Brick To Save On Energy Costs

At the beginning of the council meeting Mary Jo Buchanan CEO of OPC (Ocean Partnership for Children, Inc.) presented a $25,000 check to be used for the new teen center being built in Brick. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – The Department of Public Works building is going green after the governing body passed a resolution to purchase new HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems and LED lighting by using 70 percent funding from the Direct Install program sponsored by the NJ Clean Energy Incentive Program (NJCEP).

The purpose of the Direct Install program is to cut energy costs by replacing lighting, HVAC and other outdated operational equipment with energy efficient alternatives.

“This resolution is exciting. It is really awesome. It was part of my 100-day plan when I first became mayor,” said Mayor John G. Ducey at the May 9 council meeting.

“We wanted to look at ways we could save the township money, and one of them was to do an audit of our electrical to see if we could switch over to LED, and this is authorizing an execution of agreement with the BPU for the Direct Install Program,” he said.

The cost of the upgrades would be $151,164.71 including parts and installation. The 70 percent incentive from the state is $105,815.30 for a balance of $45,349.71 which the township would pay for using a zero percent loan with a three-year term, Ducey said.

The township would have to pay back some $15,116 for three years, at which time the project would be paid in full.

“The projected savings – this is the awesome part – from the upgrades is $22,436 annually, so obviously we’re saving $22,436, but we’re paying $15,116 a year [on the loan], so we’re actually ahead from year one,” to the tune of some $7,000 a year, he said.

From that point forward the township would have even more savings, year after year, Ducey said.

The LED lights would improve the lighting in the vehicle maintenance area, and the current HVAC equipment at the DPW building dates back to 1978, he added.

“So think about how long ago that was. Here we are in 2017 and we’re replacing these units that are going to save us money,” Ducey said.

The township electrician inspected the scope of work to be done at the DPW building and determined there would be no additional electrical work required, Ducey said.

The DPW staff vetted the program in 20 local participating municipalities and everybody had positive feedback, the mayor said.

If the DPW installation is successful, the same program is available for other township buildings, which has the potential of saving Brick taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said.

“So this is step one in this, this awesome resolution on the agenda,” Ducey said.

On September 16, 2016, the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced improvements to the Direct Install Program that made it easy and affordable for existing small- and medium-sized businesses, municipalities and schools to upgrade to high efficiency equipment.

A press release explained that the NJCEP implements the State Energy Master Plan’s support of energy conservation by promoting and incentivizing increased use of high energy efficient and renewable energy technologies resulting in a stronger state economy, less pollution, lower energy costs and reduced demand for energy and reduced energy costs for all ratepayers.

Systems and equipment eligible for incentives include lighting, lighting controls, motors, variable frequency drives, refrigeration, HVAC, and HVAC/hot water controls.

The next council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 23 at 7 p.m.

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Judy moved to Ocean County from New York City in 1988, and began her second career as a feature and news reporter in the mid-1990's. She has worked for Micromedia Publications since 2008, primarily reporting for The Toms River Times and The Brick Times. Judy has also worked for The Leader Review in Point Pleasant Beach, The Brick Communicator and The Asbury Park Press. Reach Judy by e-mail at [email protected]