The Morris County Improvement Authority has rolled out a new county-wide program in the areas of renewable and efficient energy usage, local budgetary savings and shared services.
The Energy Efficiency Program is designed to finance energy efficiency improvements at local government facilities throughout the county.
The program looks to provide low cost funds to pay for capital upgrades that will reduce energy operating costs for local governments, while also easing the administrative burden for those governments otherwise involved with implementing a traditional energy efficiency program.
Freeholder Director William Chegwidden said many local governments have participated in a state audit program to determine what measures can be taken to reduce the use of electricity and gas and cut operating costs in the process. Unfortunately, most of these audits sit on the shelf because of the lack of funding, Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority, said.
“The Morris County Improvement Authority sees a real need to fund these energy efficiency capital projects,” Chegwidden said. “This program will do that and allow for those capital improvements to be implemented.”
According to Freeholder Gene Feyl, eligible projects include lighting upgrades and occupancy sensors, boiler and furnace upgrades and controls, unit ventilator replacements, high efficiency condenser units and chiller and hot water heater replacements, programmable thermostats and direct digital controls, premium efficiency motors and controllers and variable speed drives, insulation, and even vending machine misers and energy efficient appliances.
“Savings from the implementation of the Improvement Authority’s Energy Efficiency Program will pay for the Authority debt issued to finance the improvements, and provide a direct budgetary savings to local government,” Feyl said.
The Energy Efficiency Program has caught the eye of state officials, including the president of the Board of Public Utilities, Lee Solomon, who said his agency, through the state’s Clean Energy Program, will work with the county and the Improvement Authority in support of the program.
“Together, we can unlock these local energy audits and enable the implementation of energy savings measures that could provide a model for other local governments on how to cut their energy costs and reduce pressure on property taxes,” Solomon said.
The Improvement Authority is inviting municipalities, schools and authorities to a series of meetings on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to explain and gauge local government interest in the program.
The meetings will be lead by John Bonanni, Morris County administrator and chairman of the Improvement Authority, supported by the Authority’s energy counsel, Steve Pearlman of Inglesino, Pearlman, Wyciskala & Taylor, LLC, Parsippany, and the Authority’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates, Highland Park, N.J.
For more information on the Energy Efficiency Program, Bonanni can be reached at 973-285-6047 or [email protected].
The new Energy Efficiency Program supplements the Improvement Authority’s national award winning Solar Renewable Energy Program known as the Morris Model. Under that program, 14,000 solar panels are being installed at 19 schools and county government buildings throughout the county.
When completed, the Morris Model will result in an energy savings of more than $3.8 million to the participants.