WOOLWICH TWP. — In an era of budgetary challenges, the Kingsway Regional School District has been quietly amassing a record of energy conservation, reduced carbon footprint and increased sustainability. Through education and energy conservation programs it has cut its energy usage, reduced its carbon footprint and saved tax dollars.
Kingsway’s Energy Conservation Program success has amounted to saving $2.3 million to date. This is money that would have been sent to South Jersey Gas and Atlantic City Electric. Kingsway Regional, an Energy Star Leader Top Performer District, continues to operate as one of the most energy efficient school districts in New Jersey and has been placed in the top 25 percent of schools in the nation for energy efficiency.
These savings have been accomplished while the district has been experiencing dramatic growth. Kingsway was the first public school district in southern New Jersey to have received the Energy Star Top Performer Award.
The cost of utilities is a large budget line-item for the district. To combat these rising energy and utility costs, the district in 2009 entered into a partnership with Cenergistic, Inc., formerly Energy Education, to implement a comprehensive organizational behavior-driven – energy conservation program throughout its campus. “Each of us can make a difference through energy conservation, because people use energy, school buildings don’t,” said Superintendent Dr. James J. Lavender.
Many changes, large and small, that have been implemented are saving energy without affecting our comfort or educational goals. We have all gained a real sense of accomplishment from the ENERGY STAR recognition.”
John Samuel serves as the on-site Energy Specialist having been trained by the Energy Consultants and Engineers at Cenergistic. In addition to directing the strategic program to reduce energy consumption, Samuel has assisted the district in obtaining rebates and incentives for installing energy efficient equipment as part of additions and renovations at both schools.
In addition, he brought the awareness of a Demand Response Program to Kingsway and after signing a contract, the district will see payments annually for being available to curtail energy consumption during peak periods of energy demand during the year.
Most recently, Kingsway entered into a Power Purchase agreement to utilize solar energy on its campus. The eight acre solar project is providing approximately 53 percent of the school’s daily needs on an annual basis. This project has provided $264,000 in the first two years alone in addition to the conservation savings.
This project further reduces the carbon footprint and enables the district to be an even better steward of taxpayer dollars. Kingsway is using less energy today than it was in 2008 despite adding 28 percent more square footage to the building footprint.
The district will continue to explore ways to reduce energy use and provide sustainability.