Princeton Public Schools, in conjunction with Sustainable Princeton, extends an invitation to community members to attend our February 16 presentation at 6:30 via Zoom about Princeton Public Schools sustainability efforts.
“We’re excited to share our progress with the public and hear more about their ideas,” said Matt Bouldin, Business Administrator at Princeton Public Schools. The February 16 event will be followed by a March 16 Town Hall to discuss new ideas and find out what sustainability programs are most important to the Princeton community.
Some sustainability efforts started earlier this year.
“The first thing we did was work to make our elementary schools more energy-efficient,” noted Bouldin. “Because we utilized the state’s Direct Install program, we were able to pay 20 cents on the dollar for energy efficiency upgrades throughout the four elementary schools.”
With these upgrades underway, the district is now actively researching the best path to make similar upgrades for the Princeton Middle and High Schools. “These buildings come with a hefty price tag because of their intense energy use,” commented David Harding, Director of Plant and Operations, “but that means they are ripe for significant energy savings.”
For these upgrades, the district is considering a path termed an Energy Savings Improvement Plan (or ESIP). An ESIP is a financing mechanism that allows schools in NJ to make energy-related improvements to their facilities using the value of energy savings that result from the improvements. “In other words,” added Bouldin, “ESIPs allow public schools to finance new energy-efficient infrastructure at no cost to the taxpayer.”
Rooftop solar is also on the agenda. With new roofs on each school, the district intends to install solar panels utilizing a power-purchase agreement or PPA. “Most schools utilize a PPA to get solar because it avoids a capital expenditure or a referendum,” said Bouldin, “and we get to reduce our utility bills.”
While energy efficiency and renewable energy are getting a lot of attention, the district is also looking into opportunities to electrify its fleet and bring workplace charging to one or more schools
“Each of these areas requires outside funding, but we are eager to apply for existing grants while also seeking additional opportunities,” said Bouldin.
To participate in the February 16 Zoom webinar, please use this link:
Details about the March 16 event are forthcoming.
- District News