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Suffolk County has plan to help local governments trim electric bills

The PSEG Long Island power plant at Fort

The PSEG Long Island power plant at Fort Pond in Montauk on April 2. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Suffolk County will announce on Tuesday it is adding a menu of energy-saving services, expertise and cooperative purchasing to its shared-service offerings, allowing more than 100 local municipalities to save on their county electric bills.

The program, which is being coordinated with PSEG Long Island and LIPA, will allow municipalities to save by pooling their buying power when purchasing energy-saving LED lighting, efficient windows and other building fixes, and power-saving heating and air-conditioning equipment.

There also will be ways to share information on rebates, programs, smart-meter data and energy audits to inform governments of ways the county already has saved, along with tools for cutting red tape in applying for and purchasing goods and services, said Ed Moltzen, director of shared services for the county.

The new offerings, called SuffolkShare Efficiency Partnership, are part of the Suffolk County Shared Services plan, which was initiated by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office to reduce the cost of government through pooling resources.

The plan will offer governments the same “template” Suffolk has used to lower its electric bill by around $10 million a year, Moltzen said. He acknowledged many governments already have taken advantage of things such as LED lighting rebates from the utility, or free energy assessments from PSEG. But lots of small villages, libraries and water districts in the county have not, he said. The program will be available to the 105 municipalities in shared services, and the 95 or so that have yet to sign on, said Jason Elan, a county spokesman.

There are “significant” rebate dollars available that go unspent each year, he said, and governments are often the ones that can benefit.

Suffolk already has launched programs for shared services, including procurement of police equipment and recycling, and health services such as tick mitigation.

“There’s an administrative cost to everything you do in government,” Moltzen said. “If a small government can be part of a cooperative procurement … it will create big savings.”

The plan is being finalized and will be up for approval by September before being enacted for 2020, Moltzen said. It must be submitted to the state by year's end.

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