Climate Smart Philipstown

Quick link to the Philipstown Community GHG Inventory Survey:

Help build a healthier, more prosperous and more resilient Philipstown.

The Climate Smart Task Force of Philipstown, New York is a volunteer steering committee tasked with guiding the Philipstown Town Board towards “Climate Smart Communities” certification, which involves preparing our community for the impacts of climate change while also measuring and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions. We created this website to serve as an informational hub on all issues relating to the Climate Smart program. For information on the program, please see below.

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Latest News


6/13/19: participate in the first-ever philipstown greenhouse gas inventory!

Your Climate Smart Task Force has been working on the state’s checklist of actions to become an official Climate Smart Community. Next up: measuring greenhouse gas emissions for our town. This will guide our community’s progress in reducing our carbon footprint and moving the needle in a better direction for future generations who could face the worst impacts of climate change.

The completely confidential and voluntary community survey gathers data about your household's activities, energy usage, and consumer choices that can be scientifically sampled and measured. It has been developed with consultation from the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, a global network of local governments working to build a sustainable future. Thanks for your participation!

8/5/19: Why and how to switch from oil to heat pumps to heat your home: one person’s journey

A significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions in Philipstown come from home heating systems that burn heating oil or propane. That’s why informing neighbors about the climate and economic benefits of heat pumps, including generous rebates from New York State, is a top priority for the Task Force.

To help get the word out about heat pumps, Task Force member Peter Callaway documented every step of the process that he undertook to convert his home from oil heat to electric heat pumps. Read Peter’s story, peruse a Q&A about what he learned or listen to his story in interview form to get detailed info on switching to heat pumps. More info on the blog.

Diagram of a residential air source heat pump system. (source: U.S. Department of Energy)

Diagram of a residential air source heat pump system. (source: U.S. Department of Energy)


6/12/19: More open house info sessions on philipstown’s new cca energy program from hudson valley community power

The initiation of the Hudson Valley Community Power community choice aggregation (CCA) program is just a few weeks away! On July 1, seven Hudson Valley communities including Philipstown will begin to receive their electricity from new suppliers under new terms that will bring us cleaner and cheaper electricity. All Philipstown residents are part of the CCA unless they choose to opt-out. After the program kicks in on July 1, residents won’t see any changes to their bills or Central Hudson accounts—CenHud will still deliver our electricity and bill us for it—but the electricity will come from new suppliers. Hudson Valley Community Power, the nonprofit organization that formed the CCA, will be holding two more open house information sessions in member communities before July 1:

  • June 17th  7:30 – 9:00 pm * Cold Spring Firehouse, 154 Main Street

  • June 19th  7:00 – 8:00 pm * Red Hook Town Hall, 7340 South Broadway

Attend the sessions to ask questions about the program and what it means for you. Additional information is available on the Hudson Valley Community Power website.

3/19/19: Learn how YOU can fight climate change at philipstown garden club’s eco action day on april 6!

Join Task Force members and other friends and neighbors at Eco Action Day, a climate solutions event hosted by the Philipstown Garden Club at the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday April 6. Task Force coordinator Roberto Muller will be on hand to share actionable tips for making your home or business more energy efficient.

Climate change is real, our lifestyles are making it worse, it can hurt us, and we can do something about it.  There are solutions! Come for a day of workshops to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint.  Speakers will discuss alternative transportation options, net-zero buildings, Climate Smart Communities, NYS grants to assist with your homes energy efficiency, information about solar & geothermal energy, myths about recycling, student presentations, and more. Light lunch will be provided. We aim to be carbon-neutral.  Please try to bring your own water bottles and coffee mugs.

This event is free and open to the public. Register here:

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3/25/19: Rally to support nys climate legislation in albany april 9

The Climate and Community Protection Act (Senate Bill S7971A) has been under consideration in New York State legislature for months and is picking up steam toward passage in the state senate. If it were to become law, the bill would enact a variety of new climate-related policies that would support local climate action, clean energy and related job-creation. If you’re interested in supporting the bill, join the labor-oriented climate nonprofit NY Renews for a rally in Albany on Tuesday April 9:
#ClimateJusticeCountdown Day: Demand a Vote on the Climate & Community Protection Act! 
Start: April 09, 2019 - 11:00 AM
End: April 09, 2019 - 3:00 PM
New York State Capitol
State St & Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12224
Host Contact Info:

Click here to view the event details.


2/24/19: Last chance to weigh in on an electric vehicle charging station in philipstown—survey closes feb. 28

Over the last few months, the Philipstown Town Council has been collecting comments from residents about if and where to install an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in town. We at the Task Force are supporters of an EV charging station as a large portion of local GHG emissions come from vehicles. A charging station would make owning or using an EV in Philipstown a little easier and send a signal that our community is climate change-conscious and supportive of emissions-reducing initiatives. The comment period ends in just four days, so if you haven’t already, take four minutes to make your voice heard through the survey here:

2/23/19: like us on facebook!

The Task Force is now on Facebook! Stop by our Facebook group page to connect with other climate-conscious neighbors and discuss Task Force initiatives and the news of the day. This website will remain our home and we’ll update the Facebook page periodically to keep everyone informed of recent Task Force Developments. Climate Smart Philipstown Facebook Page



2/12/19: “Green new deal”s from u.s. congress and nys governor’s office set ambitious and much-needed goals for climate action

You’ve probably heard the phrase “Green New Deal” a lot lately. This hot topic came to dominate the news thanks to a resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 7. The resolution is a first legislative step toward a sweeping collection of policies and programs aimed at tackling two massive challenges facing the country: climate change and income inequality. Nonpartisan fact-checker Politifact gives a nice overview of the resolution. Here in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo included a “Green New Deal” in the executive budget released in January. Described by the Cuomo administration as “a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality,” Cuomos’s Green New Deal budget provisions are similarly ambitious to the House resolution, including goals like 100% clean power statewide by 2040. Both of these high-profile developments are important and encouraging milestones that signal governments in the U.S. are ready to tackle climate challenges head-on. However, both are limited in their ability to directly effect change, as they are statements of intention that have yet to be planned in detail or approved by governmental bodies. As such, their impacts on the Philipstown community remain to be seen.

1/12/19: food, performances and climate solutions! join us for Drawdown Dinner, a Potluck Musical Cabaret on February 9

On Saturday February 9, at Create Community (11 Peekskill Rd in Cold Spring) at 7pm, our friend Tara Vamos invites you to the first-ever Drawdown Dinner, a Potluck Musical Cabaret (a Low-On-Plot Production). A lively mishmash of homecooked food, artistic expression and solutions-oriented discussions of climate change, this event takes a fun and inspirational approach to tackling climate challenges. The evening will include:    

  • 8 performances based on solutions to climate change proposed by the book Drawdown

  • 2 performances based on political solutions New Yorkers should get behind now

  • 1 paid testimonial for leaving behind fear and apathy in favor of action and selective thinking.

  • Delicious dinner cooked by all participants.  

Additional information:

Bringing food to share is your ticket for admission, All food must be either Vegan or Less than .25kg of CO2/serving, Use this Food Emissions calculator.

There will also be a Cash Bar

It’s not just the food that is potluck. I’m counting on some of you, to bring a performance of  2-5 minutes in length that conveys a climate change solution from Drawdown or a legislative solution.  It could be a song, a skit, or a monologue, or… but at least 80% of them should be upbeat and perhaps even comical.  If you want to write something, but not perform it yourself, or vice versa, we can work that out too. If you are interested, please email for more details. 

Performing or not, I would love to have you at the Drawdown Dinner Potluck Party. 

Bon Appetite,

Tara Vamos

|Posted January 12, 2019|

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1/7/19: your input is needed! help decide where to install an electric vehicle charging station in philipstown

The Town of Philipstown is considering installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station and wants to hear from you about it! Please take two minutes to answer three questions on this online survey to inform the Philipstown government’s decision (more info on EV charging stations is on the survey page). Over their average lifecycle, EV’s produce about 50% less greenhouse gas emissions than an equivalent size gasoline vehicle. A charging station in Philipstown would add a powerful climate change-fighting asset to our town and make an important statement about our shared commitment to being climate smart! |Posted January 7th, 2019|

11/17/18: philipstown’s move to community choice aggregation for electricity: info and updates

Philipstown is on its way to securing cleaner energy supplies! The town is part of a regional effort to establish a community choice aggregation (CCA) group to purchase electricity for homes and businesses in our area. Forming a CCA allows municipalities and other public entities to use their combined purchasing power to negotiate cleaner (more from renewable sources like solar and less from fossil fuels) and/or less expensive electricity supplies. In September of this year, Philipstown government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that made the community’s decision to enter a CCA official. Once formed, the CCA agreement will select one energy supplier for customers in Philipstown, but electricity delivery and billing will still be handled by Central Hudson. A timeline of CCA developments is below, and there will be public meetings on the CCA initiative on Tuesday November 20 from 6 to 7:30 pm and Saturday December 15 from 1:30 to 3 pm at the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison. Additional information is available from the Ecological Citizens Project.

  • September 2018 – Municipal MOU and Supply Contract review; Request for Qualification (RFQ) to electricity suppliers; Clean energy project partnerships; Marbletown joins the CCA

  • Oct – Nov 2018 – City of Poughkeepsie joins the CCA; RFQ response review; supply contract Request for Proposals (RFP) development

  • December 2018 – Award supply contract; Offer clean energy project subscriptions

  • Jan – Feb 2019 – Program Launch; Data transfer testing with Central Hudson; Customer enrollment and verification; Opt-Out period public outreach and support

  • Feb - March 2019 – New supplier meter reading starts; Continued public outreach and education

|Posted November 17, 2018 |

A solar farm at the former Beacon, NY landfill near Dennings Point will save the city as much as $100,000 annually in electricity costs.

A solar farm at the former Beacon, NY landfill near Dennings Point will save the city as much as $100,000 annually in electricity costs.

Past Events and News

10/5/18: oct 19 event - Live Stream Drawdown Learn: Teaching a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change

Drawdown is both a book and a movement (more info on our Climate Smart Resources page) focused on solutions—big and small—to the climate change challenge. On Friday October 19 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm, the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison will host a special video live stream of a rare gathering of the Project Drawdown leadership team, including Drawdown editor Paul Hawken. The team will provide an interactive overview and update of Drawdown that will be streamed live at no cost. Join your friends and neighbors to get information and inspiration from on of the world’s leading climate activists! The event is made possible by a partnership between the New York Library Association's Sustainability Initiative Committee and the Omega Center for Sustainable Living. See you there. | Posted October 5, 2018 |


Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison.

Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison.

9/30/18: Blog series: taking Climate Change PErsonally

The Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force is as diverse as the community it represents. A variety of professional backgrounds and personal interests make the Task Force a well-rounded group with many interesting insights and perspectives to share. Task Force member Catherine Serrau Thomson decided to share her personal and professional interest areas—interior design, gardening and cooking—through a monthly news column, Taking Climate Change Personally. The first installment (September 2018) is now available on our Blog page. Check it out and come back each month for more! | Posted September 30, 2018 |

9/27/18: Join us for a fundraiser on October 13

Our friends at the Ecological Citizen’s Project (ECP) will host a fundraiser for the Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force on Saturday October 13 from 4 pm to 6 pm at Long Haul Farm in Garrison. Bring the family and enjoy snacks and cocktails while you support the Task Force in our effort to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory in Philipstown. This inventory is a required first step toward recognition as a Climate Smart Community through the State of New York’s program. Attendees can donate any amount between $20 and $200 to ECP, who has pledged all proceeds to support the Task Force’s inventory project. Visit the ECP website for more information and RSVP for the event here (RSVP is required). We hope to see you there and thank you in advance for your support! | Posted September 27, 2018 |

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8/14/18: tell us your climate story!

The Task Force strives to serve as a facilitator and curator of information, perspectives and advice related to curbing and adapting to climate change. With that in mind, we're following the lead of the Climate Stories Project and collecting written, audio and video accounts of Philipstown residents' climate stories. Each climate story is told within the framework of five prompts—follow the link below to find them.

Please send us your stories at Check out your neighbors' climate stories on our Climate Stories page. | Posted August 14, 2018 |

7/18/18: The task force in the local news

The Task Force's work recently earned some recognition in the local media:

"Climate Smart" The Highlands Current, June 8, 2018

"Climate Smart Task Force Submits Grant" Putnam County News and Recorder, July 18, 2018

|Posted July 18, 2018 |

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The 2018 model Nisan Leaf.

The 2018 model Nisan Leaf.

5/19/18: Philipstown Residents can get $3,000 off a nissan leaf electric vehicle!

Residents of Philipstown are currently eligible to receive a $3,000 discount on the purchase off a new Nissan Leaf from Nissan of New Rochelle in Westchester County! Through a collaboration with Sustainable Westchester, the Philipstown Climate Smart Task Force secured the discount for any resident of Philipstown who is interested in buying a Leaf. Electric vehicles (EVs) like the Leaf offer major savings on gasoline costs, can be quickly and easily charged in your garage and come with lower maintenance costs than gas-powered cars. And with most of Putnam County's greenhouse gas emissions coming from gas-powered cars and trucks, buying an EV will contribute to cleaner air and fewer carbon emissions in Philipstown. For more information visit | Posted May 19, 2018 |

4/21/18: Hi! we're your climate smart task force

Founded in early 2018 through a resolution by the Philipstown Town Council, the Climate Smart Task Force is dedicated to providing information, resources and connections that help make the Philipstown community more sustainable and resilient. We are made up of 20 members of the Philipstown community with a diverse background of interests and vocations but a shared devotion to preserving our invaluable natural environment while mitigating and adapting to climate change. | Posted April 21, 2018 |

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