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Homepage of the
Locustwood / Gotham Civic Association
Elmont, Long Island, New York 11003

Next Meeting:

December 18
7:30 PM



Solar/Home Efficiency Seminars

Solar/Home Efficiency Seminars to Help Residents Cut Energy Costs, Save Planet

Standing in front of a solar-powered home in Levittown, Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray invited residents to attend the first in a new series of "Go Green" seminars aimed at helping residents to lower their energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Joined by Councilman Gary Hudes and LIPA representatives, the officials previewed the free seminars which will provide information on how neighbors can switch to solar power and make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. The first "how to" seminar, being cooperatively presented by the Town, LIPA and Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI), took place on Tuesday, April 15th at Levittown Hall. Six more are in the process of being scheduled for May and June and will take place throughout the township.

"I am really happy that LIPA and RELI are partnering with Hempstead to help residents save money and save the planet," stated Murray. "It's appropriate that the town is hosting the 'kick-off' seminar one week before Earth Day, since Hempstead Town has been ahead of the curve on environmental initiatives and alternate energy usage."

Dave Beaulieu of Conservation Services Group presented the home performance portion of the seminar, and Christian Adams of the Solar Center hosted the solar presentation. Renewable energy experts, solar technology installers and satisfied homeowners were on hand to discuss the benefits of converting to household solar power and making your home more energy efficient by converting to Energy Star appliances. The multiple tax credits and LIPA rebates that make installing a solar energy system affordable were also detailed.

Hempstead Town has been a pioneer in the area of solar energy. The Town Hall boasts a 256-panel, 40-kilowatt photovoltaic system atop it, providing lighting and ventilation to town offices. The municipality has also installed two separate 10 kilowatt systems at its water quality testing facility and the Conservation and Waterways Department. Another 10K system is poised to be installed on a new eco-friendly shellfish nursery in Lido Beach. Finally, the town is soon to acquire a fully solar powered office and educational center.

Solar energy is a convenient and viable alternative energy source, and Hempstead Town has been at the forefront of harnessing the sun's energy to run town facilities. "Using solar power technology, we have been able to reduce pollution, conserve natural resources and reduce the town's energy costs," said Councilman Gary Hudes. "Individuals and businesses can also incorporate this cost-effective and environmentally-friendly technology into their overall power schemes."

"I commend Supervisor Kate Murray for her plan to promote clean and renewable energy in the Town of Hempstead," said LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law. "LIPA remains committed to working with government officials, business leaders and community members to relay the vital message of clean and efficient energy."

"LIPA President Kevin Law and Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray must be commended for hosting these home energy efficiency seminars and RELI looks forward to working with both to help people in Hempstead save energy and money while reducing harmful emissions from our homes," said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island (RELI), a not-for-profit organization. "We may not realize it, but our homes are often poorly insulated and use antiquated or needlessly wasteful heating and air conditioning systems, appliances and lighting. Thanks to LIPA's Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program, homeowners can now get help from specially trained home energy experts and find out how much money they can save by making energy efficiency improvements."

Neal Lewis, executive director of the Long Island Neighborhood Network added, "With the rituals of spring also come an annual opportunity to take a fresh look at reducing our use of energy and improving our environmental awareness. These types of events are a great way to get the word out to people about the importance of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, especially as we approach Earth Day."

Neighbors who have installed solar energy at homes and businesses have been pleased with the results and enthusiastic about encouraging others to "go solar." Peter Ray of Levittown was on hand at the press conference to detail his family's experience with photovoltaic energy.

"Nothing is more gratifying than seeing your electric meter go backwards," said Ray. "I would encourage anybody who is considering this technology to look at it as an investment. I expect to see a return on my investment in three and a half years as a result of the money I am saving every day by having solar power."

"We're 'going green' in Hempstead Town and you can too," concluded Murray. "By increasing your home's efficiency and incorporating solar power you can save money, conserve precious resources and keep our planet healthy for future generations."

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