Schools pass $2.5M. in energy cost savings

Since instituting the energy conservation program in 2011, the Egg Harbor Township School District has saved $2,551,970 in energy costs by reducing its electricity consumption by 36.3 percent, its natural gas usage by 37.1 percent, and its water usage by 10.3 percent, the district said.

These savings can be equated to preventing 9.418 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, removing 1,690 automobiles from highways for an entire year, or planting and growing 240,904 tree saplings for 10 years, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which reports on the levels of regional greenhouse gas emissions produced.

Egg Harbor Township resident Shawn Braue took over as the district’s Energy Specialist after Dr. Philip Heery retired from the position in February 2013. Under Heery’s watch, the district was presented with the Environmental Excellence Award from Cenergistic, formerly known as Energy Education, for achieving a 29 percent cost savings totaling more than $1 million.

Braue’s goals include achieving EPA Energy Star awards for each school in the district. He also wants to expand the successful energy conservation program by incorporating more student and faculty involvement.

Braue retired in 2011 from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, having served in active duty for 29 years. Most recently, he was a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Under Braue’s leadership, the district increased its cost avoidance by 38.13 percent resulting in an additional $414,136 in energy savings between February and May, the district said.