The Town of Huntington is partnering with the City University of New York in an initiative to streamline the solar permit process for home and business owners throughout New York State.
Huntington is one of 30 municipal partners in the "New York Solar Smart" application for a federal Solar Rooftop Challenge Grant being submitted by Sustainable CUNY. The goal of the program is to reduce red tape and normalize the permit process state-wide to facilitate the use of solar energy products.
Nassau and Suffolk County Planning Commissions and LIPA launched a unified solar permitting process as part of the Long Island Unified Solar Permitting Initiative in 2011. Previously, each municipality in Long Island had a different set of regulations, creating confusion, delays and extra costs.
The Town of Huntington was ahead of the curve, adopting the Solar Fast Track program four years earlier. The Town currently expedites solar permits and does not charge a fee.
Under CUNY's New York Solar Smart initiative, Huntington and the other participating municipalities will communicate regularly to formulate codes governing solar energy products so everyone is on the same page.
"We'll definitely be heavily involved in what comes out of this, but it's going to be a consensus state-wide," said Huntington Sustainability Officer Terese Kinsley. "The whole purpose is to try and minimize the barriers that prohibit people from putting solar on."