Newark Schools receive approval to implement energy conservation measures

NEWARK, NJ — Newark Public Schools has taken a step closer to implementing a $109 million project to install energy conservation measures in all 66 of the district’s school buildings. In receiving approval from the Local Finance Board, which is a Division of the Department of Community Affairs in Trenton, the district has managed to move toward its ultimate goal. The Local Finance Board must approve all bond issues for these projects and Newark’s was approved unanimously and has selected the minority-owned firm of Siebert Williams Shank & Co. to underwrite the bonds.

“This was another step in getting the Newark School District to the finish line for this project,” the board’s financial adviser, Robbi Acampora of Phoenix Advisors, said.

This project has been underway for more than a year, getting structured and packaged for sale. At no cost to taxpayers, the district will be selling school refunding bonds to finance the improvements. The bonds will be repaid through a combination of energy savings, operational savings and clean energy grants that are administered through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. Additionally, the district is seeking to certify the bonds as Green Bonds or Environmental/Social Governance Bonds. This label certifies that the proceeds of the bonds will be used for clean energy projects and for projects that impact underserved communities. It is estimated that a total of $137 million in savings will be accumulated from this initiative.

In regard to the new endeavor, the district’s energy and sustainability director, Rodney L. Williams, said, “I want to thank the Local Finance Board for their unanimous vote to approve this historic energy savings project, we are striving to implement energy-saving measures starting this summer.”