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Residents in the town of Geneva have decided to use a $25,000 sustainability grant towards a storm water control project ahead of other smart projects.

Using an online poll and informational meetings, 37% of consumers voted in favour of directing the grant towards storm water control, 31% towards a distributed energy generation project, 18% for solid water reduction and 14% for home energy efficiency.

The city will receive the grant in the event its solar project Geneva Community Power initiative enrolls some 400 of NYSEG's customers.

The aim of the programme is to reduce consumer reliance on grid energy during peaks to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint.

The project is expected to help Geneva to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal.

Ontario County Water Resource Technician Katie Cappiello explained how the grant money could potentially be quadrupled, "The Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) programme is a competitive reimbursement grant program through New York State that funds projects to address water quality concerns like those we're seeing in the Seneca Lake Watershed. It's a great opportunity for the Town and the watershed because this grant allows the Town of Geneva to really maximise their funds. WQIP requires a minimum local match of 25%, meaning that the $25,000 the Town of Geneva has to provide as match can be used to apply for $75,000 from the State for a total project budget of $100,000."

Mark Venuti, Supervisor for the Town of Geneva asks NYSEG customers in communities surrounding Seneca Lake to sign up for Geneva Community Power. "The Geneva Community Power Solar Programme is really a win-win-win for NYSEG customers, area residents, and our environment. By joining this program, subscribers can expect to save about 10% on electricity annually for up to 25 years, the Town of Geneva will be able to sponsor a potentially $100,000 watershed project (or several projects) to benefit Seneca Lake, and we can reduce our carbon footprint by supporting renewable energy generation. If for any reason you'd want to withdraw from the program, there's absolutely no penalty."