N​​JBPU commits $180M to schools and women- or minority-owned businesses with energy efficiency and water conservation grants

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Tuesday said it fully committed the $180 million budgeted for the School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program, aimed at helping schools and small businesses reduce their water and energy consumption and improve indoor air quality for children and small businesses. The program is closed and no longer accepting applications.

“Through the Schools and Small Business grant program, we are putting the health of our children first and ensuring small businesses have access to the tools they need to streamline energy and water use and improve indoor air quality in their establishments,” NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso said.

The program provides grants that enable recipients to enhance or replace outdated HVAC and plumbing systems, meet health standards and improve building operating efficiency and use.

In accordance with the bill, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law in August 2021, $135 million, or up to 75%, of the total funds committed are going to schools and small businesses in underserved communities.

“As we rise to the challenges of climate change and the ongoing pandemic, these grants will enable the direct benefits of cleaner facilities, as well as the economic boost in local labor needed to complete these projects, especially in underserved communities,” Fiordaliso added.

“As one of the prime sponsors of the law that established the School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program, I am incredibly proud that it has been so successful,” Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Moorestown) said. “This program is providing the necessary funding to allow these already cash-strapped businesses and school districts to upgrade their HVAC and plumbing systems, which will improve the air our residents breathe and the water they drink overall.”

Under the SSB program, projects have been completed in the Jackson Township School District ($200,000); the Therapy Gym ($200,000); and the Bridgeton School District ($80,000). Among the projects underway are schools in the Millville School District ($5 million); Egg Harbor Township ($4.8 million); and the Pennsauken School District ($4.8 million). A total of 350 projects have been approved.