Property owners in unincorporated areas of North Hempstead Town will, for the rest of the year, be able to get free site assessments if they want to switch their homes or businesses to solar power.
The Solarize North Hempstead campaign kicks off at North Hempstead’s BeachFeast at noon on Sept. 17, where representatives of solar companies that have partnered with the town will be present to tell people about their programs.
Brookhaven, Southampton and Huntington have run similar solarization campaigns through Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which aims to support solar power in New York by spending almost $1 billion through 2023.
North Hempstead is getting $5,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for Solarize, said NYSERDA spokeswoman Sue Gold. It isn’t going to cost the town anything, said town spokeswoman Carole Trottere.
“We know that many property owners don’t know where to start when they want to install solar panels,” North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement. “The solarize initiative is a great way for us to help our local businesses and residents make contact with reputable local companies, and to install solar energy at low cost.”
As well as saving on electric bills, property owners who sign contracts with installers through Solarize North Hempstead before Dec. 31 will be able to save extra through special discounts and incentives the solar companies taking part are offering.
“Anyone that purchases a system from SUNation can expect [to save] at least 5 to 10 percent over the market,” said Mike Bailis, co-founder and chief sales officer of SUNation Solar Systems, the Ronkonkoma company that is going to be one of the town’s installers.
Also, Bailis said, people will get rebate checks from his company, with the amount of the payments increasing as more people sign up. SUNation was also the installer in Brookhaven, and there the company ended up paying out $700 each to almost 80 homeowners who went solar.
SUNation is handling both residential and commercial installations in North Hempstead, and in addition to them, SunPower by EmPower Solar, of Island Park, will also be doing residential installations, and GreenLogic, of Roslyn Heights, will also handle commercial ones.
As well as doing the assessments and installations, the companies will help property owners get the town permits they need and apply for tax credits.
Trottere said the town weighed factors such as distance to town, the ability to provide warranties, workmanship and testimonials from past customers in choosing the companies.
The solar industry has been growing fast on Long Island over the past few years. Long Island stopped getting NY-Sun residential solar utility rebates this spring, since, NYSERDA said at the time, the region’s residential solar market had grown by 320 percent since 2012 and didn’t need the subsidies anymore.