. Examples include emissions from fuel consumed by the Village’s vehicle fleet and emissions from the heating oil furnace in Village Hall.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from purchased electricity.  This refers to operations powered by an electrical grid
  • Scope 3: All other indirect GHG emissions not covered in scope 2, i.e., emissions in goods or services purchased by the local government or those associated with disposal of government generated waste

Under the NYS CSC program tracking scope 3 is optional and is not a component of this study.

 

Quantification Method

To calculate greenhouse gas emissions, the Village of Sag Harbor used the CAA Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Inventory Tool. This tool multiplies energy used by emissions factors published by the US Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for each energy source or fuel. Data was collected and measured in kWh for grid electricity, therms for natural gas, and gallons for fuel oil, gasoline, propane, and diesel; amounts were taken directly off Village bills.

 

Conclusions

In total, Village operations, including scopes 1 and 2, emitted 598 MTCO2e.  As shown in the chart below, Streetlights, Fire Stations, and the Sewage Treatment Plant were the leading contributors of GHG emissions within the Village.  Because there is interest in combining the Firehouses and the Ambulance Building into a new Emergency Services building, it did not make sense to focus on those buildings.  The 2021 Building Audit of the Sewage Treatment Plant made several recommendations that could modestly decrease energy use, but Streetlights, as evaluated by NYPA in March 2022, showed that a switch to LEDs would produce over $40,000 in annual financial savings (both electrical and “ownership” savings) in addition to a decrease of nearly 48 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.  The Village completed the process of converting most streetlights to LEDs in fall of 2023 leading to the expectation that the next GHG Inventory should show big improvement in this area when compared to this baseline year, 2019.

 

The following graphs were drawn from GHG data compiled in the attached Excel workbook.


Please click the link to download the GHG Data Compilation Workbook


Picture1


Picture2

Benchmarking

January 2024

 

Background

Buildings account for about 32% of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions in New York State and understanding the emissions profile of the Village’s buildings is important.  

 

Benchmarking building energy involves tracking energy use, measuring performance over time, and comparing building performance against similar buildings and against expected performance under the same climatic conditions. Benchmarking helps building owners and managers identify opportunities to reduce emissions, cut energy waste, drive continuous improvement, and quantify energy savings. When used for government buildings, energy benchmarking typically involves annually reporting and publicly disclosing the data. This promotes transparency in government operations and lays the groundwork for the local government to identify opportunities for improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings.

 

Conclusion

Data including energy units consumed for energy supplies including electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and propane was collected and entered into the EPA’s Portfolio Manager. The chart below shows the results that then compares the Village buildings’ energy consumption to a national median or benchmark on the basis of EUI or Energy Usage Intensity.  

 

Similarly, as the Greenhouse Gas Inventory above, buildings that will be replaced or relocated are of less interest for strategic climate planning than those which are part of long-term infrastructure such as the Police Station and the Municipal Building, both of which are significantly above the national median when corrected for building function and climate.  In 2022, the Police Station and the Municipal Building exceeded the national median by 39% and 145%, respectively. They are highlighted in blue and yellow in the chart below

 

Sag Harbor Building Energy Benchmarking Report 2021 & 2022

Year

Property Name

Address

Primary Property Type - Self Selected

Total GHG Emissions (Metric Tons CO2e)

Site EUI (kBtu/ft²)

Weather Normalized Site EUI (kBtu/ft²)

% Difference from National Median Site EUI

2021

Ambulance Building

16C Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Other - Public Services

22.6

80.1

Not Available

43.9

2022

Ambulance Building

16C Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Other - Public Services

24.3

94.4

93.1

53.2

2021

Brick Kiln Fire Department

1357 Brick Kiln Road

Fire Station

51.3

68.2

74.3

-17.5

2022

Brick Kiln Fire Department

1357 Brick Kiln Road

Fire Station

50.1

67.4

72.8

-19.4

2021

Central Garage

16B Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Repair Services (Vehicle, Shoe, Locksmith, etc.)

13.5

86.8

86.9

-3.4

2022

Central Garage

16B Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Repair Services (Vehicle, Shoe, Locksmith, etc.)

20.8

112.9

118.8

60.2

2021

Comfort Station

7 Bay Street, Sag Harbor

Other - Public Services

7.4

41.5

41.2

30.3

2022

Comfort Station

7 Bay Street, Sag Harbor

Other - Public Services

7.8

55.4

Not Available

35.3

2021

Highway Barn

16B Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Parking

14.9

36.5

43.2

Not Available

2022

Highway Barn

16B Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Parking

16.9

42.7

49.9

Not Available

2021

Municipal 

Building

55 Main Street 

Other - Public Services

72.4

100.7

99.4

97.5

2022

Municipal 

Building

55 Main Street 

Other - Public Services

89.3

122.7

121.3

144.7

2021

Murray Hill

41 Elizabeth Street, Sag Harbor 

Fire Station

10.2

43.7

48.9

-52.1

2022

Murray Hill

41 Elizabeth Street, Sag Harbor 

Fire Station

11.3

48.5

54.2

-47.1

2021

Otter Hose Firehouse

16A Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Fire Station

24.4

127.9

Not Available

47.4

2022

Otter Hose Firehouse

16A Columbia Street, Sag Harbor

Fire Station

34.3

194.1

194.1

101.5

2021

Police Station

70 Division Street

Police Station

57.7

88.2

90.8

37.7

2022

Police Station

70 Division Street

Police Station

58.4

89.4

92.5

39.4

2021

Sewage Treatment Plant

33 Bay Street

Wastewater Treatment Plant

141.5

873.1

873.1

Not Available

2022

Sewage Treatment Plant

33 Bay Street

Wastewater Treatment Plant

147

907.3

905.7

Not Available