Tag Archive | "green legislation"

Alternatives for Solar Heating Pools

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Last Friday, George Kazdin, owner of Kazdin Pools & Spas in Southampton and a member of the Pool and Spa Association, and Sheryl Heather of the Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee (Green Committee) met in a work session with members of the Southampton Town Board to offer a “cool pool” presentation and alternative methods to reducing energy consumption for pools in the community.
“I hope we have a win-win for everybody,” Heather said at the start of the meeting.
Recently enacted Southampton Town legislation, slated to go into effect on January 1, 2009, mandates that new pools built within the town be solar heated. Kazdin and Heather’s presentation outlined new, alternative ways for pool companies and owners to reduce energy consumption without going solar.
Last June, the town board adopted the new ‘green’ legislation in an effort to reduce the town’s carbon footprint — included in that legislation was a mandate for solar heating for pools. After much outcry on the pool portion of the new law, board members offered to delay the implementation of the legislation from its original date of October 1 to January 1.
Heather explained that at present, 322 pool permits were issued for 2008, and her guess is that approximately 300 new pools will be built in 2009. Heather argued that better plumbing practices, increased pipe size and a decrease in right-angled pumps would equal less energy use.
“The size and speed of the pump and design of the pump are keys to achieving and conserving energy for pools,” Heather said on Friday.
Heather also recommended that energy could be conserved through correct usage of pool covers, responsible heating, replacement pumps, pool maintenance and proper filtration. She also said that pool pumps are the number one source of energy consumption by pools. She recommended that the typical 90-degree pipes be replaced with sweep fittings, which are more aerodynamic and allow water to pass through much faster.
Heather also proposed that continuously burning pilot lights not be banned, as called for in the legislation.
Heather’s proposal also calls for the use of mandatory energy efficient pumps in new pool construction. By choosing a multi-speed pump for replacement, Heather notes that consumers with an existing pool will see significant energy savings – but as is the case in other Energy Star rated appliances, there is an increased cost.
“Pump rebates will help consumers to make the right choice,” Heather said, “and save energy.”
Heather said that alternatives for mandating solar heating could be achieved through incentive programs, encouragement, informational websites, public service announcements and community outreach and added that pool installers are currently encouraging solar installations.
“The bigger the pool the bigger the energy savings,” Heather said, “and this puts the ‘cool pool’ program on par with the town’s tiered energy star requirements for new home construction.”
Currently, she added, there are 11,000 pools in Southampton Town. Heather also argued that more energy will be saved by existing pools than on the construction of new pools and the potential savings can be achieved through an aggressive education program.
Councilwoman Anna Throne-Holst, who sponsored the original legislation, expressed discontent for the emission of a solar component completely in Heather’s presentation. She said though the presentation was good, it left out the very obvious.
“If you are using solar panels, there is no consumption of gas or oil — [with this plan] the fossil fuel component is still there…we would be completely moving away from a reduction in fossil fuel consumption.”
Heather said that there are three levels of energy efficiency, the good, the better and the best. Heather said that this proposal is still at the ‘best’ level.
Throne-Holst asked Long Island Pool and Spa Association representative George Kazdin how the new legislation compares to the optimum energy benefit for energy codes already on the books for pools.
“We are practically at the highest level,” Kazdin said.
Throne-Holst reiterated that the best option, though, would be to implement the solar mandate.
On Friday, Graboski, gave board members a draft of the new legislation, which would allow for public comment at a public hearing on December 9.

Town to Lead by a “green” example

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With the implementation of new green legislation for residential homes, which began on October 1 of this year, the Town of Southampton was both widely criticized and highly praised in their efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of their residents. Now the Southampton Town Board is working hard on implementing councilman Chris Nuzzi’s proposed legislation to lead by example, and require changes for greener town buildings.
Southampton Town board members met with the Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee (Town Green Committee) last week to talk about Nuzzi’s proposed green legislation, which, if adopted, would allow more money for rebates, property tax exemptions and a reduction in energy consumption for the municipality.
At Friday’s work session, the latter was the primary topic of conversation. The Green Committee’s Paul Rogers said the committee needed more time and resources to get the kind of information that would be required for an audit of the town’s facilities, but on Friday said the committee could begin by looking at town vehicles as well as six buildings that use more energy — Southampton Town Hall, the Town Animal Shelter, the Parks and Recreation building, the Town Police Headquarters, East Quogue Village Green and the Central Garage and Maintenance Shop.
Kabot explained that the town’s principal planner, Janice Scherer, has been asked to help with the audit because the board felt she would be the best person to compile the data and put the information into legible data sheets. Scherer noted that the audit would require a great deal of work, however, and said that she would need someone to help her complete the task.
“Its not easy to gather this information,” Scherer said on Friday. “We would have to gather all the information from the facilities and the vehicles they are using to include in the report.”
Kabot suggested that if Scherer asked someone from a lower level in the planning department to assist, then Scherer could check that person’s work. With a decrease in the number of building permits currently coming into the office, Kabot felt Scherer would be able to commit to the analysis on a part time basis and objected to adding a new full time employee to help with the audit.
In addition to the audit, Kabot reminded that the board had been criticized in the past for getting into people’s backyards — especially with the recent green energy legislation proposing a mandate on solar heating for pools. The green legislation proposed by Nuzzi may include some community outreach and forums to educate the public.
“There may be more urgency to this, given the energy crunch and the current economic crisis,” councilwoman Nancy Graboski said. “The community may be expecting that in government buildings we do what we can to save for governmental expenses.”
Once the Southampton Town Green Committee finishes the energy audit, the findings will become part of Nuzzi’s proposed legislation. Graboski said she expects the audit would be complete in the spring.