Translator Disclaimers
For Immediate Release: Contact: Peter Peretzman
Date: 01/14/2022 609-900-5626
First 56 Schools to Benefit from NJBPU’s ‘School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program’
Trenton, NJ—The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has approved $1.8 million in grant funding for the Newark Board of Education to replace outdated and inefficient plumbing fixtures as part of the State’s new $180 million School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus (SSB) Program. The award represents the program’s first approved projects, which will enable the district to reduce water usage by an estimated 30 percent across 56 school buildings. The Board will continue making awards on a rolling basis as project applications are received, reviewed, and approved.


“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the critical need for the repair and replacement of HVAC and plumbing systems in our schools and small businesses throughout the state,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “As part of our commitment to equity and environmental justice, this program addresses longstanding needs within our underserved communities. Modernizing water infrastructure and appliances across New Jersey’s largest public school district will both increase water efficiency and improve public health for our students and residents.”


“This is a tremendous opportunity for administrators to improve the health and safety of our schools while making building improvements that reduce wasted energy and water, all for a fraction of what it would cost to do so themselves,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “I am thrilled that Newark is the first to take advantage of this grant program and look forward to helping other schools and small businesses participate in and benefit from the clean energy revolution happening here in New Jersey.”


“We can strengthen our economic recovery from the pandemic by investing in exactly the type of local jobs these energy efficiency and water conservation projects require, and the resulting cost savings they provide for schools and small businesses,” said former Senate President Steve Sweeney. “More than that, they are critically important for improving indoor air quality and public health throughout the state.”


“The improvements in Newark will support public health with cleaner air and water while providing cost savings to the district for many years to come,” said Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt. “Schools and small businesses can take advantage of these grants to meet current health and safety standards while also making environmentally friendly improvements. That’s a win-win.”


“My administration has prioritized a world class water infrastructure in Newark with historic investments in new capital projects from flood prevention to the replacement of lead service lines,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “All Newark children should go to state-of-the-art schools with high quality, modern water infrastructure, and we are very grateful for Governor Murphy's leadership and for President Fiordaliso and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for providing us with this critical grant.”


“We want to thank the Board of Public Utilities for sponsoring a program that gives us an opportunity to replace antiquated plumbing fixtures and appliances in a number of our schools that average about 80 plus years old,” said Newark Board of Education Superintendent Roger León. “At the Newark Board of Education, we look for opportunities to better our facilities for our students, and organizations like the Board of Public Utilities recognize the needs of school districts by offering programs like the School and Small Business Energy Efficiency Stimulus Program. We are honored to be the first recipient of this grant, because we can honor our commitment to providing efficient facilities for our students, here in the great city of Newark.” 


The Newark Board of Education will use the grant funding to replace plumbing fixtures such as toilets, urinals, faucet aerators, showerheads, and icemakers with water efficient fixtures.


The Board approved the SSB Program in October following legislation signed by Governor Murphy in August. The federally funded grant program allocates $180 million for New Jersey schools and small businesses to repair or replace HVAC systems as well as plumbing fixtures and appliances to meet current efficiency and health standards. As part of the Murphy Administration’s commitment to equity and environmental justice, the program has dedicated at least $135 million of the total funding for projects in underserved communities. [1]


Boards of Education and certain small businesses[2] can apply for up to 75 percent of the cost to repair and/or replace equipment, up to a cap per program of $5 million per school district and $500,000 per small business in order to maximize participation. The program also includes a requirement that sinks, toilets, and urinals be touchless in order to reduce the spread of germs.


Due to high demand, the pipeline for program funding for HVAC projects at schools located outside of underserved communities is currently full. Applicants in this category may still apply and, depending on the availability of funding, will be put on a wait list should pipeline demand decrease. All program funding is committed and reserved on a first-come, first-served basis to projects that meet all program requirements as part of a complete application package.


Program guides and applications are available on the New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program website at


About the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)

NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at  


About New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP)

NJCEP, established on January 22, 2003, in accordance with the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA), provides financial and other incentives to the State's residential customers, businesses and schools that install high-efficiency or renewable energy technologies, thereby reducing energy usage, lowering customers' energy bills and reducing environmental impacts. The program is authorized and overseen by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and its website is



[1] A municipality with a school district in which at least 75% of public school students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, established pursuant to the "Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act," L.79-396 c.281 (42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq.).

[2] A sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation that has its principal place of business in New Jersey, is a small business pursuant to N.J.A.C. 17:13-1.2, and is certified by the State as a women’s business or minority business, as those terms are defined in L.1987, c.55 § 2 (N.J.S.A. 52:27H-21.8).