NJ schools, small biz can upgrade HVAC, plumbing with $180M grant

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The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has established a government-funded mechanism to help schools and small businesses across the state repair and replace heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing fixtures, and certain appliances.

According to NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso, more than $ 135 million of the $ 180 million allocated to schools and small businesses through the Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program will be earmarked for the Garden State’s most underserved communities.

According to Fiordaliso, many of the eligible locations are in older cities where the infrastructure has aged without being adequately updated.

“I find it a lot more exciting as it focuses on underserved communities and, in my opinion, offers more equity,” he said.

And, according to Fiordaliso, these systems are not only out of date in many cases, they may also no longer meet modern efficiency or health standards.

“When you talk about water, we’re talking about environmental protection. By the way, water uses most of the energy of any other industry,” he said. “If it’s old cities, the pipes have to be old, you would think. So it’s important that we correct as much as possible.”

The program was created on the basis of laws signed by Governor Phil Murphy in August and endorsed by Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senator Troy Singleton, and Congregation members Wayne DeAngelo, Thomas Giblin and Pamela Lampitt.

While the schedule on which each individual school or company will perform these repairs will be different, the NJBPU plans to approve applications starting Wednesday, December 1st.

Fiordaliso said quick action was needed to bring these buildings and their communities up to date – and adjust the code.

“We have to attack climate change from many different directions if we are to be successful, and we have to involve every segment of our population if we are to be successful,” he said.

To apply for the HVAC or plumbing programs, contact NJBPU through the website.

Patrick Lavery is the New Jersey 101.5 afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @ plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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