Local Action Against Global Climate
The Neighborhood Network has released "Leading the Way: Long Island's Local Governments Implementing Clean Energy Solutions," an overview of the programs that Long Island's towns and counties have put in place to use energy more efficiently and make greater use of clean, renewable energy. See what your town and county have done to save energy and money, and reduce their contribution to global climate destabilization; download a pdf copy of the report.
The most recent meeting
of the Clean Energy Leadership Task
Force was held at Molloy College Suffolk Center in Farmingdale, Friday, December 7, 2007.
Notes from the December 7th meeting:
The December Task Force meeting was attended by about 60, with both L.I. counties, and all towns except Southold and Shelter Island represented. The meeting featured a number of speakers:
Status of Clean Energy Initiatives -- Kevin Law, CEO, LIPA
Mr. Law broke down where LIPA has been and where he hopes to take it, noting that the price of fuel is out of his control. He broke down where money is spent within LIPA, and explained several cuts he intends to make to clean up any unnecessary expenditures. He will partner with non-profits where their mission is aligned but no more outright grants for unrelated causes. He got rid of a few staff and also hired several new staff so in total reduced staff by one person (went from 104 to 103). Hired a VP of Environmental affairs, Mike Deering. He hopes to make LIPA more transparent.
Questions asked were regarding a fuel surcharge even for people buying renewable power through Green Choices, if the Master Plan process would consider suggestions to simplify or rationalize tariff schedules and policies, and if biodiesel can be used in power plants or other LIPA operations.
Peak Oil: What it means for LI -- Isidore Doroski, Chairman of the Riverhead Town Energy Advisory Committee
Oil is a finite resource, so Mr. Doroski offered and explanation of the fact that oil has already passed peak production domestically in the 1970s, and globally is just about at or past peak right now, meaning that oil becomes more difficult to extract and refine, adding to its cost. He referenced Hubbert’s Peak and also featured a recent interview with economist Matthew Simmons. The 5 largest oil fields are in decline.
Smart Growth as a Strategy for Reducing Energy Demand -- Eric Alexander, Vision Long Island
One part of the solution to the peak oil situation is planning communities that don’t rely so heavily on oil to begin with. Part of that is not allowing for sprawl which demands the use of cars, creating walkable communities, compact design, infill, public transport, mixed use and proximity of schools-- all principles of smart growth which is advocated for by groups like Vision Long Island.
Municipal Spotlight -- Dennis Lynch, Brookhaven Town
Dennis Lynch pointed out many efforts of the town: Use of B5&20 in fleet of 400 vehicles, 1 Electric GEM car, 10 kw Wind turbine at town hall, Solar PV carport planned, Public Outreach through Green Gazette, Adoption of Energy Star Labeled Homes July 2006, Incorporation of Energy Star Products into Town purchasing policy June 2007, Mandatory summer energy conservation for Town departments (2007), First municipal CNG fueling station in Suffolk County and Shared Fueling Agreements with Brookhaven National Laboratory, LED interior lights at Town Hall (2007), replacement of Town Hall “chillers” planned. It helped that the Town Supervisor made this issue a top-down priority.
-- Brad Tito, Update on Levittown project- Nassau County has chosen Levittown as an area of focus for intensive door-to-door engagement in energy conservation practices, home audits and public education.
-- Bruce Humenik, AEG , Uniform Solar Code - since municipal regulations for solar installations varies widely, LIPA is making efforts to produce a unified Municipal Solar Permit Template. They are currently comparing current LI town approaches with other jurisdictions around the U.S. and holding meetings to vet issues with stakeholders.
-- USGBC - National Greenbuild conference took place last month in Chicago, see Greenbuild.org; a new LI representative has been trained to be the contact for LEED for Homes on Long Island: Vince Capogna, 516-742-7229.
-- Beth Fiteni, IPCC report- Beth gave a brief overview of the points made by a recent summary report from the International panel on Climate Change, about sea level rise, increased storms, melting glaciers etc. The report pointed out that it’s advisable to take action sooner than later, and that it is possible to achieve emissions reductions given currently existing technologies.
meetings of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force.
List of speakers and topics at all Task Force meetings.
Statement of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force
of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force is to assist Long Island
municipalities in a collaborative effort (among local governments,
state and federal programs, power authorities and utilities, and
environmental leaders) with obtaining the practical information
needed in order to transition to cleaner and/or more efficient
energy technologies in both their buildings and vehicle fleets.
Force will be a forum to inform municipalities of the incentive
programs available to them for achieving this purpose. The Task
Force will be action oriented, leading to action plans for the
Energy Leadership Task Force was established to provide Long Island
municipalities with information on less polluting energy technologies
and also to clarify the financial incentive programs available
for adopting them. Detailed explanations of clean energy incentives,
and other programs available to municipalities,
will be discussed at meetings of the Task Force. The goal
is for local governments to lead by example and act as role models
to the general public by demonstrating that technologies are available
now to achieve energy efficiency goals, for both buildings and
focus of the Task Force is to encourage and assist municipalities
in adopting Clean Energy Action Plans,
which set out goals for energy efficiency projects and policies
for the coming year.
Order 111, Governor Pataki has set specific goals for New
York state agencies to increase their energy efficiency in buildings
and vehicle fleets by 2010. The Order also urged local municipalities
to follow suit.
for this effort is multi-pronged; moving away from fossil fuels
and towards clean energy alternatives (such as geothermal systems,
solar energy, fuel cells, efficient lighting, natural gas, biodiesel,
and hybrid-electric vehicles) not only will save municipalities
money on electric bills, but will improve our air quality &
improve asthma rates, reduce our dependence on foreign oil sources,
reduce the already high electricity demand on Long Island, and
will reduce the effects of climate change, such as sea level rise,
global warming, and a predicted increase in intense storms.
Should Lead on Energy Issues
through their leadership and decision-making powers directly influence
and control many of the activities that produce the emissions
that cause global warming and air pollution.
Taking action to conserve and to embrace sustainable energy technology
and then extensively publicizing these positive changes will also
educate and inspire the general public to do the same at their
homes and businesses.
own, operate, or influence:
- local government
facilities such as municipal buildings, street lighting, recreation
facilities, wastewater treatment plants
- building codes and
permits that determine the energy efficiency of residential
and commercial buildings
- landfill sites and
the production of methane emissions
- waste management
including recycling, compost or waste reduction programs
- land use planning
and development that determine the density, mixture and physical
layout of buildings, neighborhoods and communities
infrastructure that determines the transportation choices of
residents and businesses, affecting the level and type of transportation
energy consumed and the number and length of vehicle trips
- public works infrastructure
such as water supply, sewage, and other public works
What are the
Benefits to Municipalities?
Being part of the Clean
Energy Leadership Task Force has such benefits as:
- significant financial
savings through energy and fuel efficiency, which can then potentially
be passed along to town residents. Residents will appreciate
the tax savings but also will be able to apply the same logic
to saving money on their own energy bills.
- local economic development
and job creation through the demand for energy efficiency and
new energy systems
- reduced risk of
future costs associated with climate-related damage
- air pollution reduction
- traffic congestion
improvements through smart growth policies
- community quality
of life improvements and positive public relations
Does the Task Force Meeting Structure Work?
Energy Leadership Task Force is open to all Long Island towns
and the two counties. Each municipality is urged to have at least
two representatives. A small group of environmental leaders have
been invited by the Neighborhood Network, to bring special expertise
to the process.
Meetings are held three times a year. Meeting locations will be rotated.
regarding the funding sources available for municipalities to
implement clean energy technologies shall be a key part of the
agenda for each meeting--with ample opportunity for municipal
officials to ask questions, and to share information regarding
relevant experiences. The Task Force may on occasion make recommendations
on energy issues that would help make the incentive programs more
full group meetings, efforts will be made to move the program
forward by identifying additional information needed and difficulties
in implementation. Environmental leaders participating in the
Task Force will work to generate support for town board or legislative
meetings when the procurement of clean energy technology is under
consideration, if such efforts are deemed appropriate and helpful.
Force will generally operate by consensus, but if a vote is needed,
then a majority will carry. Each municipality will have one vote
regardless of the number of participants.
information component will focus on generating public awareness
of clean energy projects that the participating municipalities
Notes from Previous Task Force Meetings
The October 5th meeting was held at the Molloy College Suffolk Center.
Todd Stebbins explained anexecutive order to ban use of incandescent light bulbs in Suffolk buildings.
Suffolk Legislator Wayne Horsely noted using 4 CFLS saves 5000 lbs of carbon. He hopes to phase out use countywide by 20102 with his bill. He noted that people don’t like the word “ban." It gets a negative reaction.
Assemblyman Sweeney agreed, setting a standard for better bulbs is better approach than ban, and is taking that approach at the state level.
Water bottles are an energy and solid waste issue.
SCWA tested 1000 bottles- 1/3 were contaminated. They are looking for a better alternative for their own bottled water. Also did a test with moth balls- smell migrated through plastic after just a short time.
Ron Kamen- using solar energy to preheat water for hot water and space heating; very popular in Canada & Europe, just hasn’t caught on here yet. A set-up can cost $8,000, less than solar PV, and can be 90% efficient--more efficient than solar PV.
Clean Cities -- event and call for projects Oct. 24th
Energy Star: we now have about 50 HERS raters, up from 13 last year. Lots of interest in market. Has been a fairly smooth transition with Towns adopting code.
Solar Tour Oct. 6th- Gordian explained solar tour and that also offering 7 sites with home performance tests with blower door this year.
Revealed that LI municipalities are doing a lot, some more than others. We will make it public so please send in corrections.
- CELTF pushes us to be better.
- Nassau joined ICLEI and used their carbon footprint software- very helpful in quantifying greenhouse gases.
- They are saving $800,000/yr from their energy saving investment- upgraded 7 buildings.
- Saving 4,360 tons of CO2 per year.
- Efficiency is the cheapest way to save.
- They purchase 10,000,000 kwh of wind
- Sewage treatment plant uses digester gas- this save s a lot, making hem rank 6th in country for use of greenpower
- Established first ethanol station
- Tax benefit for people who use mass transit
- NY Metropolitan Air Quality Initiative- focuses on clean diesel retrofit program
- Joined Cool Counties- 80% emission reduction by 2050
- Looking at adaptation to climate change
- Overall- county buildigs contribute 1.2% of overall energy use in county-- residential fuel oil and gasoline are largest areas of energy use- kitchen appliances use the most energy in house.
- Plan to target a town/location and focus educational efforts there as a pilot, door to door
Not commercially available yet but Babylon will beta test a few turbines.
December 8, 2006 meeting was held at Sweet Hollow Hall in Suffolk
County's West Hills Park.
The meeting was hosted
by Suffolk County and Carrie Meek Gallagher, the new Commissioner
of Suffolk County's Deptartment of Environment & Energy Affairs
and Todd Stebbins, Assistant County Executive welcomed the participants.
Suffolk Clean Energy Action Plan Update
Javed Ashraf, P.E., C.E.M., Energy Engineer with the Suffolk DPW
gave an overview of the many building efficiency upgrade projects
that Suffolk County has initiated. He estimated that the County
was saving in excess of $1 million and perhaps as much as $1.5
million annually through reduced energy costs as a result of these
Update on Building Programs
Gary Krieger and Dan Zaweski of LIPA updated the group on LIPA's
RECAP program, which is providing planning and engineering services
from Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to businesses and municipalities
to reduce electric consumption. Terry Divine of Custom Energy
and Paul Rode of Johnson Controls, two the the ESCOs participating
in the program gave presentations on their services.
Skip Hodge of NYPA
review that agencies program for building energy upgrades for
schools and state and municipal-owned buildings.
• New Biodiesel Plant in Bohemia
David Butler, CEO, American Biofuels spoke about that company's
new biodiesel plant, which produces clean burning fuel from waste
grease. He also discussed the potential for biodiesel in general.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
We heard from Andria Adler, Greater
Long Island Clean Cities who reported on the ATC conference
and funding source for alternative fuel fleets.
Friday, August 11, 2006
meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force was held
at Brookhaven Town Hall.
Attendees included representatives from both counties and 10 out
of the 13 Townships on Long Island (56 people total).
Energy Star Homes
The meeting featured a panel discussion on a proposal to require
new homes to meet Energy Star Labeled
Homes standards. The Towns of Brookhaven and Babylon have
subsequently passed resolutions enacting this policy. We encourage
each Town on Long Island to consider passing similar legislation.
L.E.D. Holiday Lights
We are encouraging municipalities that put up holiday lights to
commit to the use of light emitting diode
(L.E.D.) lighting for future holiday displays, beginning
this year, and to include information on the benefits of L.E.D.
lights in information sent to constituents between now and the
end of the year. L.E.D. lighting is highly energy efficient, and
is capable of saving 90% on energy compared to conventional lights,
thus saving money in the long run.
Solar Powered Trash Receptacles
A third topic was solar powered trash cans which use solar power
to compact garbage so more garbage can be disposed of between
pick-ups, thereby requiring fewer trips by municipal employees.
Such receptacles are now in use in the Towns of Riverhead and
East Hampton, and in other areas such as Boston and Queens.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
We heard from Andria Adler, Greater
Long Island Clean Cities who explained about federal funding
available for alternative fuel vehicles.
U.S. Mayors Climate Agreement
The Long Island Sierra Club which has a Cool
Cities campaign urging each Township to sign onto the U.S,
Mayors Climate Agreement, which now has over 200 sign-ons. The
Mayors Agreement urges the municipality to achieve the “Kyoto”
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of 7% below 1990 levels.
March 24, 2006 meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force took place at the Neighborhod Network offices
in Farmingdale, NY.
Congressman Steve Israel
addressed the group about federal energy policy legislation that
he is putting forward, his work on clean energy issues, and his
vision for Long Island to play a leadership role. The Task Force
also discussed federal tax incentives that have "pass-through"
provisions that apply to municipalities, an Energy Star Homes
policy for towns, and municipal greenhouse gas targets.
October 14th meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force was held at the Huntington Townhouse, 124
East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington. Thank you to Huntington Supervisor
Frank Petrone for hosting the meeting, and to Nassau County Executive
Tom Suozzi for delivering the keynote address. At the October
14th meeting, Nassau County Executive Tom Souzzi gave the keynote
speech, in which he announced Nassau's Clean
Energy Action Plan. Supervisor Souzzi stated in his address
that the environmental, economic and national security issues
surrounding energy use make it "the biggest problem we face
in the world today." He told the group that he was "shocked
that there isn't a greater sense of urgency" surrounding
the issue. Mr Suozzi suggested that the economic self-interest
of avoiding increasing energy costs should be harnessed to drive
the "noble goals" of protecting the earth and reducing
Americas dependence on foreign oil.
of Huntington hosted the meeting. Huntington Supervisor Frank
Petrone announced Huntington's Clean Energy
Laudisi of LIPA made a presentation on Energy Star®
Homes and updated the Task Force on LIPA's 75
mW reduction program.
on Distributed Energy Generation
Rathbun KeySpan Energy
Bill Cristofaro Energy Concepts
Andy Garsils & Mark Dougherty, LIPA
Peter Giasemis Capstone Turbine Corp.
Herby Healy, United Technologies Corp. (UTC)
Scott Herland Ingersol Rand
Leo Cagliostro, All Systems Cogeneration
Mike Wilson, Energy Solutions
of Constellation Energy briefed the group on the Suffolk County
Police Headquarters energy efficiency project.
July 15, 2005 meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force was held at the offices of the Neighborhood Network
in East Farmingdale.
meeting, Mark Dougherty of LIPA updated the group
about the increased LIPA rebate for municipalities that install
solar PV systems. Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of
Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI), addressed the meeting
about the proposed Long Island Offshore Wind Farm. There was a
presentation by Jim Leitner of the New York Power Authority
(NYPA), on the use of LED lights by municipalities for
traffic lights, exit signs, runway lights, aviation hazard lights,
etc. Architect Peter Caradonna from the US Green Building
Council made a presentation to the Task Force on components
of green building design and LEED (Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Design) standards.
the Friday, March 4, 2005 meeting of the CELTF
County Executive Steve Levy announced Suffolk's Clean Energy
Action Plan for 2005.
October 1, 2004 meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force was held at the Babylon Town Hall Annex on Phelps Lane
in North Babylon.
this meeting the Task Force:
Continued the discussion of Clean Energy Action Plans, and also
local solar codes
from representatives of Honeywell, Johnson Controls, and Custom
Energy about LIPAs new 75mw Reduction Program, and
from representatives of Community Energy and Sterling Planet
about LIPA's green choices program. (Envirogen not available).
of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto (standing center) began
the meeting with an enthusiastic welcome and congratulated
the group for their efforts to improve Long Island's environment.
(Standing left: Oyster Bay Town Clerk, Steven Labriola. Standing
right: Neal Lewis, Neighborhood Network.)
second meeting was held on June 25th, 2004. It was hosted
by the Town of Oyster Bay. The Task Force continued the discussion
of financial incentives available to municipalities for energy
efficiency projects in buildings and fleet improvements, and also
discussed some specific suggestions as to how municipalities can
implement the appropriate process and actions within their own
specific town/county structure.
from New York Power Authority, LIPA, and Clean Cities were present
to answer any questions about how municipalities can participate
in their programs.
here for more detailed notes on the meeting.
Laudisi, LIPA Clean Energy Initiative Program Manager addresses
first meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force. (Seated
Dennis Lynch, Town of Brookhaven and Gordian Raacke, RELI,
standing Alex Nyilas, LIPA and Neal Lewis, Neighborhood Network.)
meeting of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force
took place on Friday March 5, 2004 and got the
project off to great start. Forty-eight people attended the first
Task Force meeting, with both counties and ten (out of thirteen)
Long Island towns being represented. They heard from presenters
from NYPA, LIPA, and Clean Cities (see agenda below) who explained
their respective financial incentive & technical assistance
Force is made up primarily of Long Island municipalities, along
with energy authorities and environmental organizations.
and all thirteen Long Island towns have participated in meetings of the Clean Energy Leadership Task Force.
Authorities Participating Include:
Island municipality is being asked to pass a resolution to designate
two people to become active members of the Clean Energy Leadership
Task Force. One Task Force designee shall be either an elected
official or a commissioner-level official of the municipality.
The second Task Force designee should be a municipal employee
who either works directly with the supervisor's office, Town Board's
office, or with a department that is directly involved in carrying
out the clean energy challenge (such as Department of Public Works,
building maintenance, etc.).
Task Force members will include environmental groups active in
promoting clean energy initiatives including the Neighborhood
Network, Citizens Advisory Panel (CAP), and the Long Island Chapter
of the Green Buildings Council. LIPA, NYPA, NYSERDA, and other
energy authorities are also invited to be an active participant
in the task force and to provide detailed presentations on specific
energy efficiency programs.