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Riverhead mulls inclusion on ‘clean energy’ list

Riverhead Town Hall on May 23, 2013.

Riverhead Town Hall on May 23, 2013. Credit: Newsday

Riverhead is considering passing a law that would add the town to a list of several other East End municipalities designated as “Clean Energy Communities.”

If passed, a draft of the local law would add a new chapter, “Municipal Building Energy Benchmarking,” to the town code. It which would measure and track town-owned buildings’ energy use over time in an attempt to reduce the energy costs for such buildings.

Southold, Southampton and East Hampton are three of the 13 listed Long Island communities — including Suffolk County — designated as Clean Energy Communities under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

“Collecting, reporting and sharing building energy benchmarking data on a regular basis allow municipal officials and the public to understand the energy performance of municipal buildings,” the proposed law states. “Equipped with this information, the town of Riverhead is able to make smarter, more cost-effective operational and capital investment decisions.”

Drew Dillingham, the town’s engineer, told the town board at its May 25 work session that among the requirements to comply with the clean energy benchmarks would be identifying any occupied town-owned buildings 1,000 square feet or more, and then performing energy audits on them.

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said the building audit would be helpful in identifying which town structures are the most inefficient when it comes to energy usage. A public hearing on the issue is expected at a later date.

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