On behalf of the Toms River Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools David Healy is pleased to announce that Toms River Regional School District has has worked with the team of Maser, DCO Energy and CDI to create and implement a self-funding, budget-neutral, capital improvement Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) to upgrade infrastructure in the district.
This announcement follows two years of district efforts developing, conducting, and overseeing a comprehensive district-wide facilities assessment to address issues related to the aging and deterioration of its buildings and grounds while exploring funding options that would have the least impact on taxpayers. The projected $17 million project will address over 2,600,000 square feet of space in 23 buildings.
The facilities assessment successfully adhered to both the superintendent and district goals, which were co-developed with the board of education and the central office leadership team. The resulting ESIP project specifically aligns with Toms River Schools’ district goals across the past several years, directly meeting the 2017 goal for facilities to “continue to finalize priority project plans in the Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) for implementation while developing referendum plans.” It also addresses the district’s budget goal by developing “a financial plan to continue supporting our educational program that considers losses in funding and alternative revenue sources,” as well as budget and capital needs goals from 2015-2016.
ESIP is a financing mechanism that allows public entities to pay for capital upgrades with the energy cost savings generated by installing energy conservation measures (ECMs) without any tax increase to the public. Typical ECMs include LED lighting and controls, HVAC systems, boilers, building envelope improvements and energy management systems.
After a comprehensive analysis of the facilities, DCO’s recommendations from their energy audit include LED lighting; retro-commissioning to ensure existing systems work properly; improved energy management systems that operate the buildings in the most efficient and comfortable manner; and the replacement of mechanical systems such as boilers. Project construction is estimated to create 220 full-time jobs throughout the region, which will be accomplished through the Project Labor Agreement (PLA), also referred to as the Community Workforce Agreement. Under the PLA, the district and its partners in ESIP will help create and sustain a local work force from Ocean County and the surrounding communities, further keeping dollars earned, spent, and invested locally.
To date, ESIP has been used to fund over 100 municipalities, school districts, vocational schools, hospitals and colleges and universities. Ultimately, the completed project will deliver $1.1 million in New Jersey Clean Energy Program incentives and more than $900k in annual energy cost savings to the district. While ESIP benefits Toms River taxpayers, most importantly, it benefits students. LED lighting, greater temperature control, and enhanced filtration/air quality create a better learning environment.