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Suffolk County, PSEG Long Island, LI-GEO Unveil New Geothermal Energy Code to Assist Homeowners and Businesses

Alternative Energy Code Provides Blueprint for Future Geothermal Installations.

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Suffolk County, NY - November 15th, 2014 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone joined the Suffolk County Planning Commission, PSEG Long Island and the Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization (LI-GEO) today to announce the first uniform geothermal alternative energy code for residential and commercial properties in New York State.
“Suffolk County is committed to reducing the usage of fossil fuels, lowering energy consumption and providing further cost savings for our residents,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “We will continue to find ways to make these clean energy alternatives, including geothermal, more attainable for our residents.”
The Suffolk County Planning Commission, which developed the model in conjunction with LI-GEO and other key stakeholders, noted that the new code will help municipalities and private industry installers streamline the evaluation and installation process throughout Suffolk County while ensuring high quality installations that will protect Suffolk’s groundwater. The effort built upon an initial code developed by Brookhaven Town.
"This is another step in establishing Suffolk County as a national leader in creating a clean energy economy and green jobs,” said David Calone, Chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission. “The new code will help municipalities evaluate proposed geothermal systems in residential and commercial settings.”
Geothermal systems utilize the constant, below-ground temperature to heat and cool buildings and homes to save energy and money.
The Suffolk County Planning Commission previously developed and endorsed a model solar code to help municipalities evaluate proposed solar energy systems for residential and commercial properties that was adopted by all 10 of Suffolk’s towns. The code formed the basis for New York’s subsequent statewide solar code streamlining effort. Since the solar code was adopted by municipalities, an estimated 6,000 solar installations have been completed throughout the Long Island region. From 2001-2011, less than 5,000 installations were completed.
The model geothermal code incorporated the input of key stakeholder entities including the NY State Department of State’s Division of Building Standards and Codes, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Legislature, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the Suffolk County Water Authority and Renewable Energy LI.
The announcement coincided with LI-GEO’s annual Geothermal Conference, which featured panel discussions and informational sessions on geothermal energy advancements at the Marriot hotel in Ronkonkoma.
John Franceschina, President, LI-GEO, added "The first-in-the-state municipal geothermal heat pump code crafted by the Suffolk County Planning Commission and Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization (LI-GEO) will help to lead the way for Long Island as well as other communities in New York and other states in producing efficient, reliable and responsible geothermal heat pump installations for all." 
Similar to the incentives provided for adoption of the uniform solar code, PSEG Long Island has committed to provide implementation assistance of $10,000 to each township and $5,000 to the first ten villages with a population greater than 5,000 in Suffolk and Nassau 
Counties that adopt the model geothermal code by March 31, 2015.
“PSEG Long Island is dedicated to the advancement of energy efficiency on Long Island and the development of the model geothermal code will help create a more energy efficient Long Island,” said Dan Eichhorn, vice president of customer services. “Geothermal technology is an energy efficient and environmentally friendly option for heating and cooling homes and businesses. We are proud to support the Suffolk County Planning Commission in their efforts to develop this code and to help make Long Island more energy efficient.”
“The Town of Brookhaven will continue to work with Suffolk County and our partners to put alternative energy first,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. “It is an honor to work with a group of individuals who truly value the environment.”
Assemblyman Steve Englebright added, “This model code will set the standard, not only in the region, but in the Nation for how to streamline the geothermal installation process.”
"A unified code and permitting process for geothermal heat pumps, when adopted across Long Island's towns, will make the installation of such systems for heating and cooling more affordable for homeowners and help to build a stronger geothermal industry here on the island," said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island (reLI).
“After Superstorm Sandy, many Long Islanders are looking to new sources of energy – especially clean and renewable energy,” said New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn. “Geothermal is a stable, steady source of energy that also helps reduce the carbon emissions that are causing climate change in the first place. We salute Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County Planning Commission, PSEG Long Island and the Long Island Geothermal Energy Organization for being the first out of the gate in New York. The new code sets standards that will make it easier for homeowners and businesses to tap into this clean-energy source and help grow the emerging geothermal industry.”
Jim Gaughran, Chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority which reviewed and commented on the proposed code, noted, “We appreciate the efforts of the Suffolk County Planning Commission to be protective of our Sole Source Aquifer, the County’s only source of fresh drinking water, in the development of this uniform Geothermal code.”
“The USGBC is very grateful for the leadership of the Suffolk County Planning Commission and LI-GEO in developing a model geothermal code,” said Sammy Chu, Chairman, U.S. Green Building Council Long Island Chapter. “As demonstrated by the Commission's previous efforts on a uniform solar code, expedited processing can help the proliferation of green building and renewable energy installations.”
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About the Suffolk County Planning Commission
Under state and county law, the Suffolk County Planning Commission is responsible for identifying and promoting county-wide land use values and planning priorities. This includes making recommendations to local municipalities about policies that have regional impact and developing common approaches to address issues affecting the future of Suffolk County. The County Planning Commission is comprised of 15 members who are nominated by the County Executive and are confirmed by the County Legislature.
About LI-GEO
LI-GEO is a regional organization working together with governmental, professional, commercial and residential entities and individuals to promote geothermal heating and cooling systems as a viable renewable energy technology.
About PSEG Long Island
PSEG Long Island is committed to building an industry leading electric company dedicated to providing the people of Long Island and The Rockaways with exceptional customer service, best-in-class reliability and storm response, and a strong level of involvement in the communities in which its employees live and work. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $10 billion and operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.