Education officials have a plan to save the Wayne Public
School District $10 million in energy costs beginning next year.
Superintendent Ray Gonzalez presented an overview of the multi-tiered plan at a Board of Education meeting Thursday.
The first round of upgrades include installing 16,000 LED and high-efficiency light blubs and fixtures, lighting sensors, and automatic temperature control systems inside and outside all of the district’s 14 schools. Thirteen of the district’s 35 boilers will be replaced based on their “age and current fuel inefficiencies.”
Automated lighting and temperature control systems will be installed first. Wireless lighting sensors will “look” for occupants. The existing temperature controls, Gonzalez said, require “extensive continuing maintenance.” The new system would require less maintenance and improve energy efficiency by more than 20 percent.
The first tier of upgrades is expected to cost nearly $9.3 million.
The second tier upgrades include installing new steam traps and improved controls on freezer and refrigeration units. These upgrades are expected to cost $875,000.
The project will be financed through funds the district has set aside for such upgrades and improvements, a press release issued by the district stated.
Gonzalez said that the project would be done at “no cost to the township taxpayers.”
“Whenever we investigate a new initiative, one of our prime considerations is impact on the township’s taxpayers,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “This particular program was about as clear a case of a ‘win-win’ opportunity as I can imagine. We can make our facilities even greener than they already were, and the upgrades pay for themselves. Literally.”
The district will receive an estimated $1.1 million in rebates from the state Board of Public Utilities’ Energy Savings Improvement Program. The district will receive the money in four payments once work is done.
Officials estimate the project will cut 5.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the district’s carbon footprint, the equivalent of removing 543 vehicles from the road.
The Board of Education is expected to approve the plan Nov. 21 Work is expected to begin next June.
If the project is approved, it will be the second large-scale environmental, cost-saving project implemented in the township in recent years.
The district is expected to save $6 million through 2027 thanks to thousands of solar panels installed at seven schools. Televisions at each school display real-time energy saving information, including real-time solar energy consumption and how much the panels are reducing the district’s carbon footprint. It is the largest solar panel energy system at a school district in the state.