Sustainable Putnam

Electrify Everything.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Electrify everything” and wondered what that was about? It means that we need to go all-electric to eliminate global warming. Burning fossil fuels — our primary source of energy — is the single biggest cause of global warming and the climate crisis. But the solutions are clear: a quick shift to clean, renewable, non-carbon energy sources. Virtually all renewable energy sources are electric. So in order to go 100% clean renewable, we need to electrify everything in our energy uses.

For example, we need to transition from gasoline and diesel vehicles to clean electric vehicles. We must switch our home heating furnaces from oil, natural gas, and propane to clean, low-energy, ground or air source heat pumps.

Switching to clean electric power will also save money and reduce carbon emissions and air pollution here in Putnam County — and everywhere along the path of extraction, refining, and transport of dirty, global warming fossil fuels.

Green the Grid.

While we shift our home heating, cooking, transportation, and other energy uses to electricity, we must also “green the grid”. New York State’s relatively clean electricity mix is generated from renewables, nuclear, and natural gas. As New York State increases the proportion of renewables to 100% over the next 20 years, we will “green the grid” as we eliminate a major source of greenhouse gases, further improve our health, and save even more money. Contact us at [email protected] for more information on how you can help.


Lighting: Residents, Businesses, and Governments: Install LED bulbs throughout your home and facilities. Most of these bulbs will save you money within a year of purchase, and continue to save for years to come. Your house will be cooler too, decreasing the need for air conditioning. Learn more at Energy Star Lighting.

Go Solar! You can go solar in New York State with or without panels on your roof. Your two options are a Solar Panel installation or Community Solar. You can determine your best option with our online Solar Decision Tree  

Solar Panel systems (aka PhotoVoltaic or PV) may require a significant cost to install, but can save you money over the long term. Get estimates from at least three solar contractors. You may get wildly different estimates of how many panels and how much power your system will generate. Don’t be swayed by the more optimistic estimates. Be skeptical and ask questions. What is the final cost? What rebates and tax credits can I qualify for? Can you get a final determination of the type and number of panels to be installed by an engineer (not the salesperson), as well as a realistic estimate of the power that will be generated based specifically on your roof, given its orientation? Be sure you’re comfortable with the salesperson and engineer/installation manager before you sign a contract. Have questions? Schedule a free consultation with Sustainable Putnam.

Community solar is a quick and easy alternative to solar installations, requiring no investment. Community solar was established in New York under the Shared Renewables Program in 2015, designed to develop the solar industry and share its benefits with electricity customers in the Empire State. It’s a great option for renters or those who don’t want or can’t afford a major home project right now. Should you choose community solar, you can sign up through our Solarize Putnam initiative. You’ll save money, and help to build the solar industry in New York State, while eliminating the burning of climate changing fossil fuels to generate electricity.

Electric Vehicles: Make your next car a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric vehicle. You’ll spend less on transportation over the vehicle’s life, breathe cleaner air, reduce your carbon footprint, and spend virtually no time at gas stations and repair shops. Learn more on our Transportation page or at Drive Electric Hudson Valley

Efficient Appliances: Homeowners, Businesses: Purchase the most efficient Energy Star appliances you can afford. Did you know that over its useful life, you pay more for electricity to run your refrigerator than you paid for the refrigerator itself? Paying extra for the purchase will save more money through a lower electric bill. Learn more at Energy Star Appliances.

Green your Town’s Grid: Villages, Towns, and County governments can choose to implement the Solarize Putnam community solar campaign or Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

Sustainable Putnam launched Solarize Putnam in May 2021 to assist our villages, towns, and county governments in promoting community solar through a Clean Energy Community (CEC) campaign. Residents subscribe to community solar; the municipality receives funds from NYSERDA and our solar partners, as well as points toward the prestigious Clean Energy Community designation. See Solarize Putnam for more info.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) pools together the buying power of electricity customers in a locality and bargains on their behalf to buy clean renewable electricity for the same or less than they’re currently paying. Save money, eliminate carbon, and clean our air. Residents are free to opt out if they prefer their current Electric Supply Company (ESCO).

Convert Tools to Electric: Converting to efficient electrical home appliances and yard tools from fossil fueled appliances reduces your household’s carbon footprint, avoids air pollutants that hurt your health, and saves money. Ovens, ranges, clothes dryers, water heaters, lawn mowers, leaf blowers — all of these and more can be more efficiently powered with clean, renewable, non-carbon energy sources. Learn more at Energy Star Appliances.