A bill proposed this summer to reinvigorate and enhance Southampton Town’s solar electric rebate and incentive program was adopted at the Town Board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, October 8. As a result, residential and commercial consumers will now have the ability to apply for a rebate of up to $3,500 ($350 per kilowatt) for the installation of a solar electric system, and $500 for a geothermal, solar hot water, system.
Previously, Southampton Town offered a fixed $2,500 rebate for solar electric/photovoltaic systems.
The legislation also encourages the use of sustainable energy sources in new construction by allowing for a faster review process and waiver of the building permit fee for any residential subdivision application where homes get 50 percent or more of their total energy consumption from solar energy.
“It’s essential that we continue to explore and promote environmentally friendly alternatives to fossil fuel on all levels of government,” said Councilman Chris Nuzzi, who spearheaded the bill. “The cost of solar energy equipment has decreased over the past several years, but it’s still a substantial investment for a business or homeowner to undertake. By offering rebates and incentives, in combination with state and federal tax credits, the costs of renewable systems can be defrayed significantly, making them accessible to a wider range of energy consumers.”
Over the past five years, Nuzzi has also brought bills forth twice to request that the State Legislature authorize a property tax reduction for solar and/or geothermal system improvements on both residential and commercial structures by recognizing an alternative energy adjustment on the Town tax bill.
“I’m really happy that Councilman Nuzzi’s resolution has been adopted,” said local solar retailer Gary Minnick, the President of Go Solar Inc., noting that Southampton Town has been a leader on Long Island, and probably New York State, in creating monetary incentives for solar energy installations.
“It’s is a breath of fresh air seeing how local government can step up to the plate, and provide some additional incentives that make the deployment of solar energy systems across the Town of Southampton more cost effective,” added Mike Bailish, VP of Sales and Marketing for SUNation Solar Systems, Inc. “Southampton has always been a leader in promoting renewable energy, and we in the solar industry applaud their efforts.”