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Affordable, sustainable energy is already here

November 10, 2011

For Sullivan County residents who are interested in saving money and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, there are now some incredible opportunities.

Green Jobs, Green New York, a program administered by the Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development, will perform free energy assessments for almost any home or business in the county. And it gets even better: if a building can be made more efficient by retrofitting, then the home or business owner can finance those improvements with a low-cost loan that’s repaid out of savings on their energy bill. In other words, people can get insulation, new doors and windows, even new appliances, all without paying a single penny out of pocket. What’s the catch? There isn’t one—and the work of retrofitting buildings can create jobs, lots of them, for local residents.

And if you want to “go solar” there are now companies that will install photovoltaic systems at no cost to the homeowner. As with Green Jobs, the systems are paid for out of savings on utility bills over the 20-year life of the system.

Finally, in the past few months, two companies have been scouting Sullivan County looking for locations for “solar farms,” parcels of five acres or more that can be leased from our hard-pressed farmers to produce clean electricity and a steady income for the landowner. Landowners may not make a killing leasing land for solar farms, but they can make something better—a living.

Bruce Ferguson
Callicoon Center, NY