Planning to save energy
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, representatives from Franklin Township, Atlantic City Electric and the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) shared their insights on how local businesses and municipalities can cut energy costs and better prepare for future storm-related outages. Presentations at the public meeting focused on significant incentives now available to help local businesses improve energy efficiency through measures that will pay for themselves in as little as two years.
Gary F. Finger, Energy Ombudsman for the BPU, discussed several financing programs available for energy-related capital projects such as Direct Install, a turnkey retrofit program to replace lighting, hearing, air conditioning and other outdated equipment in small to medium size facilities. New Jersey's Clean Energy Program provides incentives of up to 70 percent of the installed cost.
Another way to finance energy retrofits for local governments, fire districts and school buildings with little or no upfront capital investment is the Energy Savings Improvement Program. Savings from reduced energy use pays for the improvements over time, so no new money is needed. The Clean Energy website provides more information about a variety of programs for both commercial and residential customers at www.njcleanenergy.com.
Gloucester Township Mayor David R. Mayer spoke about the town's new Energy Master Plan. "It's vitally important that municipalities put together a comprehensive Energy Master Plan," he said. "Our plan provided Gloucester Township with the blueprint to implement many sustainable and energy savings programs." Mirroring the town's renewable energy goals for itself, this summer the Gloucester Marine Terminal announced plans to construct the largest rooftop solar installation in North America. The nine-megawatt facility, when finished, will include 1.1 million square feet of 27,528 high-efficiency, photovoltaic solar panels, enough to power about 1,500 homes. The project is expected to generate approximately 8- percent of the terminal's power demand, equivalent to planting 400,000 trees.
Tom Reilly, Senior Public Affairs Manager at Atlantic City Electric, discussed the company's imminent merger with Exelon.
ANJEC Executive Director Jennifer Coffey underscored the 45-year-old environmental organization's commitment "...to providing environmental commissions and local government officials with the knowledge and access to tools to address the most pressing environmental issues facing New Jersey." She said energy conservation is important to Gloucester Township and to all New Jerseyans, not only because it saves money, but it's also an important step towards reducing air pollution and combating global warming.
Thanks to Church & Dwight
A big ANJEC "thank you" to Church & Dwight for their generous support of the ANJEC News, our bimonthly e-newsletter. From left are ANJEC Development Director Chrissie Larson, ANJEC Executive Director Jennifer Coffey and Matthew Wasserman of Church & Dwight, who is also chair of the Princeton Environmental Commission.