East Hampton Town plans to be fossil fuel-free by 2020

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EAST HAMPTON -

The Town of East Hampton has plans to reduce its carbon footprint by mostly eliminating fossil fuels and using only renewable energy sources by 2020.

East Hampton Indoor Tennis owner Scott Rubenstein is excited to be part of the town's plan, called Energize East Hampton. He has invested almost $1 million in solar panels.

Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc says in order to sustain the economy, they must sustain the environment.

Last year, the town installed a solar array that provides 1.1 megawatts of electricity -- roughly the equivalent of running 129 homes fully on solar power each year.

By early next year, the town says all of East Hampton's municipal buildings will be running on rooftop solar power and most of the town's fleet will be switched over to electric vehicles. Wind power is also part of the plan, along with switching to LED lighting.

In Montauk alone, the town says it will save $18,000 in annual energy costs by switching street lights over to LEDs.

East Hampton officials say it is appropriate that the windmill is on their town seal, in light of their green initiative.

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