Piscataway schools earn Energy Star seal

Piscataway schools earn Energy Star seal for energy efficiency
Posted on 01/26/2023
This is the image for the news article titled Piscataway schools earn Energy Star seal for energy efficiencyFour Piscataway Township Schools have received the federal Energy Star designation for their excellence in energy efficiency.

The label is awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to buildings that perform in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency against similar buildings nationwide. Piscataway is one of only four school districts in New Jersey to earn Energy Star certification for 2022.

The schools are Piscataway High School, Conackamack Middle School, Randolphville Elementary School, and Knollwood Elementary School. Each school is given a score designating their nationwide percentile. All four scored in the 80s with Randolphville topping the list at the 87th percentile.

randolphville and PHS accept energy star plaques
Students accept their Energy Star plaque and certificate from Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli and Business Administrator/Board Secretary David Oliveira. At left are Piscataway High School students with Principal Chris Baldassano, and at right are Randolphville Elementary School students, along with Principal Dr. Avi Slivko and Assistant Principal Megan Messina.

“Our district is honored to earn the Energy Star for superior energy performance at four of our schools and appreciate the efforts of everyone who has made reducing energy usage a priority,” said Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli. “These certifications epitomize the care and planning we put into energy conservation at all of our schools and offices districtwide. Saving energy is just one of the ways we show our community we care, and that we’re committed to doing our part to protect the environment and public health, while saving on utility costs.”

Much like an appliance in the home earns the Energy Star label, buildings are also awarded certification for energy efficiency. A building earning Energy Star certification has met strict energy performance standards set by the EPA and uses less energy, is less expensive to operate, and emits fewer greenhouse emissions.
Conackamack and Knollwood accepting plaque
Students accept their Energy Star plaque and certificate from Superintendent Dr. Frank Ranelli and Business Administrator/Board Secretary David Oliveira. At left are Conackamack Middle Schools students with Principal Dr. Matthew Ritchie, and at right are Knollwood Elementary School students, along with Principal Brian Voigt.

Energy Star is the only energy efficiency certification in the United States that is based on actual, verified energy performance. The district was required to submit extensive data in its Energy Star applications in order to qualify, including occupancy, square footage, room temperatures, carbon dioxide levels, hours of operation, types of energy used, illumination levels, and more.

“This recognition is primarily driven by energy efficiency and a decrease in energy utilization,” said David Oliveira, Business Administrator and Board Secretary. “We don’t intend to stop with four schools. We intend to pursue Energy Star certification for all of our schools.”Piscataway Township Schools has had great success since 2019 in making buildings more efficient to bring down energy costs. This has been accomplished in great part through reminding staff to shut down appliances or technology that drain power when not in use; auditing buildings to find and replace outdated, substandard, or malfunctioning equipment; and adjusting automated schedules so lights, heating, and air conditioning go on and off at the proper times.

solar panels
Solar panels on the roof of Piscataway High School.

The district is also in the process of completing an Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) to upgrade buildings with new HVAC equipment, solar power, and energy-efficient LED lighting. These upgrades are expected to continue the trend of greater energy efficiency, improved comfort, and lower utility costs.

“Piscataway Township Schools has a long track record of being focused on energy efficiency and the environment,” Oliveira said. “We first installed solar panels at our three middle schools in 2009 and when we are done with the ESIP, every school will have solar panels on the roof.

“I’d like to thank the Board of Education for their commitment to using less energy and decreasing our carbon footprint.”

switch plaque boiler
The Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) is continuing throughout Piscataway Township Schools, including improvements such as motion-detector light switches, left, and efficient new boilers, right.

On average, Energy Star certified buildings and plants use 35 percent less energy, cause 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are less expensive to operate than their peers —all without sacrifices in performance or comfort.