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Tighter Energy Star standard in Babylon?

The Town of Babylon will hold a public hearing on a resolution to tighten Energy Star building requirements.

The hearing, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. June 7, will address amending town code to change Energy Star requirements for new homes. The town adopted the Energy Star mandate, which has required new homes to meet an energy efficiency score of 84 out of 100 points, in 2006, followed by nine other towns on Long Island. Only the towns of East Hampton, Southold and Shelter Island don’t have such requirements, said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College.

Under the proposed requirements, new homes would be required to use an index system and must receive a score of 70 out of 100. The scoring is stricter, Lewis said, and 70 would be equivalent to an 86 on the old scoring system. The result would be a 10 percent increase in a home’s energy efficiency, he said. The proposal includes additional certifications that are not mandated, he said, but that would allow builders to receive monetary incentives from LIPA.

Lewis said that before towns adopted Energy Star requirements for new construction, only 100 homes on Long Island met Energy Star standards. Now, he said, the number of Energy Star homes has risen to 1,619, he said, and the carbon footprint has been reduced by 900 tons, with $1.35 million saved and 60 new jobs created.

“I really feel we’ve accomplished something here on Long Island,” Lewis said.

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