June 13, 2018

Sustainable Princeton Encouraged to Hear That PPS Is Pursuing Energy Savings Improvement Plan

To the Editor:

We are encouraged by the good news that Princeton Public Schools (PPS) is pursuing an ESIP, an Energy Savings Improvement Plan. The ESIP will allow the district to take advantage of state funding available through New Jersey’s Clean Energy programs such as Direct Install, SmartStart, and Pay for Performance. ESIPs can also include solar PV and geothermal installations.

The district’s architect estimates that an ESIP for PPS could include $19 million in energy efficiency upgrades. This is $19 million that the community would not otherwise need to borrow, and these upgrades will reduce future operating costs.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy programs are among the most effective ways for public and private institutions to save on annual operating costs. For schools, such programs save taxpayer funds, reduce their carbon footprint, and demonstrate responsible facilities stewardship.

Utilization of these programs along with facilities personnel proficient in project and building systems management, and the current maintenance technology, is crucial for ensuring healthy and safe learning environments for our children.

Sustainable Princeton strongly encourages other Princeton schools, nonprofits, and businesses to take advantage of these programs. We serve as a resource in helping organizations to embark on this process.

Buildings account for 45 percent of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Making them energy efficient is a critical step toward reducing our emissions and combating climate change. We commend the Princeton Public Library for recently conducting an energy audit. The audit identified the New Jersey Clean Energy program that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses while reducing the Library’s environmental impact.

Again, we applaud Princeton Public Schools’ decision to take the first step in a process that is both fiscally prudent and environmentally responsible.

Mia Sacks

Board Secretary, Sustainable Princeton

Molly Jones

Executive Director, Sustainable Princeton

Christine Symington

Program Director, Sustainable Princeton