New Jersey County See Incentives, Savings with Energy Audit and Upgrades

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Credit: Ocean City, New Jersey

Ocean County, New Jersey, has received almost a million dollars in incentives, with more to come, for upgrading its energy systems; the county will also see nearly $400,000 in savings per year from its energy program by installing high tech, energy efficient systems.

The centerpiece of the County’s energy program was the installation of a combined heat and power and fuel cell (CHP). The 600 kW natural gas-fueled CHP system generates electricity to power the Ocean County Justice Complex, while capturing and using the waste heat for space heating, cooling, and water heating. The project is anticipated to generate more than 4.7 million kWh of electricity annually.

When the incentives are fully paid by the state Board of Public Utilities for the installation of the energy efficient heating and cooling system, the county will have received $1.1 million.

Other energy improvements implemented by the county included new chillers and related equipment being installed in the Justice Complex. There were also upgrades to the HVAC systems and the installation of new energy management systems.

“The original energy audit was the result of an exhaustive examination of six facilities that receive a lot of traffic both from the public and with our employees,” says Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “That is why they were chosen for this initial review by the BPU.”

In addition to the Justice Complex the other facilities included in the audit were the Ocean County Courthouse, the Ocean County Administration Building, the Ocean County Jail, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and the parking garage, all of which produce an annual energy bill of $2.3 million.

The BPU’s Clean Energy Program promotes increased energy efficiency and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy. The County began the process in late 2014 to participate in the Local Government Energy Audit to identify cost-justified efficiency measures. The audit results provided the Board of Freeholders with a framework for various energy alternatives that can be implemented.

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