Prospect Park in Passaic County has become the first municipality to adopt a Community Energy Plan under the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and Sustainable Jersey Clean Energy Grant Program, an effort to align with The State’s Energy Master Plan, the roadmap to reaching Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050.
The borough used its $25,000 grant to retain DMR to prepare the plan, which identifies more than two dozen initiatives that Prospect Park will implement within a five-year period, including:
- Installing renewable energy sources, energy storage, and public EV charging stations on municipal properties, and improving energy efficiency of municipal buildings;
- Creating opportunities for community solar programs that allow the public to purchase solar energy from off-site sources, with an emphasis on availability and affordability for low- and moderate-income households;
- Outreach campaigns to increase resident and business participation in incentive programs offered by the state, federal government and utilities like PSE&G to transition to electric vehicles, make energy efficient improvements and install solar and other forms of renewable energy;
- Replace older borough fleet vehicles with newer, preferably electric alternatives, and adopt fuel efficient fleet vehicle management practices;
- Make energy planning inclusive of low- and moderate-income and non-English speaking households;
- Adopt zoning and regulatory language that permits renewable energy production and energy storage.
“We applaud Mayor Khairullah and the Prospect Park council for recognizing the role that reducing carbon-based energy sources plays in the overall health and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in Prospect Park,” said Tracey Woods, Energy Program Manager for Sustainable Jersey. “Their commitment to change shows that any municipality can address climate change in a meaningful way.”
“This is the next step for us toward making more clean energy sources available and reducing GHG emissions,” said Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah. “We had a public reading of the plan earlier this month and there was overwhelming support from our residents and businesses.”
“There are state-level grants, tax credits from the Federal Inflation Reduction Act, and incentives through utility companies available right now making it the ideal time for municipalities to create Community Energy Plans,” said Daniel Hauben, PP, AICP, LEED Green Associate, Senior Project Planner for DMR. “As planners committed to building healthier and more affordable communities, our team at DMR is equipped to guide our municipal clients through the resources that are available to them now.”
In June 2022 NJBPU approved $820,000 in grants to 46 municipalities to create Community Energy Plans to combat climate change. Prospect Park was one of only 24 designated as overburdened and eligible for $25,000.