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$10 Million School Energy-Saving Plan Approved

Work is scheduled to begin in June.

The Wayne Public School District voted to move ahead with a massive energy-saving plan that’s expected to save the district $10 million.

The Board of Education approved the plan at a meeting last week.

The project will cost about $10.2 million, said Business Administrator Juanita Petty. The district will finance the project with funds that have already been set aside for such upgrades and improvements, officials previously said.

The district will pay for the project over the next 15 years and will have to save enough money annually to pay for the improvements.

Superintendent Ray Gonzalez previously said that the project would be done at “no cost to the township taxpayers.”

The first round of upgrades will cost $9.3 million. It includes installing 16,000 LED and high-efficiency light bulbs and fixtures, lighting sensors, and automatic temperature control systems inside and outside all of the district’s schools. Thirteen of the district’s 35 boilers will be replaced.

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 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 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.

Work is expected to begin next June.

Al Scala January 18, 2014 at 07:33 AM
"The district will finance the project with funds that have been already set aside" Where did these funds come from? They come from tax revenues levied on the taxpayers, that's where they came from. I am sick of the untruths and I am sick and tired of Dr Gonzalez spinning information. This guy is a liar. Why not simply tell the truth and say that these tax monies are left over, unspent which were earmarked for facilities and energy initiatives. Dr. Gonzalez.....stop the spinning. It's starting to get sickening!
Pad January 18, 2014 at 07:58 AM
How is this not costing the taxpayers? Al you are 100% correct. There should be a full investigation on how much tax money the BOE is holding, all expenses, financial holdings, property etc. This guy is a phony and a liar. Do you know if number 2 is still around after her incident? Is she laying low or quietly went away? They will save 10 million and spend another 20-30 million so how is this helping the taxpayers. The taxpayers should demand answers to this constant spending and what this guy is up to. He already gave the #2 position when he came in to his good friend Berrios from Paterson. Who else did he bring in? He replaced 9 subject department heads with 9 higher paid vice-principles. The BOE seems to go ahead with whatever this guy wants. Boy the soundproof room is really being put to good use as so much is being kept from the taxpayers. Especially the scandal involving the #2 person!
Wayne Res January 18, 2014 at 08:36 AM
Is the $1.1 million rebate built in to the cost? Is this really a $10.2 million dollar project or is it $11.3? Also what is the ROI timeframe? This is to be paid for over 15 years. At $10.2m the expense per year will be $680,000.
Al Scala January 18, 2014 at 09:34 AM
If we are paying for these items over a 15 year period, do these items such as high efficiency light bulbs and fixtures, lighting sensors and temperature controls have a shelf life that long?
Jennifer January 18, 2014 at 09:37 AM
If there is a scandal involving the Asst. superintendent why is it a secret?
Pad January 18, 2014 at 02:59 PM
Its a secret but many people seem to know about it and it is something that would be very embarrassing for the District so of course its being kept quiet. Is she still even around or laying low?
Joe videodummy January 18, 2014 at 03:54 PM
Putting aside the costs, the idea of making our 14 schools energy efficient is outstanding. The benefits of using L.E.D. will save in over-all energy costs, and will reduce the costs to operate. They have a life span somewhere around 30,000 hours which means they could possibly last 6-10 years under normal use. If every bulb and lighting fixture were to be replaced in every school the energy savings costs may be as high as 33%. Now for the problem: L.E.D. lighting is great for outdoor fixtures. That's because ( as many already know ) they produce only a focused beam of light. They are worthless for lighting large area's like classrooms or offices because they only shine in one direction. Another issue is that they don't light instantly when turned on. They also glow in colors, usually yellow which is supposed to feel warmer ? and blue- which makes a parking lot look cold even in the summer. So forget about lighting any interior's of our schools with L.E.D. What the BOE is proposing is refitting the schools interior with CFL's, a type of incandescent that uses a 16.5 watt bulb to produce a 75 watt Edisonite, they cost more but last longer- so your actually paying less in maintenance to replace the bulb. Therefore, the total savings over-all is reduced to about 7%. It would be a fair argument for the taxpaying public to request an estimate by a professional lighting company before taking the word of a school education superintendent and any other public official. No disrespect to either, but before spending 10 million on a cost saving energy project, we should be allowed to verify all of the costs involved then assess it's worthiness.
Joe videodummy January 18, 2014 at 04:27 PM
I also have to question the figure of saving enough to eliminate 534 vehicles by completing such a project in our district. In the most current report the EPA estimated that if were actually possible to to change every light bulb and fixture in America, the country would produce enough savings to eliminate 7-800,000 vehicles ( or that of the carbon foot-print of those vehicles ), yet the district claims they can eliminate 500 right here in town by refitting 14 schools. These figures are calculated without adjusting the fact that ethanol in the fuel increased the water content by 12% compared to without which is 3%. The actual saving is about 125 vehicles under the brand new standards and we can reach that mark by having our teachers ride into school on our public school buses. This would immediately reduce our carbon foot-print, and save 10 million right now- not 15 years from now. Which, by then, the average vehicle will have a gas tank that looks much like an aerosol spray can (fuel cell) that plugs into an outlet where your tank filler door is located on your current vehicle. My vote is to replace any current burned out light bulbs, replace the 5 boilers in need of replacement and use the balance of the newly found reserve money to complete the process of preparing our current students for the PARCC tests later this year. Stop the nonsense.
Pad January 18, 2014 at 04:40 PM
How long before they recoup the 10 million in energy savings. This is absolute BS that this isn't costing the taxpayers anything. Can someone explain "Spender Gonzalez's statement. Is this another project going ahead on the advice of the facilities manager or has an energy audit been done by a certified company or person.
Wayne Res January 19, 2014 at 07:03 PM
No one is giving away $10m to be paid back over 15 years. Sure there is interest on the money. Most of the upgrade will probably already be end of life before it is paid for.
Pad January 23, 2014 at 04:34 PM
Somebody is making money off this deal for sure! BTW does anybody realize the Passaic County School superintendent makes $265K a year, plus a car and other benefits. This is where our tax money goes. She or he may also be eligible for bonuses up to 15% of salary. $265 K and we have to give them a car also?

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