On May 4, 2015, the Town of Huntington and Sustainable CUNY announced 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. Through Septembe10, residents can sign up for the program, either online or at one of the Solarize 101 informational workshops the Town is sponsoring to help residents learn of the program's benefits.
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 Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II. Huntington, through ACEERS, will be involved in the education and outreach component.
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.
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.