Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 4-20-2010 by L.L. No. 4-2010, effective 4-30-2010. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town has for some time sought to improve the environment and air quality for its residents. The programs incorporated herein are the first of their type that the Town has sought to undertake. These programs are intended not only to reduce CO2 emissions, but also to assist residents by reducing their utility bills and improving the quality of their home environment. Another benefit of the programs will be the reduction of dependence upon foreign fossil fuels. Finally, the expenditure of funds and the formulation of effective programs that can be continued beyond the limitations of current grant funding are intended to provide much needed work for local contractors.
For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
QUALIFYING PROGRAM
Any of the programs enumerated in this chapter, the purpose of which is to provide funding to owners of real property located within the Town of Brookhaven or the incorporated villages within the Town of Brookhaven in order to construct energy efficiency improvements at the subject property, subject to all specific program requirements, and the repayment for which shall be included in the semiannual tax levy for the subject property. Another purpose shall be to retrofit Town-owned buildings and Town-owned ancillary infrastructure in order to increase energy efficiency. The qualifying programs shall include the following:
[Amended 5-7-2015 by L.L. No. 6-2015; effective 5-15-2015]
A. 
A program funded through federal grants and revolving loans which shall provide financing to owners of single-family, owner-occupied residential property located within the Town of Brookhaven or the incorporated villages within the Town of Brookhaven in order to construct energy efficiency improvements at the subject property. The scope of the energy efficiency improvements that will be funded through the "Green Homes Initiative" shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter as well as guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, pursuant to § 7C-3 of this chapter.
B. 
A program funded through federal grants and revolving loans which shall provide financing to owners of single-family, owner-occupied residential property located within the Town of Brookhaven or the incorporated villages within the Town of Brookhaven for the purpose of installing solar panels at the subject property. In order to qualify for the "Go Solar Initiative," owners of residential property must demonstrate a minimum level of energy efficiency, as determined pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, pursuant to § 7C-3 of this chapter.
C. 
A program funded through the usage of loan repayments in connection with the "Green Home Initiative" and "Go Solar Initiative," Subsections A and B above, to deeply retrofit buildings and ancillary infrastructure owned by the Town of Brookhaven in order to increase energy efficiency and reduce total energy use. The scope of the energy efficiency improvements at Town-owned buildings and ancillary infrastructure shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter as well as guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, pursuant to § 7C-3 of this chapter.
The Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven hereby authorizes, empowers and directs the Commissioner of the Department of Finance to issue and promulgate written guidelines for each of the qualifying programs authorized by this chapter, which guidelines shall have the same force and effect as if adopted by the Town Board.
A. 
Green Homes Initiative.
(1) 
Only single-family, owner-occupied residential homes shall be eligible for funding under the Green Homes Initiative. Residential property that has the benefit of an accessory apartment at the time of entering into a contract with the Town of Brookhaven pursuant to Subsection A(6) of this section, and residential property that is the subject of a violation of the Brookhaven Town Code shall not be eligible for funding.
(2) 
An application for consideration in the Green Homes Initiative shall be submitted either through the Town of Brookhaven website or to the Town Clerk's office on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, and shall include no less than two years of monthly usage data from the applicant's utility provider for electric, gas and/or oil service. Utility usage figures must be submitted prior to final approval for financing.
(3) 
Review of the Green Homes Initiative applications shall be on a first-come, first-served basis as determined by time of receipt of applications into the Town Clerk's office, and shall be subject to availability of funds.
(4) 
Homeowners granted preliminary acceptance into the Green Homes Initiative shall be required to schedule a home performance evaluation for the subject premises within 30 days of the Town of Brookhaven issuing notice to the homeowner of such preliminary acceptance. The home performance evaluation shall be conducted either by National Grid or LIPA, or their successor agencies if any, or by a Town of Brookhaven approved Building Performance Institute (BPI) accredited energy auditor. If the homeowner utilizes a Town of Brookhaven approved, BPI accredited energy auditor, then a fee of $200 shall be charged to the homeowner, payable to the energy auditor. This fee shall be nonrefundable, and shall not be deemed a credit towards the repayment of the principal amount due to the Town of Brookhaven under the Green Homes Initiative.
(5) 
(a) 
Final acceptance into the Green Homes Initiative shall be conditioned upon the homeowner meeting or superseding a minimum savings-to-investment ratio (SIR), as established by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance. The retrofit work that will be considered for financing shall include:
[1] 
HVAC controls;
[2] 
Boiler and furnace replacement;
[3] 
Hot water improvements, including solar thermal applications;
[4] 
Condenser and air handler replacement;
[5] 
Basement insulation and air sealing;
[6] 
Attic insulation and air sealing;
[7] 
Wall insulation to fill an empty cavity;
[8] 
High-efficiency lighting;
[9] 
Differential cost for high-efficiency window replacement; and
[10] 
Other construction that the Commissioner of the Department of Finance deems to meet or exceed a minimum SIR and which furthers the spirit and intent of the Green Homes Initiative.
(b) 
The cost of each item that will be financed under the Green Homes Initiative shall be determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, but in no event shall total project funding exceed $10,000 per single-family, owner-occupied residential property.
(6) 
In order to receive financing under the Green Homes Initiative, the homeowner shall enter into contracts with the Town of Brookhaven, prior to the commencement of any work at the subject premises. Said contract shall be on a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, and shall incorporate all of the rights and responsibilities of the homeowner under the Green Homes Initiative.
(7) 
The principal amount due to the Town of Brookhaven under the Green Homes Initiative shall constitute a lien upon the benefited premises, and shall be repaid in accordance with § 7C-6 of this chapter.
B. 
Go Solar Initiative.
(1) 
Only single-family, owner-occupied residential homes shall be eligible for funding under the Go Solar Initiative. Residential property that has the benefit of an accessory apartment at the time of entering into a contract with the Town of Brookhaven pursuant to Subsection B(6) of this section, and residential property that is the subject of a violation of the Brookhaven Town Code shall not be eligible for funding.
(2) 
An application for consideration in the Go Solar Initiative shall be submitted to the Town of Brookhaven's independent certified public accountant on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance. Selection shall be based upon a lottery drawing, at such time and location to be determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance.
(3) 
Eligibility in the Go Solar Initiative shall be based upon compliance with the following criteria:
(a) 
The homeowner must have had a home performance evaluation completed on the subject premises by a BPI accredited energy auditor within three years of applying for the Go Solar Initiative;
(b) 
The subject premises must maintain a maximum of 12 air changes per hour, as determined by such a home energy performance evaluation or minimum energy efficiency or maximum building shell leakage as determined by guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance;
(c) 
The age of the roof at the subject premises shall not be more than 10 years, unless determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance to meet the Go Solar Initiative program guidelines despite being more than 10 years old.
(d) 
Sufficient installable area and composition and sufficient unobstructed southern exposure of the roof of the subject premises, as determined by guidelines promulgated by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance; and
(4) 
Homeowners initially selected for the Go Solar Initiative, but who do not meet the criteria outlined in Subsection B(3) above, may utilize a Town of Brookhaven approved, BPI accredited energy auditor to conduct a home energy performance evaluation in order to determine whether the subject premises is in conformity with the maximum of 12 air changes per hour. If the homeowner does utilize a Town of Brookhaven approved, BPI accredited energy auditor, then a fee of $200 shall be charged to the homeowner, payable to the energy auditor. This fee shall be nonrefundable, and shall not be deemed a credit towards the repayment of the principal amount due to the Town of Brookhaven under the Go Solar Initiative. The homeowner shall be responsible for all other modifications, if any, to the subject premises in order to bring the subject premises into compliance with the criteria for eligibility outlined in Subsection B(3) above.
(5) 
Following a determination of eligibility of the homeowner in the Go Solar Initiative, the homeowner shall enter into contracts with the Town of Brookhaven, prior to the commencement of any work at the subject premises. Said contract shall be on a form as prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, and shall incorporate all of the rights and responsibilities of the homeowner under the Go Solar Initiative.
(6) 
The principal amount due to the Town of Brookhaven under the Go Solar Initiative shall constitute a lien upon the benefited premises, and shall be repaid in accordance with § 7C-6 of this chapter.
C. 
Retrofit ramp-up.
[Added 5-7-2015 by L.L. No. 6-2015, effective 5-15-2015]
(1) 
All Town-owned buildings and Town-owned ancillary infrastructure shall be eligible for energy-efficient upgrades, in final amounts to be determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance, pursuant to § 7C-3 of this chapter.
There shall be charged an administrative fee of 5% of the total amount of project costs awarded to owners of residential property under a qualifying program. This administrative fee of 5% shall be included in the repayment of the principal amount due under a qualifying program.
A. 
For financing awarded under a qualifying program that is funded wholly by a federal grant, the homeowner shall be required to repay 30% of the project cost over a term of five years.
B. 
For financing awarded under a qualifying program that is not funded, or ceases to be funded, wholly by a federal grant, the homeowner shall be required to repay 100% of the project cost over a term not to exceed the weighted average of the useful life of any such improvements made to the subject property, as determined by the Commissioner of the Department of Finance.
C. 
The amount due to the Town of Brookhaven as a result of financing under a qualifying program shall be repaid by the homeowner through a charge on the real property benefited by such financing. Such a charge shall be on the real property and shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as other municipal taxes, and such charge shall be separately listed on the tax bill for the subject real property.
In the event of owner default of any of the terms and conditions of the contract as set forth in the qualifying programs, the Town shall provide written notice allowing the owner three business days to cure or correct the default. In the event that the owner has not cured or taken measures to cure the default to the Town's satisfaction within three business days of the date of notice the Town may, in its sole discretion, declare the contract terminated and direct that all work on the project stop immediately or take other measures to address the default, the cost of which will be borne solely by the owner. In the event of default, the owner will be responsible for any of the costs of work which the Town is obligated to pay to the contractor and any other parties as a result of the project. In such event, the Town, in its sole discretion, may require immediate payment in full of the amount due, or the Town may require the owner to make payment in accord with the payment terms or any modification thereof, which the owner will be obligated to follow.
The Town is vested with the authority to make these amendments by local law pursuant to New York General Municipal Law § 119-gg and in accordance with New York Municipal Home Rule Law § 20.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or item of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not impair nor invalidate the remainder hereof, but such adjudication shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or item directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
This chapter shall become effective immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.