The Town of Huntington has earned a Clean Energy Community designation, making the Town eligible to apply for $250,000 in state funding that can be applied to future energy projects.
The designation is part of the statewide Clean Energy Communities initiative, which on Long Island is made possible through a partnership between the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and PSEG Long Island. It recognizes the Town’s leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy. Huntington is the second municipality on Long Island and the sixth statewide to receive the designation, which requires a municipality to complete four of 10 clean energy actions, at least two of them after August 1, 2016.
In Huntington’s case, those four actions were:
- Establishing the Solarize Huntington program, a group purchasing and community education program that leveraged the collective buying power of Huntington homeowners to significantly reduce the cost of residential solar installations.
- Amending Town Code to fast-track approval of solar installation permits and to adopt the New York State Unified Solar Permit to reduce costs and delays for solar projects.
- Training Town code compliance officers and other Town officials in the best practices in energy code enforcement, including collaborative plans reviews and joint onsite inspections of local construction projects.
- Leasing a 2017 Chevy Volt Plug-In Hybrid Electric vehicle. The Town also purchased a Level 2 Electric Charging Station Double Pedestal for charging cars. One of the two pedestals in the charging station, which will be installed at Town Hall, will be used for the Volt. The other will be available to the public.
“Huntington has long been committed to leading by example in undertaking energy conservation measures and promoting clean energy initiatives,” Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. “We appreciate this recognition from NYSERDA and look forward to implementing other projects that would be made possible by the state funding.”
John B. Rhodes, NYSERDA’s President and CEO, said, “Congratulations to the Town of Huntington on this important achievement and for helping to galvanize the local community to reduce energy use and improve the environment. Communities are central to the state’s clean energy efforts under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy (REV) strategy, which is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy future for all New Yorkers.”
“PSEG Long Island is pleased to partner with NYSERDA to help create a cleaner, greener and healthier future for all of our customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways through the Clean Energy Communities initiative,” said Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewables, PSEG Long Island. “The Town of Huntington is a leader when it comes to integrating energy efficiency and renewables into their energy portfolio. We look forward to working with other communities across our service territory to help them implement clean energy actions and save money for their residents.”
Huntington’s actions to support energy efficiency include becoming the first municipality on Long Island to adopt a Climate Action Plan –a formal roadmap to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate and adapt to the negative effects of climate change. Huntington also joined with Suffolk County and sister towns of Babylon, Brookhaven, East Hampton, Islip, Smithtown and Southampton to adopt the Climate Smart communities Pledge. That made the Town part of an unprecedented state-local partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save taxpayer dollars and advance community goals for health and safety, economic vitality, energy independence and quality of life.
The Town has proactively taken initiatives to encourage and increase the use of solar power to cut down on the consumption of fossil fuels, such as installing solar panels at Town Hall and installing a net zero solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station parking garage.
Announced by Governor Cuomo in August, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advances the Governor’s Reforming the Energy strategy by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its Clean Energy Standard of 50 percent of the state’s electricity coming from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Cities, counties, towns and villages that complete at least four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions are designated Clean Energy Communities and are eligible to apply for funding of up to $250,000 with no local cost share and with the option of receiving up to 25 percent paid in advance to support additional clean energy projects. At least two of the four actions must have been completed after August 1, 2016. NYSERDA is accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis through September 30, 2019 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first. Funds are being provided through the Clean Energy Fund and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.