Energy Savings Program To Pay For School Improvements

Central Regional High School. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)
Central Regional High School. (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

  BERKELEY – There will be $3.25 million in improvements to Central Regional High School and Middle School using an energy savings program, Business Administrator Kevin O’Shea said.

  The district contracted with a Robbinsville company called Energy Systems Group. They will be working with subcontractors to do the work around the school campuses, he said.

  According to Energy Systems Group’s website, they survey buildings and examine the current costs to operate the facilities. Then, they figure out the best technology that is a good fit for the buildings. The goal here is to save energy. Furthermore, by saving energy it also saves the district money every year.

  The improvements include such things as LED lighting and controls, HVAC replacements and recommissioning, and building envelope (walls, roofs, and windows, etc. that separate the building from the elements), O’Shea said.

  The Energy Savings Improvement Plan has already received approval from the NJ Board of Public Utilities.

Central Regional Middle School (Photo by Patricia A. Miller)

  It is estimated that when everything is done, the improvements will save the school district about $200,000 in energy costs per year. These savings will be spent on the lease payments on the equipment.

  The idea behind energy programs such as this is that the improvements, especially in things like HVAC, have to be done anyway. This way, it is done within the already approved budget. This makes it “budget neutral.” In other words, the district doesn’t have to take out a bond, or ask taxpayers for the money.

  “When the students return to school in September, they will be coming back to LED lighting, better air quality and circulation, and we could not be happier. And the taxpayer will feel this in their pocket,” O’Shea said.

  The full plan on bringing students back in September has yet to be made public. School districts have until the end of July to send a plan to the Ocean County Superintendent for approval. The superintendent would then send it up to the state.