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Riverhead seeks to become ‘Clean Energy Community’

Riverhead hopes to join the ranks of Southold, Brookhaven and other Long Island municipalities that have earned the title “Clean Energy Community.”

The designation is given by the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority to communities that complete four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions. Earning the title make a community eligible to apply for grants to fund additional clean energy projects, according to NYSERDA’s program description.

High-impact actions include adopting a benchmarking policy to report the energy use of municipal buildings, which Riverhead is slated to do once a proposed local law is approved. The town has been working on other initiatives as well, such as retrofitting street lights with more efficient LED bulbs.

Municipal buildings account for more than 60 percent of the energy used in the state, according to NYSERDA. Collecting, reporting and sharing building energy benchmarking data regularly allows the town and public to understand how public buildings perform compared to similar structures nationwide, according to the proposed local law.

“Equipped with this information, the Town of Riverhead is able to make smarter, more cost-effective operational and capital investment decisions, reward efficiency, and drive widespread, continuous improvement,” the law states.

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