School District Begins Green Energy Renovation Project

The New Brunswick school district anticipates savings of over $18 million over the next 17 years as the result of a new renewable energy program.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Energy Savings Improvement Program is a $16 million undertaking that will greatly reduce the district’s energy and natural gas usage through the district-wide installation of new cogeneration units, updated HVAC systems, LED lighting and solar panels.

This program will permit the school district to make improvements to its energy systems and pay for them using money that will be saved by utilizing newer, greener technology.

As a result, the improvements will not impact local taxpayer dollars.

“This project will make our schools more energy efficient, eco-friendly and better for our students to learn and grow,” said Superintendent Richard Kaplan.

These improvements are intended to cut the school district’s energy usage by 41 percent and its natural gas usage by 25 percent. This is anticipated to save the school district $18,069,932 in energy costs over the next  17 years.

Some of the project highlights include a new cooling system and ceiling replacement at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, boiler replacements at New Brunswick Middle School and McKinley Elementary School, new cogeneration systems at McKinley School, New Brunswick Middle School and New Brunswick High School, and the installation of LED lighting at all schools in the district.

“This innovative project will upgrade the school district’s energy systems without any impact to our taxpayers and will reduce our carbon footprint immensely,” said Mayor Jim Cahill. “Our school community embraces change, and I congratulate Superintendent Kaplan and the Board of Education for taking on this remarkable task.”

The contract was awarded to Johnson Controls, Inc., following a comprehensive energy audit of the district facilitated by DMR Architects, the cost of which was reimbursed by the state Board of Public Utilities. A request for proposals from energy savings companies was then issued.

“The New Brunswick School District laid out a clear vision for an energy efficient school district and it was a rewarding process to help the district create a more comfortable and sustainable learning environment for the children,” said Valerie Moran, Energy Solutions Account Executive of Johnson Controls.

Improvements began in June and will continue throughout the coming school year, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015.

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