Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments

New Jersey Sustainable Energy Efficiency Demonstration Projects

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Cherry Hill, Highland Park, and Montclair, New Jersey

Latest Update

Federal Funding: $500,000 
Project Timeline: February 2010 – March 2013

Latest Update

The three participating municipalities of the New Jersey Sustainable Energy Efficiency Demonstration Project (NJ SEED) have adopted greenhouse gas reduction targets and Energy Plans to reach those targets. The municipalities ramped up outreach events to collect more pledges and registrations for energy efficiency audits as part of their Action Plans. Highland Park continued to work with its Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) contractor, which has been performing numerous home energy audits. Montclair continued their Direct Install outreach effort to local businesses by appealing to 200 additional businesses in the area. Montclair also held two special outreach events on recycling and reducing fossil fuel use, and aired its “I Made the Switch” Public Service Announcement on its Public Access channel. Cherry Hill continued to publicize the program by sending weekly energy tips to pledge signers, and also purchased Energy Efficiency kits to be distributed to Cherry Hill residents. Program participants have taken energy efficiency actions, including retrofitting lights, purchasing ENERGY STAR appliances, and installing solar panels on municipal buildings. The municipalities have received real time utility data for several programs from the Board of Public Utilities and have begun running analyses. Future work includes project evaluation and preparing a final report.

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Cherry Hill championsParticipants in the Cherry Hill pilot programs run in the fourth quarter of 2011 were recognized as "Cherry Hill Energy Champions" for their contributions to the campaign.
Cherry Hill ChampionsParticipants in the Cherry Hill pilot programs run in the fourth quarter of 2011 were recognized as "Cherry Hill Energy Champions" for their contributions to the campaign.
Our Power Cherry Hill LogoOur Power Cherry Hill Logo
Our Power Cherry Hill Launch EventThe Our Power Cherry Hill had a booth at the Harvest Festival 2010 to launch the program
Our Power Montclair LogoOur Power Montclair Logo
Montclair Mayor Pledges ReductionMayor Fried signs a pledge through Our Power Montclair to reduce his carbon footprint.

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Project Summary

Developing the Capacity of Small and Medium Municipalities in Partnership with State and Federal Initiatives

The New Jersey Sustainable Energy Efficiency Demonstration Project (NJ SEED) seeks to demonstrate that aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are possible in small and medium municipalities. It also aims to establish a protocol for leadership in municipalities through state and federal support, and to share information on measures that reduce GHG emissions among residents and businesses. The program will achieve these goals by:

  • establishing a partnership among three New Jersey municipalities to set energy use and GHG emission reduction targets;
  • implementing programs to help residents, businesses, and local government reduce energy use and GHG emissions; and
  • modeling anticipated impacts and qualitatively documenting actual reductions for research purposes.

Each participating municipality has developed and is currently implementing energy plans with targets for reducing energy use and GHG emissions. Potential actions that could be undertaken include enrollment of community members and local businesses in state and federal energy-efficiency programs, efficiency retrofits of municipal buildings, green fleet campaigns, and updates to local codes and policies.

After one year, the project team will assess implementation efforts. Based on data gathered from project partners, changes will be identified and implemented to improve the program. This will be followed by a second round of review on key metrics including fiscal, economic, and environmental impacts. Finally, the project partners will share lessons on the program through a state-wide workshop and two regional workshops. Lessons from the program will be turned into new actions for the Sustainable Jersey program.

In addition to cost savings, and energy use and GHG reductions, the project will provide three key benefits. It will:

  • provide an example of how small and medium municipalities can drive energy use and GHG emission reductions;
  • emphasize how municipalities can encourage their residents and businesses to decrease GHG emissions; and
  • provide a model for other states to coordinate state and federal policies with local government activities.

The project is integrated with New Jersey's Sustainable Jersey certification program for municipalities that want to adopt sustainable policies and achieve cost savings.

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Community Characteristics

Population:                            75,000 (Cherry Hill)
                                            16,000 (Highland Park)
                                            38,000 (Montclair)

Area:                                     32 square miles (total)

Government Type:                  Three Municipalities

Community Type:                    Urban

Median Household Income:      $54,000-$77,000

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Program Results


Reported Results (as of September 2012)

Projected Cumulative Results

Annual GHG Reductions

4,756 mt CO2e

5,000 mt CO2e

Annual Cost Savings



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