Earlier this year, I was proud to announce, in conjunction with our town board and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, that the Town of North Hempstead would be one of just 31 groups participating in the New York–Sun Solarize campaign in 2016. This exciting new program is designed to encourage residents to add solar power to their homes and/or businesses and to join the over 27,000 homes and businesses on Long Island that already have installed solar panels.
Maybe you have considered installing solar panels on your home at one time or another, but you found it too cost prohibitive, or you were overwhelmed with questions about the installation and reliability of the companies doing the installation. The Solarize program helps ease the confusion by doing much of the homework for the residents. All three solar installation companies in the town’s Solarize program have been scrutinized and evaluated to assure that they will provide high-quality products and workmanship at competitive costs for our residents and businesses. Moreover, we have selected companies which will support the local green-collar job market. Residents can review our North Hempstead Solarize offerings, compare financial terms, warranties and products and find the best fit for their home at www.northhempsteadny.gov/solarize.
During last year’s New York–Sun Solarize campaign, participants saved nearly $1,600 per project throughout New York state. Carrying around more dollars in your wallet is quite an incentive to join this program, but the greater impact is the benefit you are providing for the environment. Phrases like “reducing greenhouse-gas emissions” and “increasing renewable resources” are often discussed when it comes to solar installation, but what do they mean and why are they important? Unlike polluting fossil fuels, whose supply is finite, solar is a renewable, clean resource, which means we will never run out of it as long as the sun shines. Fossil fuels raise serious environmental concerns, such as increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. So by going solar, you are not only saving money, but you are also going a long way in protecting our planet for generations to come. We are always looking for community partners to spread the word about Solarize, so please call 311 if you would like to help popularize the Solarize campaign, or if you would like to organize a Solarize event in your community.
Creating a Solarize campaign seemed like a natural fit for us, as the town has long been a leader in everything environmental and green. We already partner with Long Island Green Homes (www.longislandgreenhomes.org), which provides an opportunity for residents to receive a free or discounted home energy audit. Additionally, we were the lead agency in the drafting of the Long Island Cleaner Greener Communities plan, which created a regional sustainability plan to help our communities reduce our carbon emissions and protect our natural resources.
To take part in the Solarize program, which is available to residents of unincorporated areas of the Town of North Hempstead, or to get a free or reduced energy audit through Long Island Green Homes, please call 311 or 516-869-6311.
Meet Solarize Representatives
Talk to the installers and learn more about Solarize at these events.
• Port Washington Farmers Market: Oct. 8 and 15 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Town Dock, 347 Main St. in Port Washington.
• Spooky Walk: Oct. 29 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Clark Botanic Garden, 193 IU Willets Rd. in Albertson.
• October STOP Event: Oct. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Hempstead Beach Park, 175 West Shore Rd. in Port Washington.
• Not-So-Spooky Walk: Oct. 30 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Clark Botanic Garden, 193 IU Willets Rd. in Albertson.
• Port Washington Library: Nov. 2 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., 1 Library Dr. in Port Washington.
• Shelter Rock Public Library: Nov. 15 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., 165 Searingtown Rd. in Albertson.