NORTH BRUNSWICK – Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos announced that the county will save $100,000 when it installs a new HVAC system at the County Archives Building in North Brunswick as a result of being accepted into PSE&G’s Direct Install program.
Direct Install is a new program from PSE&G that helps municipal, local and state offices fund upgrades to their buildings that make those buildings more energy efficient by incorporating “green” technologies. The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders voted to officially join the Direct Install program at its meeting Feb. 4.
PSE&G will cover 80 percent of the cost of replacing the HVAC system, which had failed. The county will pay the remaining 20 percent in fixed, interest-free payments over the next 24 months.
“Through our participation in the Direct Install program, we could save over $100,000 initially and expect to save about $2,500 a month on utilities for the first two years and save even more once the cost of the system is covered,” Polos said. “This is a real indication of how going green is saving green.”
As for the environmental impact of the project, Polos said: “The energy saved annually would be the equivalent of planting 51 acres of trees and removing 25 cars from our roads. And this is just one of the energy saving projects we have planned for the county.”
Middlesex County also took the lead in lobbying the state Division of Local Government Services to allow for an exception to the public bid process so it could take advantage of the savings and environmental advantages the PSE&G program would realize.
“PSE&G’s Direct Install program proved to be an easy and accessible way for the county to take action to reduce their maintenance and energy costs as well as their county carbon footprint,” said Rachael P. Fredericks, Outreach Manager for PSE&G.
“Freeholder Polos is to be commended for his leadership in environmental affairs,” said Bernie Erickson of Facility Solutions Group, which administers the program for PSE&G. “We look forward to helping Middlesex County meet its aggressive goals in energy conservation.”
“I am glad that the County is taking a leadership role in the effort to reduce energy consumption, cut costs and protect the environment,” said Freeholder Director Christopher D. Rafano. “It is important that we continue to take advantage of all the local grants and programs available to us to improve our communities and the health of our residents.”
Last September, Middlesex County was the first county in the state to complete an energy audit through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ (BPU) Local Government Energy Audit Program. The BPU studied energy use at the County’s facilities on Apple Orchard Lane in North Brunswick. By conducting the audit, the County became eligible to apply for the Direct Install program.
The county is on a list to have all the buildings at the Apple Orchard Lane complex be outfitted with energy-saving measures outlined in the BPU energy audit. The Archives Building was moved to the top of the list because its HVAC system failed and needs to be replaced quickly.
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