Holtsville, NY –In February 2017, through its designation as a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Town of Brookhaven was awarded a $150,000 grant to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects. The Brookhaven Highway Department used this NYSERDA funding to replace a portion of the gasoline-powered lawn and garden care equipment utilized by employees at the Holtsville Ecology Site with rechargeable battery-powered equipment including weed wackers, chain saws and backpack leaf blowers, as well as batteries and charging stations.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has noted that 24 to 45 percent of all non-road gasoline emissions are from conventional gasoline-powered landscape maintenance equipment,” said Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro. “I am happy to do our part to reduce gasoline usage and decrease the Town’s carbon footprint.”
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine said, “The Town of Brookhaven is dedicated to working in a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way, and I thank NYSERDA for providing this grant to help us make an even a greater impact on our efforts. Every step we take helps to make Brookhaven a cleaner and greener place to live.”
Announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in August 2016, the $16-million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities support Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal, a clean energy and jobs agenda that puts New York State on a path to a carbon-neutral economy, as well as the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the most aggressive climate change program in the nation, by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its goal for greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and a carbon-free electricity sector by 2040.
Brad Tito, program manager for communities and local governments, NYSERDA, said, “In New York, more and more local communities like the Town of Brookhaven are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint in support of New York’s nation-leading climate and clean energy goals. On behalf of NYSERDA, congratulations to the Town of Brookhaven and its highway department for driving adoption of clean technologies to help build a cleaner and more sustainable community for its residents.”
The Town of Brookhaven received the Clean Energy Community designation and grant for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities Initiative. To earn the designation, the Town completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
• Deployed electric vehicles in the Town’s vehicle fleet
• Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for the Town’s Code Officers
• Participated in a community-based Solarize campaign called Sustainable Brookhaven to reduce solar project costs through joint purchasing
• Streamlined the local approval processes for solar projects through adoption of the New York State Unified Solar Permit
The Clean Energy Communities initiative on Long Island is offered in partnership with PSEG Long Island whose generous support is funding the grant awards administered by NYSERDA to eligible participants.
“PSEG Long Island is pleased to partner with NYSERDA to assist Towns like Brookhaven to make their communities more energy efficient and less dependent on fossil fuels,” said Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewables at PSEG Long Island. “The Clean Energy Community program strengthens our commitment to help reduce energy use, cut costs and support clean energy on Long Island and the Rockaways.”