Direct Install program to be discussed in Lawrence

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Aiming to help small businesses save money on their energy costs, Lawrence Township officials are holding an informational session on March 7 to discuss a state program that can help to defray some of the costs of energy upgrades.

The meeting, which is set for 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Township Municipal Building, will be hosted by the Lawrence Green Team, Mayor Christopher Bobbitt and Sandra Torres of Tri-State Light & Energy, Inc., which is the authorized contractor.

The Direct Install program, offered through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, offers a free energy audit to assess a business’s energy system and its energy costs.  The program will recommend upgrades to save money on energy costs, and can provide up to 70 percent off the cost of the upgrades.

The audit, construction and completion of the incentive can be achieved in about four weeks.

Lawrence Township has taken advantage of the Direct Install program, Mayor Christopher Bobbitt said. The township reduced its energy consumption and improved its facilities at a fraction of the cost with the funding provided through the Direct Install program, he said.

“We anticipate we will save about $65,240 a year going forward. We can use the savings for tax relief or to provide additional services to our residents,” Mayor Bobbitt said.

Business owners can do the same thing and use the savings in their energy costs to make their businesses more competitive, the mayor said.

The Lawrence Green Team and the Clean Energy Corps outreach team – made up of Rider University students – will visit small businesses and explain the program and its benefits, said Pam Mount of Sustainable Lawrence.

The Green Team and Clean Energy Corps outreach team members will even help business owners fill out the application forms, Mount said.

Participating businesses may be eligible for listing on the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry, Mount said. They may use the registry as a marketing tool, she said, adding that it earns recognition for businesses and recognition for their sustainable practices.