Solarize Huntington Launches

May 13, 2015

Partnership between Town, Sustainable CUNY aims to increase residential solar installations by lowering costs

| Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone, the Town Council and Sustainable CUNY announce the launch of Solarize Huntington, a limited-time. community-driven education and group purchasing program aimed at reducing the cost of installing solar power for Huntington residents by as much as 25 percent. Starting today, through September10, residents can sign up for the program, either online at or at one of the Solarize 101 informational workshops the Town is sponsoring to help residents learn of the program’s benefits.

“This is terrific opportunity for residents considering converting to solar but concerned about the initial cost to obtain significant savings by joining with their neighbors and obtaining volume discounts,” Supervisor Petrone said. “Anyone who has been thinking about solar should come down to one of the information sessions and learn how joining the Solarize Huntington program will benefit them.”

Solarize Huntington is a group purchasing program that centers around a community education campaign made possible through a partnership between Sustainable CUNY of the City University of New York (CUNY), the New York Solar Smart Program, the Town and the Town’s Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency, Renewables, and Sustainability (ACEERS).

Sustainable CUNY is the program administrator for Solarize Huntington, working to reduce the soft costs of installing solar as part of the larger statewide effort under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initistive Rooftop Solar Challenge II. Huntington, through ACEERS, will be involved in the education and outreach component.

“Huntington officials were among the first to step up and commit to actively working on a Department of Energy program aimed at reducing the costs of installing solar in New York,” said Laurie Reilly, Director of Communications for Sustainable CUNY. “CUNY’s NYS Solar Ombudsmen, Huntington leaders, and dedicated volunteers will work together on Solarize Huntington to increase solar capacity in Huntington at a lower cost, leading to a growth in clean renewable energy and local economic development.”

Solarize Huntington aims to reduce the cost of installing solar by leveraging the collective purchasing power of Huntington homeowners. Participating homeowners will purchase, finance or lease solar systems from Direct Energy Solar, the installer selected through a competitive bidding process. The size of their savings will depend on how many people sign up; the more people who participate, the greater the savings. They could range from 15 to 25 percent, compared to average installation prices in the area. Direct Energy Solar has offered an additional $500 discount to the first 20 homeowners to sign contracts.

“Solarize Huntington program enables the Town of Huntington to be proactive about growing our own renewable energy market, strengthening our energy options and providing local jobs,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said.

“Solarize programs make it easier for a community to save together,” Councilwoman Susan Berland said.  “Moreover, they provide a mechanism for the public to get answers to any questions they may have on the solar installation process.”

“This program will allow the residents of Huntington to be educated about the benefits of solar energy and the cost incentives that are available to them through Solarize Huntington, and I am a firm believer that the Town Board should support these programs if it allows the homeowner to save money while being environmentally conscious for the our children’s and grandchildren’s future.” Councilman Eugene Cook said.

“Creating energy sources close to home by capturing the energy of the sun on our rooftops just makes sense. The Town of Huntington is proud to present this solar opportunity to our constituents,” said Councilwoman Tracey Edwards.

“We’re so pleased that Direct Energy Solar was selected to partner with Solarize Huntington so we can help spread the word about the benefits of solar. We have worked with more than 20 communities across the U.S. in Solarize programs and it’s very powerful and energizing to see so many organizations and residents joining together to take a positive step toward energy independence, financial savings and doing something really good for the environment. We are excited to start this program and we know it will be a real success,” said Jennifer Coken, Director of Community Programs for Direct Energy Solar.

Huntington has been averaging about 500 applications a year for solar installation permits. Other locations around the country that have tried similar programs have seen increase of about 33 percent in the number installations.

Solarize Huntington is the latest of several initiatives Huntington has undertaken to encourage and increase the use of solar power to cut down on the consumption of fossil fuels. The Town recently approved a fast-track process for approval of solar installation permits, and several years ago used a federal grant to install solar panels at Town Hall. The Town also installed a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station at the Huntington Long Island Rail Road station parking garage.

Residents can obtain additional information about the program and the benefits of going solar by visiting the website,