AREA NEWSThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Somers Considers Permit Fee Reductions for Alternate Energy

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Somers Councilman Richard Benedict
Somers Councilman Richard Benedict

The Town of Somers is exploring the idea of reducing building department fees for property owners who install solar and other renewable energy systems to their homes.

The concept came from the town’s Energy Environment Committee.

“In a continuing effort to encourage the residents of the Town of Somers to reduce their energy costs by installing solar and making renewable energy improvements to their homes, we formally request at this time that you consider a reduction on building permit fees to these residents that are processed for solar installations and renewable energy home improvements,” the committee stated in a memo to the town board.

Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy supported the concept to reduce fees for homeowners who install alternative energy systems for their home.

But while Councilman Richard Benedict said, “I favor alternative sources of energy,” reduction of fees could spark a backlash among residents who would not qualify for the lower fees because they had not installed renewable energy systems.

Murphy said lower fees alone would not encourage homeowners to install alternative energy systems.

Savings from such alternative sources as solar power can take several years to cover the costs of installation, she said. But Benedict said a policy of lower fees was “a slippery slope.”

The town board referred the Energy Environment Committee memo to Building Inspector Efrem Citarella who will research the issue and report back to the board.


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