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June's Featured Grant Article

Tapping Into Energy Efficiency Programs in New Jersey

Triad Associates

Throughout the State of New Jersey municipalities are looking to trim their budgets.  Reducing facility operating costs through energy efficiency is one way to do this.  Fortunately, in the State of New Jersey there are several opportunities to tap into green funding initiatives to reduce costs.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, sponsored by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU), has several programs available to assist both municipalities and residents in their efforts to become green while saving money.  One such program is Direct Install.  According to the BPU, Direct Install is designed to cut a facility’s energy costs by replacing lighting, HVAC and other outdated operational equipment with energy efficiency alternatives. The program pays up to 80 percent of retrofit costs, dramatically improving your payback on the project.  Existing small to mid-sized commercial and industrial facilities with a peak electric demand  that did not exceed 200 kW in any of the preceding 12 months are eligible to participate in this program. Buildings must be located in New Jersey and served by one of the State’s public regulated electric or natural gas utility companies.  Direct Install funding can be used to replace the following equipment:

    • Lighting;
    • Heating, Cooling & Ventilation (HVAC);
    • Refrigeration;
    • Motors;
    • Natural Gas; and/or
    • Variable Frequency Drives.

The first step is scheduling an Energy Assessment with a participating contractor.  According to Direct Install, project installations are typically completed within 60 days from the time of scheduling your Energy Assessment.   For more information on the Direct Install program visit

Another way to fund your community’s green initiatives is through the Energy Efficiency and Conversation Block Grant (EECBG) Rebate Program.  EECBG provides supplemental funding up to $20,000 for eligible New Jersey local government entities to lower the cost of installing energy conservation measures.  Funds must be used for a facility owned or leased by an eligible local government within the State of New Jersey.

If you did not receive a Direct Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, you can apply for an EECBG.  In addition, your community must have participated in at least one of these energy efficiency programs:

  • Direct Install;

  • Pay for Performance;

  • NJ SmartStart Buildings for measures recommended by a Local Government Energy;

  • Audit (LGEA) or an equivalent audit as defined in Appendix A - The audit must have been completed within the past 12 months;

  • Applicants may propose to independently install building shell measures recommended by a LGEA or an equivalent audit - The audit must have been completed within the past 12 months; and/or

  • Any eligible utility energy efficiency incentive program.

Funding for the EECBG Rebate Program is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Due to the federal source of funds, applicants will be subject to special ARRA terms and conditions as described in the complete program application package.  For more information and a complete list of eligible activities go to


In addition to green initiatives at the municipal level, the State of New Jersey has programs that directly benefit residents - let them know through your newsletter and/or website.  New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program assists residents with recycling their old working refrigerator or freezer.  In addition to helping the environment, residents receive $50 for their recycling efforts and can have their old refrigerator or freezer picked up from their home at no charge.  Residents may call (877) 270-3520 or (877) 270-3520.  Other initiatives can be found at


The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) also has a program available to assist residents with energy efficiency measures.  According to the DCA, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides income-qualified residents with services that reduce household energy use and costs by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.   Priority is given to elderly and disabled residents and households with infant children.  Eligibility is obtained via formula using the gross household income and the number of household members.


The project will start with an energy audit analysis of the home to maximize and determine its energy efficiency. Where needed, the program will repair, caulk and weather-strip windows and doors, wrap hot water tanks and pipes with insulation, stop drafts by sealing areas of air infiltration, install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators, clean, tune and make minor repairs to a home’s heating system, and when funding permits, make major repairs or replace entire systems. The program also insulates attics, walls and floors, and replaces light bulbs with high efficient CFL’s.  Residents will also receive instruction on simple techniques that can help save money on their household energy bills.  For more information visit:


If you have been contemplating “going green” in your community, the time to get started is now.  There are plenty of opportunities through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program for both local governments and residents.  Visit their website at or give them a call at (866) NJSMART to begin working for a greener environment in your community.




Triad Associates is currently the League’s Grant Consulting Firm. Their firm, which is known for its expertise in community and economic development, including strategic planning, redevelopment, acquisition, relocation and funding, has brought diverse plans and projects to life by generating more than $580,000,000 for over 120 public, private and nonprofit clients throughout the Northeast region since 1978. Every member of the Triad team is personally committed and dedicated to the success of its clients and the projects that benefit communities.





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