The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the Sustainable Energy Alliance of Long Island (SEA) will hold a series of joint public hearings to solicit public input on their recently released draft energy plans.Uniondale, New York – January 13, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] This marks the first time Long Island’s electric utility and its environmental community and civic organizations are formally working together to develop a comprehensive plan for Long Island’s energy future. LIPA owns the retail electric system on Long Island, while SEA is committed to an energy future built upon efficient use of energy and the utilization of Renewable Energy resources. In October 2002, LIPA released its Draft Long Island Energy Plan for 2002 to 2011. The plan discusses Long Island’s projected energy needs for the next decade and ways to meet those needs. At about the same time, the SEA released its draft “Citizens Energy Plan,” the result of an 18-month collaboration among its 34 environmental, civic, health and faith-based organizations across Long Island. “The way in which Long Island consumes and produces electricity in the years ahead will have a profound impact on the region’s environment and economy,” said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. “LIPA welcomes the opportunity to work with organizations such as the Sustainable Energy Alliance and the member organizations of SEA, so that together we can shape an energy policy that is both practical and achievable, and sensitive to Long Island’s environmental and economic priorities.” The joint LIPA/SEA public hearings have been designed to accommodate those within the LIPA service territory who are interested in learning more about the draft energy plans and commenting on them. LIPA and SEA will make brief presentations on their respective plans. All who attend will have an opportunity to ask questions and submit comments that will be reviewed as part of the final planning processes. “These hearings are a unique and important opportunity for all Long Island stakeholders to participate in the planning process that will ultimately shape our island’s energy future,” said Kathleen Whitely program manager for SEA. “The member groups of SEA are proud to be a part of this effort. We urge all residents to attend and give us their input on what should be included in a comprehensive energy plan for our region.” The Joint Public Hearings are scheduled for: -Thursday, January 16 at the Beach Club located at 129 Beach 116th Street in Far Rockaway from 1 to 4 pm. -Wednesday, February 5 from 3 to 5 pm and 7 to 9 pm, in the Lower Level Teleconference Center of the Omni Bldg. located at 333 Earle Ovington Blvd. in Uniondale. -Thursday, February 13 from 3 to 5 pmand 7 to 9 pm, at the Suffolk Community College Campus in Brentwood. -Wednesday, February 26 from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, at Southampton Town Hall. To register in advance for the hearings contact Christine Restani at 516-719-9851. Interested individuals who cannot attend the hearings can submit written comments. Please send all comments to LIPA/SEA Energy Hearings, 333 Earle Ovington Blvd., Suite 403, Uniondale, NY 11553. Comments should be submitted no later than March 12, 2003. Both plans are available for review at each of the organizations’ Web sites.