Newark announcing $50M energy conservation initiative in public housing

By David Jones | October 28, 2011 06:07PM

Stephen Crane Village and Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker will announce a $50 million contract between the Newark Housing Authority and Constellation Energy on Monday, to retrofit thousands of apartments with energy efficient heat, electrical and water systems.

The program, one of the largest energy deals involving public housing in the U.S., is expected to create more than $78 million in savings over a 15-year period, officials said.

“We’ve been looking at what other housing authorities have done in the past,” said Newark Housing Authority spokesperson Lauren Hudock. “[Residents] will see reduced energy costs and a better quality of life in general.”

The program calls for retrofitting public housing units with new energy efficient boiler controls, new windows, low-flow toilets, energy efficient lighting and other upgrades. At several sites, Constellation Energy will install co-generation facilities, in which electricity and hot water will be produced using natural gas in a more efficient manner.

The upgrades will impact 7,000 families in 39 separate developments in the city, including Stephen Crane Village, which has 350 units.

A group of lenders is backing the project, including Grant Capital, PNC Bank, Capitol One and Susquehanna Bank.
In 2010, the city of Minneapolis launched a similar plan to upgrade its housing stock, through a partnership with Honeywell.
The Newark project is expected to be completed by fall 2013.

Constellation Energy officials were not immediately available for comment.