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(COOPERSTOWN) – The Otsego County Conservation Association and newly hired Campaign Director, Bennett Sandler, formerly of Equity Energy LLC, are excited to announce that OCCA is the recipient of a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant to create Heat Smart Otsego, a campaign to educate citizens about the economic and environmental benefits of clean heating and cooling technologies and streamline the process for integrating these technologies into their homes and businesses.

“There are a number of options out there for building owners to reduce their energy consumption and save money.  Heat Smart Otsego is here to help folks understand what those options are and to connect them with qualified installers offering discounted pricing,” said Sandler.

Technologies targeted by the campaign will initially include ground and air source heat pumps, as well as high-efficiency, low-emission pellet stoves and wood gasification boilers. These technologies are safe and efficient, saving consumers money while increasing comfort.  Further, these technologies help move building owners away from fossil fuel systems and towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wood.

Heat Smart Otsego is modeled after a similar program run in Tompkins County that introduced discounted, up-front pricing and pre-vetted installers to interested building owners.

“In the coming months I’ll be going out all over Otsego County to discuss these technologies and the incentives that exist to install them,” Sandler said. “We will also recruit technology installers who already participate in NYSERDA rebate programs to join the Heat Smart Campaign.”

“We are excited to have received this grant to help educate citizens on reducing their carbon footprint through efficiency upgrades and switching to clean heating and cooling technologies,” says Leslie Orzetti, Executive Director of OCCA.  “We are also happy to be working with Bennett who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area and will be a great ambassador for the program.”

Heat Smart Otsego is funded through the middle of 2021 by the Clean Heating and Cooling Community Campaign initiative, which is administered by NYSERDA.  The initiative supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

All inquiries can be directed to the Campaign Director, Bennett Sandler at campaigndirector@occainfo.org or at (607) 435-1364.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, research, resource management, advocacy, planning and practice. For more information, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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