Posted Thursday, January 6th, 2011

The Morris County Improvement Authority has rolled out a new county-wide program in the areas of renewable and efficient energy usage, local budgetary savings and shared services.

The Energy Efficiency Program is designed to finance energy efficiency improvements at local government facilities throughout the county.

The program looks to provide low cost funds to pay for capital upgrades that will reduce energy operating costs for local governments, while also easing the administrative burden for those governments otherwise involved with implementing a traditional energy efficiency program.

Freeholder Director William Chegwidden said many local governments have participated in a state audit program to determine what measures can be taken to reduce the use of electricity and gas and cut operating costs in the process. Unfortunately, most of these audits sit on the shelf because of the lack of funding, Chegwidden, liaison to the Improvement Authority, said.

“The Improvement Authority sees a real need to fund these energy efficiency capital projects,” Chegwidden said. “This program will do that and allow for those capital improvements to be implemented.”

According to Freeholder Gene Feyl, eligible projects may range from lighting, boiler and furnace upgrades and controls to chiller and hot water heater replacements and energy efficient appliances.

“Savings from the implementation of the Improvement Authority’s Energy Efficiency Program will pay for the Authority debt issued to finance the improvements, and provide a direct budgetary savings to local government,” Feyl said.

The Improvement Authority is inviting municipalities, schools and authorities to a series of meetings on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to explain and gauge local government interest in the program.

For more information on the Energy Efficiency Program, contact John Bonanni, Morris County administrator and chairman of the Improvement Authority,at 973-285-6047 or [email protected].

The new Energy Efficiency Program supplements the Improvement Authority’s national award winning Solar Renewable Energy Program known as the Morris Model. Under that program, 14,000 solar panels are being installed at 19 schools and county government buildings throughout the county.

When completed, the Morris Model will result in an energy savings of more than $3.8 million to the participants.