This is the first phase in the Governor's $100 million program to create green jobs, improve energy efficiency, and reduce pollution.
In tonight's Going Green Report, Eyewitness News reporter Rachel Polansky talks with area experts to find out how this grant will affect our city.
Under Governor Cuomo's "Cleaner, Greener, Communities Program," all 6 counties in the Mohawk Valley region- Oneida, Otsego, Herkimer, Montgomery, Fulton, and Schoharie- were granted $1 million dollars to put toward a sustainability plan.
"We all want to see strong economic growth but in the context of a clean and sustainable environment, with less use of fossil fuels, and more efficient use of open space," says Ken Tompkins, Regional Director at Empire State Development.
"Every home owner wants to save money on his or her energy bills, every building owner wants to do that. Well this technology saves a tremendous amount of money on utility bills," says J.K. Hage III, Owner of Hage & Hage, LLC.
The Hage & Hage Law Firm is the only LEED Gold certified green office building in the region - and J.K. Hage says people are often surprised that he's actually saving money through his eco-friendly initiatives.
J.K. Hage discovered the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable design back in 2006. But he hopes that under this new program, other building owners will see the importance of going green and join the movement as well
"I was drawn to energy efficiency and sustainability and a big benefit in addition to saving money is that we help the environment - and we can all do this," says Hage III.
The program is designed to reduce air, water and land pollution through these smart growth principles and Tomkins says it will have an everlasting effect on our futures.
"I don't know if it's so much going green as it is just thinking about making investments for our children and their children in sustainability so good things last longer."