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Green Building News

LI Green Aims for a Greener Long Island

All over the island LI Green says it has helped evaluate energy efficiency conditions in more than 60 Long Island homes and directly assisted in construction retrofitting at over half of them. This map shows the communities served by the test programs.
Image Credit: LI Green and the Suffolk County Energy Alliance

Launched in 2007, the nonprofit performs energy-efficiency audits for Suffolk County homeowners and helps initiate retrofits, all with the goal of improving Long Island’s ecology and economy

When business savvy, a certain level of altruism, and environmental and economic needs align, it can be a beautiful thing. And sometimes a really green one.

LI Green, a small nonprofit affiliated with Stony Brook University academic programs, including Stony Brook Southampton’s sustainability program, is evidence of that.

Inspired by a Stony Brook School of Business and School of Engineering market study that showed grassroots energy efficiency programs could deliver services to homeowners more inexpensively and effectively than programs offered by local utilities, LI Green’s entrepreneurial co-founders, Richard Turan and Charles Schwartz, assembled a small team of technicians and began offering homeowners free energy audits. In April 2008, the group also began presenting what it calls “GreenSpeaks” community awareness seminars in Suffolk and Nassau counties that have attracted a combined total of more than 500 people.

A concerted effort

LI Green has partnered with not only Stony Brook University but also Suffolk County Government and Bethpage Federal Credit Union to provide the audits, help homeowners who receive them contact a contractor (certified by the Building Performance Institute), and also provide details about securing below-market financing. LI Green techs also can offer guidance to homeowners who want to do the work themselves.

Each audit includes an in-depth report on the home’s energy performance based on the audit team’s energy survey of the house, a thermographic study, and a utility bill analysis. So far, LI Green says, the service has facilitated audits of more than 60 homes and helped arrange retrofits for more than half of the audit recipients. LI Green adds that its program has prompted the creation of 10 jobs in the private sector.

In at least one very important way, LI Green’s approach resembles the one recently proposed by the ClimateSmart energy efficiency program serving Boulder, Colorado: the audit team not only provides performance data, it makes it easy for the homeowner to take the next crucial step toward getting the retrofits done.

LI Green asks homeowners to prepare in advance for an audit by creating a profile of their home that includes its size and age; its source of heat; a list of alterations to the original structure; areas of concern (including drafty spots and high energy bills); and 12 months of heating fuel and utility bills. The first step, though, is to fill out an LI Green request-for-services form, available by clicking here.


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