Congressman Paul Tonko Headlines Heat Smart Mohawk Valley Kickoff Event to Spur Clean Heating & Cooling Solutions

Heat Smart Mohawk Valley will be holding a kickoff event on Wednesday, September 23, at 6 p.m. headlined by Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20), a leading voice in the national effort to leverage clean energy for job creation and economic growth. Donovan Gordon, Director of Clean Heating and Cooling at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will also be speaking on clean heating and cooling technologies and the state’s role in helping building owners access the benefits of energy efficiency.  Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director for Heat Smart Mohawk Valley will close out the program. The program is free and open to the public and will take place via Zoom. Register here.  

A collaborative project between the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District (MVEDD), Heat Smart Mohawk Valley is a community-based clean heating and cooling campaign focused on helping residents and business owners in the Mohawk Valley lower their energy bills, improve occupant comfort and safety, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This grassroots program is designed to walk building owners through the process of a free energy audit, explain the value of efficiency upgrades including heat pumps, identify qualified contractors, and explore incentives and financing available for improvements.   

“Building on the success we’ve had in Otsego County the last two years, we’ve put together a team of clean energy advisors to assist anyone who is interested in learning more about these technologies,” said Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director for Heat Smart Mohawk Valley. “We are here to help, whether you own a small home, a duplex, an apartment building, a mixed-use building on Main St., an office building, a factory or a hospital.  We can connect you with the expertise and funding to make your clean energy or energy efficiency project a reality.” 

To date, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has provided community based organizations and local municipalities over $5 million to run Clean Heating and Cooling Community and Heat Smart campaigns. Funded through multiple grant programs at NYSERDA, Heat Smart Mohawk Valley will serve residents and businesses throughout the region including Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, and Schoharie counties. The Campaign will offer a series of workshops, webinars, case studies, tours and other outreach activities explaining the value proposition of energy efficiency upgrades, clean heating and cooling, and solar. 

The Kickoff event is free and is open to all. For more information or to register, visit www.heatsmartmv.org 

What: HeatSmart Mohawk Campaign Kickoff
Who:   Congressman Paul Tonko,  

Donovan Gordon, Director Clean Heating & Cooling, NYSERDA 

Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director, HeatSmart Mohawk Valley
When:  Wednesday, September 23rd 6 p.m.
Where: Zoom Meeting – To Register
             

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Guest Speaker Biographies: 

Congressman Paul D. Tonko is a sixth-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York’s 20th Congressional District including his hometown of Amsterdam. Throughout his career, he has been a champion for the working class, advancing policies that create jobs, provide economic opportunity, and ensure senior citizens can retire with dignity.  

Tonko is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and was elected by his peers to serve as chair of the Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change, where he oversees a wide range of issues including clean drinking water, regulation of toxic substances and national climate action. In addition, he was appointed to join the Committee on Natural Resources and to continue his service on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee where he has been a longtime advocate for scientific integrity and public research.  

In addition to his committee duties, Tonko co-chairs the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. He is also a longtime honorary vice chair of the Alliance to Save Energy, a bipartisan, nonprofit coalition that promotes energy efficiency across all sectors of the global economy.  

Prior to serving in Congress, Tonko was the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Before that, he served in the New York State Assembly for 25 years, 15 of which he was chair of the Committee on Energy. At the age of 26, he was the youngest person in the history of Montgomery County to be elected to the county’s Board of Supervisors, which he chaired until 1981. 

Tonko graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering and is a former engineer for the New York State Public Service Commission. He is a lifelong resident of Amsterdam, New York 

Donovan Gordon is Director of Clean Heating and Cooling for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He leads New York State’s efforts to develop markets that support renewable, high-efficiency, and clean thermal systems, including air, ground and water source heat pumps, solar thermal, and solid biomass heating systems. He is charged with conceptualizing, driving and implementing products to encourage and enable customers and partners to invest in clean heating and cooling systems to accelerate the use of these technologies and support a self-sustaining market.  

Donovan is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited Green Associate, and an International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) accredited Geothermal Installer. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from St. Francis College and a Masters in Business Administration from NYU, Stern School of Business. 

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