The City of Long Branch knows what it means to go green. Their strong environmental commitment is palpable when you visit the Green Pages of their community Web site, longbranch.org. The site, filled with green news, events, links and resources, is a valuable tool that enables all members of the community to do their part in the city-wide effort to live green.
This progressive Jersey Shore town, lead by Mayor Adam Schneider, launched their efforts to become a “green,” “clean” and “cool” city when they created the City’s Energy Committee in mid-2007. Designed to improve the quality of life in the city though new environmentally friendly initiatives, this “green group” is comprised of a cross section of municipal departments including planning, health, purchasing, public works, police and even the library, to name a few. As the Mayor reminds us in his Green Pages opening message about the City’s environmental commitment, “this will take an all-hands effort.”
The committee’s green campaign focuses on improving energy efficiency in city buildings and incorporating green guidelines, incentives and ordinances into the city’s master plan including a proposed LEED Gold Certified project in their redevelopment zone. Improvements to their city-wide recycling programs and a commitment to purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and green office products and supplies are another component of their overall plan.
This savvy town knows that a truly successful green community is only possible when the municipality, its businesses and residents all work together. New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) has forged a strong community partnership with the City of Long Branch. Like the city, at NJNG we believe the rising demand for energy is taking a toll on our environment and that it’s time for all of us to embrace conservation. Saving energy is a great place for all of us to start. By reducing our demand, we consume fewer resources and do more to protect our environment, while saving money in the process.
NJNG’s GREEN resources for municipalities, businesses and residents can help all members of our communities make smart energy choices that will be beneficial today in saving energy dollars, and tomorrow in preserving our resources. One such resource, Conserve to Preserve Business Online has proven invaluable for the City of Long Branch.
Conserve to Preserve Business Online is a powerful FREE tool built to help municipalities and businesses improve their bottom lines. This comprehensive energy resource provides direct access to timely research, industry trends, energy-efficiency solutions and the latest NJNG products, services and offers all in a well organized, central location. The unbiased content (with no advertising) addresses all energy issues, not just those related to natural gas. And, with 24/7 availability, it’s there anytime you need it.
“We’re always looking for new ways to effectively manage our energy costs. We use Conserve to Preserve Business Online to research new technologies, perform energy audits and keep up with the latest in financial incentives and technical assistance available through the state. It’s a valuable tool in our day-to-day municipal operations when is comes to saving energy dollars,” says Mayor Schneider. “I am encouraging all our local businesses to sign up for this free service.”
Businesses and municipalities are not the only ones that can benefit from NJNG’s energy-saving resources. Residents can stay informed about the latest rebate programs, special offers and services available from NJNG and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) with the Conserve to Preserve Dashboard. This free, personalized online home energy center enables NJNG customers to analyze their energy usage, conduct a detailed home energy audit and receive customized recommendations to save energy dollars and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Seeing great value in this residential tool, NJNG expanded the scope of the Conserve to Preserve Dashboard to allow schools and nonprofit organizations to use it as a fundraising tool. Through Conserve to Preserve Community Rewards these groups can raise up to $5,000 simply by having friends, family and neighbors sign up for this FREE service. And, there’s no inventory, sales or paperwork. Participants learn to be more green, while the organizations earn more green. A similar program, Conserve to Preserve Business Community Rewards rewards local business organizations (e.g. Chambers of Commerce) for helping to enroll business customers in Conserve to Preserve Business Online.
Another valuable community resource is NJNG’s Speakers’ Bureau which offers informative presentations for schools and community groups on a variety of topics including energy efficiency, conservation and safety. Presentations are free, fun and often interactive, and can be customized to suit the audience and age group. One such program, “A New Spin on Energy Savings” features a prize wheel filled with information on rebate programs, no-and low-cost conservation tips and energy assistance. It’s a creative way to reach community members and help them manage their energy costs and save money.
Community resources like these provided by NJNG and the City of Long Branch will help all of us—residents, business owners and municipal leaders, become better stewards of the environment as we make energy conservation a part of our everyday life. Joined by a common commitment, each of us doing our part, we can produce quantifiable results that conserve energy and preserve our natural resources for generations to come.
For more information on how residents, businesses and municipalities can start saving energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, please visit njliving.com.
Kathleen T. Ellis is executive vice president and chief operating officer of New Jersey Natural Gas serving 483,000 residential and commercial customers in Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties.