- State News
- Gas Industry
NEW BERLIN TO RECEIVE NATIONAL AWARD FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE PROJECT
By SEDA-Council of Governments
August 2, 2012
The New Berlin Borough Council will be presented with a national award for its Community-wide Energy Independence Initiative (CEII) on Wednesday evening, August 8. Borough Council will accept the NADO (National Association of Development Organizations) Innovation Award on behalf of the community. The presentation will begin at 7:00 pm at the New Berlin Community Center, 418 Vine Street, and the public is invited. The NADO award honors projects in a variety of regional development areas including environmental initiatives, regional innovation strategies, and sustainable development.
The Energy Independence Initiative, being carried out by the SEDA-COG Energy Resource Center, provides education, technical and financial assistance to all sectors of the New Berlin community, focusing on energy conservation, then applying cost-effective renewable energy opportunities to further the community’s energy independence. The project began in 2009 with an audit of the entire community’s energy use.
In this Union County community of 413 homes, 32 homes have been weatherized and 13 public facilities and 135 homes have received free energy assessments. The private sector has invested in energy reduction measures as well, garnering more than $300,000 in annual avoided energy costs to date. The Energy Center plans to compile information on energy savings from New Berlin’s residential sector this year. The project, now in its third year, has been designed to be replicable by other communities.
The New Berlin project has generated a number of additional activities. An Energy Contractor Expo provided an opportunity for residents, business people, and others to meet with over 40 energy-related professionals who can provide assistance in implementing the findings of walk-through energy assessments. Another special event offered demonstrations of do-it-yourself energy-saving measures. In addition, as part of the project, students at Bucknell University’s Chemical Engineering Department in Lewisburg researched the technical and financial feasibility of renewable energy projects that could further the community and region’s energy independence from waste products sourced locally.
The NADO Award is an opportunity for community and organizational members to promote their successes to a national audience and their regional and local partners. Award-winning projects are often used in Congressional testimony; reports and issues briefs abut successful approaches to regional development, and to provide information about regional development organizations.