Sustainable Jersey

At a Glance



Project Type

Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Monmouth County, NJ

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Net Present Value:


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Annual CO2 Reductions:

3,228 metric tons


Erin McNichol helped a township and a school district continue their work towards achieving Sustainable Jersey’s advanced certification.


Sustainable Jersey, a green certification program for schools and municipalities, enlisted Erin McNichol to help Howell Township and Howell School District reduce their energy use, identify financial savings and secure certification and grant opportunities. Howell Township had been certified SJ bronze in October 2015 and was looking to achieve silver, whereas the school district had only just enrolled in the SJ program. Both entities had completed Local Government Energy Audit (LGEA) in 2011 and 2012 respectively, but had not yet established energy tracking, performed significant energy upgrades or evaluated which projects would provide the best return on investment, since the audits.


After collecting and analyzing energy use data from facilities across Howell Township’s and School District’s building portfolio, followed by interviews with facilities staff, Erin determined that both were good candidates for an Environmental Savings Improvement Program (ESIP). This financing program leverages the future value of energy savings to cover the upfront cost of energy upgrades. She renewed both energy audits to include all 26 township and 17 school sites, recouped funding not yet reimbursed from the old audits and created a plan to go out to bid for the ESIP program. Erin also worked with the township green team to create a roadmap for achieving SJ silver certification and helped the school district create its first green team—a necessary step before applying and receiving grants--to bring energy efficiency education into the classrooms.

Potential Impact:

Erin’s projects could save Howell Township $3.2 million in energy costs and Howell School District $12.1 million, representing a 34% and 27% reduction in energy spending. Annually, they could save a combined 4.6 million kWh of electricity and 3,228 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. After presenting her findings to Howell Township and School District administrators, plans were made to move forward with the comprehensive energy upgrades at both locations. With this project, both entities should be able to add an additional 40-90 points to the 150 required for bronze and 350 required for silver certification in the Sustainable Jersey program.

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