Bill Reinhardt, Legislator, Albany County, New York

After 26 years working at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Bill retired to bring his skills to the community, first by serving on the Bethlehem Budget Advisory Team and the Bethlehem Town Board, and later in the Albany County Legislature.

First on the Bethlehem Town Board and later in the County Legislature, Bill has worked on strategies to improve government operating efficiencies in order to reduce taxpayer costs while maintaining and enhancing community services.  For example, in 2012 he was one of the founders of Friends of Bethlehem Park and Recreation, a volunteer group working to protect, enhance and expand recreation activities and parks.

After joining the County Legislature in 2016, he has supported several activities designed to enhance the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. He has focused his energy-related activities on energy saving efforts involving County facilities and the vehicle fleet to save money and reduce the County’s carbon footprint.

In addition, Bill has led or supported several solar initiatives that expanded solar energy development either in Bethlehem and across the region to stimulate green energy markets. His most recent energy initiative is to co-found and serve as Director of Solarize Albany, a nonprofit organization that seeks to use a bulk purchase strategy to provide the benefits of low cost solar power to residents and small businesses in Albany County and across the Capital District. In recent years, the scope of Solarize Albany has grown to include not only roof top and Community Solar, but also electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging stations, and renewable energy-based heating and cooling of buildings. By working across the Capital District, the Solarize Albany campaigns have sought to maximize benefits for each participant while increasing the number of people who can access clean and affordable energy.