The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has given high marks to the Town of Huntington's implementation of five projects funded by its $1.725 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), noting in a report that the Town demonstrated "exemplary organization and planning for their EECBG approved activities."
"This report further validates Huntington's commitment both to energy conservation and the careful administration of grant awards," Supervisor Frank P. Petrone said. "Town residents will benefit as the town cuts its energy costs. We also hope town residents will enjoy the direct benefit and sign up for the in-home energy efficiency surveys we are offering."
The report was based on a July 15 visit by five DOE officials who met with a town team that included Chief Sustainability Officer Terese Kinsley, Comptroller Tracy Yogman and Purchasing Director Lori Finger. The team also included Philip Ingerman from Supervisor Petrone's office, Deputy Comptroller Andy Persich, Traffic and Transportation Director Steve McGloin and Assistant Town Engineer Dean Leonardi. The report, which was dated July 28, noted, "The monitoring team was impressed by the grantee's experience and knowledge as well as their grant planning and overall enthusiasm for energy efficiency and conservation."
After meeting with the town team, the DOE panel concluded Huntington is "very organized, well prepared and moving forward on all of their projects." The projects include several programs to boost the Town of Huntington's energy efficiency and one program offering direct assistance to homeowners including:
- The Residential Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program ($345,000), in which at least 2,000 Town of Huntington homeowners will be offered home energy surveys to show them low-cost measures to make their homes more energy efficient. LI Green, the not-for-profit technical service provider that will perform the surveys for the next two years, began making home visits in late June. The town is ramping up a marketing campaign to sign up interested homeowners.
- Installation of energy efficient streetlights ($830,200), replacing 2,400 streetlights with induction lighting. The Town's installer, Welsbach Electric Corp., started work in early June and is expected to complete the project by next year.
- A solar panel renewable-energy 28-kilowatt generation project for Town Hall ($225,000). The town has opened bids for this contract and is in the contract award phase.
- LEED feasibility analysis and energy improvements for Town of Huntington facilities ($225,000). A LIPA-funded study by Horizon Engineering has identified a list of Facility Improvement Measures. The town will issue a request for proposals for the design and installation of the energy efficiency upgrades.
- Development of a Townwide Long Range Energy and Sustainability Plan ($100,000). The Town of Huntington will issue a request for proposals for a consultant to identify and pre-plan a schedule of energy improvement projects for the next decade. The plan will allow Huntington to compete for future DOE grants.
Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, who said that he had urged the Town of Huntington to create the position of chief sustainability officer, explained that one of his priorities as a member of the Town Board is to make Huntington a leader in energy conservation and sustainability.
"We were the first Long Island Town to put a trained energy engineer on staff," Cuthbertson said. "It proves that with the right people, good programs like EECBG and an across the board commitment from Washington, D.C. to Town Hall our energy goals are achievable."