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Village seeks net metering as way to improve energy efficiency

The Greenport Board of Trustees passed a resolution last Thursday authorizing village administrator Paul Pallas to request permission from the New York Power Authority to implement net metering in the Village of Greenport. 

Net metering would allow the village to purchase excess electricity from customers using solar panels, up to a certain limit. Right now, the village is considering a maximum annual expenditure of $16,000 — but Mr. Pallas emphasized in an interview with The Suffolk Times that the number is “purely theoretical,” and the village would never need to pay that much. “It would require every solar panel to sell everything back to the village, which is not the way it works. But that’s an absolute worst case,” he said. “So if every house that had a solar panel that was subscribed to the system used no energy at all, ever, we could theoretically spend out of pocket $16,000, which again, is not reasonable.” He added that net metering would reduce peak electricity load, lowering dependence on imported energy. 

“Our dependence on imported energy goes down, which is … always good,” he said. “It’s very expensive to buy energy, meaning that when you get near peak loads, our hydro power allocation doesn’t meet that, so we are buying energy on the market and market-based energy is very, very expensive, particularly on hot days.” 

Purchasing excess power from solar panels on people’s roofs wouldn’t cost the village “anywhere near what market-based energy would cost,” he added. 

The change would fit the “spirit of the contract” between the village and New York Power Authority, which encourages “energy-efficient use of electricity,” Mr. Pallas said.

New loading zone rules

Village trustees adopted new loading zone regulations to improve loading efficiency and minimize “obstruction of the loading area or of nearby parking” last Thursday. 

Regulations included in the new legislation restrict stopping and standing in areas along both sides of Adams Street, the south side of Central Avenue, the south side of East Front Street, the north side of South Street and the east side of Third Street. At the meeting last Thursday, Mayor George Hubbard said the village would shorten the loading zone at the southwest corner of Adams Street by 30 feet to accommodate a curb cut that had been requested earlier that day. 

A SEQRA resolution adopted at the meeting noted that the changes will not have a significant negative impact on the environment.