Northport is making it easier and cheaper for village residents to use alternate forms of energy.

Village trustees unanimously passed two resolutions this month to streamline the permit process and to eliminate application fees for installing small-scale solar panels or electric vehicle charging stations at homes and businesses.

Officials said they want to support residents who seek to cut greenhouse gases and save money through alternative energy sources.

"We enthusiastically streamlined our process," Trustee Henry Tobin said. "We believe in solar power."

By passing the resolutions, Northport is eligible to apply for $5,000 in state grants, Village Attorney Stuart Besen said. "It's encouraging people to go green," he said. "The state is encouraging local municipalities to enact these types of laws to then encourage residents to go solar."

Any applications for installing photovoltaic systems on residential and other buildings will be expedited: applicants can expect a decision within 14 business days. Incomplete or deficient applications must be returned to the applicant within seven days of when the village building department receives it.

In the past, it could take three to six months to get solar panel approval, Besen said.

To be eligible for expedited approval, residents installing solar panels will have to meet specific criteria, including using contractors on LIPA's prescreened list and equipment certified to meet efficiency and longevity standards.

The village also passed a zoning resolution that will allow vehicle charging stations to be installed on any local property, regardless of zoning.

Only one charging station will be allowed per parcel, and standard structure setback restrictions will still apply.

To learn more, residents can call the Village Department of Building, Housing and Code Compliance at 631-261-7502 or visit Programs/Cleaner


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