10% Challenge Takes Off in Montgomery

By Shawn Dell Joyce

The Ten Percent Challenge has officially passed through the village boards of Walden, Montgomery and Maybrook, making all three municipalities officially on board. This means that the mayors of all three villages have committed their village to reducing its energy usage by ten percent, and activating ten percent of the residents to do the same. This will result in using energy and tax dollars more efficiently.

The 10% Challenge is an initiative of Sustainable Hudson Valley, and is underway in other communities like Red Hook and Warwick as well. There is a “friendly competition” between these communities to complete the challenge, because the winning municipality will get such perks as an installed solar thermal system and a vacation trip for the board members.The Orange County Chamber of Commerce has also signed on to the pledge because they see that it benefits the local economy as well; especially the building trades related to efficiency and insulation.

Village residents now have the opportunity to sign on to the pledge this week during the official “kick off.” Maybrook and Montgomery will have informational tables in their village halls with the pledge available for people to sign on the spot.  Walden will have an informational table in the public library instead with related books. The forms on these tables were donated by Ciardullo Printing in Walden.

Signing up for the pledge is very simple, it’s a form you fill out that the stays at the table so the committee and measure how many people are signing up and from which village. If you can’t make it to the village hall during the next week, you can find the pledge form on the Sustainable Montgomery website: https://sites.google.com/site/sustainablemontgomery/ or on Facebook at Montgomery’s Ten Percent Challenge.

The next step after signing is to get a free energy audit through NYSERDA from a local energy auditor. That auditor will show you what you can do to lower your energy usage and how much money you can save in the process. Walden is able to meet the goal of a ten percent reduction in the municipal buildings just by a few lighting changes. Some of these simple and inexpensive changes will save so much that it’s a criminal waste of money not do them!

Take a few minutes this summer and sign on to the Ten Percent Challenge. You benefit, the community benefits, and it’s a great way to encourage your household to work together to lower bills and do something positive for the environment. Next week I’ll show you how to get a free energy audit.

Shawn Dell Joyce is an award-winning writer and director of the Wallkill River School in Montgomery. The WRS is a benchmark business along with the Times Community Newspapers office in the Ten Percent Challenge, both businesses have signed on and will reduce their energy consumption.  Follow our progress in future articles.


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