Graduate Student Talent Matched with New Jersey Municipalities and School Districts to Find High-Value Energy Savings

on May 20, 2019

EDF Climate Corps Fellows made available through funding provided by New Jersey Natural Gas

Today, Sustainable Jersey announced the six townships and three school districts that were selected to receive an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Climate Corps Fellow. Sustainable Jersey is pairing three EDF Fellows with municipalities and school districts to provide expertise and support for evaluation, planning and implementation of projects that will help improve the energy performance of their respective buildings. This technical assistance program is funded by New Jersey Natural Gas. 

The New Jersey municipalities and school districts that will be paired with an EDF Fellow in 2019 are:

  • MONMOUTH COUNTY: Borough of Keyport, Borough of Red Bank, Manalapan Township, Neptune Township, and West Long Branch School District

  • MORRIS COUNTY: Mount Arlington Public Schools and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills

  • OCEAN COUNTY: Barnegat Board of Education

  • SUSSEX COUNTY: Borough of Hopatcong

“We are proud of our partnership with Sustainable Jersey – now in its 10th year – to help connect communities with the resources they need to make wise energy choices,” said Anne-Marie Peracchio, director of conservation and clean energy policy for New Jersey Natural Gas. “The host towns and schools will benefit greatly from this unique opportunity as the EDF Climate Corps Fellows provide guidance and insight to help them address challenges and plan customized energy-efficiency solutions that help advance their sustainability goals.”

Since the EDF Climate Corps program’s inception in 2008, nearly 1,000 graduate students have been placed into more than 450 organizations spanning the United States and China to tackle energy-related challenges and opportunities, including setting ambitious climate targets and making global supply chains more sustainable. The result: over $1.6 billion in energy saving projects identified. Since 2015, Sustainable Jersey, with the support of New Jersey Natural Gas, has placed twelve EDF Fellows to assist a total of 18 schools/school districts and 15 municipalities.

The EDF Fellows will begin work with township and school district staff in June 2019. Sustainable Jersey provides guidance to the EDF Fellows to help them advise participating schools and municipalities about resources specific to New Jersey, as well as initiatives that earn points toward the Sustainable Jersey certification program. In particular, the EDF Fellows help the towns and school districts access the many incentives available through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program and the New Jersey Natural Gas SAVEGREEN Project. In recent years the EDF Fellows have helped the host towns and school districts reduce their own energy usage and also promote the energy efficiency projects within their communities, including the SAVEGREEN Project’s zero-percent on-bill repayment programs that make energy efficiency more accessible for customers.  “A focused shift toward energy efficiency and the adoption of renewables is necessary. This is one more initiative that will help us get closer toward this goal,” said Sustainable Jersey Executive Director Randall Solomon. “Over the course of the summer, EDF Fellows will get energy efficiency projects on the fast track to accomplishment – simultaneously lowering energy costs and environmental impact.”

Learn more about what the EDF Climate Corps Fellows have accomplished in previous years for New Jersey schools and municipalities: NJ EDF Climate Corps Project Reports.

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