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NJ SHARES Highlighted at Elder Economic Summits
This month, the New Jersey Foundation for Aging and the National Council on Aging co-convened two Elder Economic Summits to create awareness and education in linking agencies and clients with vital programs. The Summit included data compiled on the income inadequacy of elder workers and seniors. An effective video depicting seniors living just one crisis away from poverty was shown to the group prior to the panel of resource experts’ presentations on local resources.
To present information on local resources NJ SHARES’ Barbara Gomes was joined by Theresa Davis, Morris County Division on Aging, Disabilities and Veterans; Eileen E. Doremus, Mercer County Office on Aging; Roger Leahy and Helen Grant, National Council on Aging; Pat Constantino, PathStone; Randi Gosselin, Nova Debt and Russell Graves, Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling; Peggy Estabrook, North Hudson Community Action Corporation; Bill Crosby and Spring Jones, Money Management. The Summits were held in Morris County at the Aidekman Family Campus-Conference Center in Whippany on the 11th and in Mercer County at the Capt. John T. Dempster Sr. Fire Training Center in Lawrenceville on the 20th.
Midsummer is a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of water and energy conservation and efficiency.
It’s easy to take water for granted. When we need it, we expect it to be there. During the summer months, water conservation is more prevalent as we battle with flow restrictions but the truth is, it is always important to minimize non-essential water usage. Not only is it good for the environment, but it’s good for your bank account and it protects our valuable resource for future generations. Here are two helpful links that provide simple measures to help you conserve, preserve and save!
Energy efficiency is an important component to reducing electric bills, particularly for economically vulnerable households. Improved energy efficiency can make homes safer and more comfortable when the mercury reaches 90 or 100 – for significantly less cost. These efforts can also serve to significantly reduce heating bills in winter.
Weatherization, a key part of energy efficiency programs, is designed to help households reduce their utility cost burdens. Programs include a houseold audit to determine which actions should be taken to prevent excessive heat from entering a home in summer and prevent cold drafts in winter. Weatherization also involves replacing or repairing inefficient cooling or heating equipment, as well as improving insulation.
NJ SHARES knows that energy efficiency is a crucial part of energy assistance, and is working to spread the word about two important programs.
Weatherization is a federal program that provides weatherizing for households up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), improving heating system efficiency and conserving energy. For more information visit: www.energyassistance.nj.gov.
New Jersey Comfort Partners provides:
• A free energy audit to households up to 225% FPL and
• Installation of energy efficiency measures, personalized customer energy education and counseling for households at or below 225% of the FPL. For more information call 1-888-773-8326.
For information about additional conservation programs, contact your utility company.
New Jersey Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Offers Summer Savings
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) offers "whole-house” solutions to reduce both your energy costs and carbon footprint. Installing energy efficient upgrades can save you up to 30% on energy costs and increase the comfort, safety, and durability of your home. The first step is to schedule an assessment (audit) of your home’s current conditions. A certified technician will conduct the audit, recommend energy efficiency upgrades, and explain the available HPwES financial incentives. A listing of HPwES participating contractors is available at the New Jersey Clean Energy Program’s website at NJCleanEnergy.com/hp. It is recommended that you contact several contractors before selecting one to install your upgrades.
The program offers generous incentives to homeowners based on the home's estimated total energy savings (TES) as a result of installing energy efficient measures. Your contractor uses the program software to calculate the natural gas and electricity energy savings as a percentage of your annual consumption, which is reflected on the printed Proposed Measures report from your contractor. If the percentage of savings achieves 25% or higher, for example, the project qualifies for a rebate up to $4,000 and the 0% interest financing. The program is offering a special Summer Discount up to $1,000 in addition to the existing maximum incentive of $4,000 and zero interest financing! Other Loan & Repayment Options for Single Family or Townhouse projects are offered. Ask your contractor for more details about the additional 2011 Summer Discount.
Atlantic City Electric’s Tips to Stay Cool
Be sure to close all windows and doors when the air conditioner is operating. Consider using a ceiling fan with your air conditioner to spread the cooled air to other rooms. Be sure the air conditioner is large enough to cool the additional space. Clean and replace air conditioning filters. Dirty air filters should be replaced every month. Foam filters can be rinsed with water and wrung dry. Fiberglass filters need to be replaced.
Reminder: Agency Interactive Dialogue Meetings to Be Held in August for Agency Partners
This year’s interactive dialogues will feature the Legal Services of New Jersey's Poverty Research Institute (PRI), with a special presentation of Poverty Benchmarks. The Poverty Benchmarks Project is an on-going data collection effort that aims to increase understanding of poverty in New Jersey as a foundation for more effective public response to the reality of poverty and its consequences. This report, "Poverty Benchmarks 2011: Assessing New Jersey's Progress in Combating Poverty" is the fifth in the annual series and updates key poverty trends and attendant policy implications. NJ SHARES impact data compiled by Applied Public Research Institute (APPRISE, Inc.) will also be offered. Agency staff members will also have the opportunity to find ways to collaborate with other agencies in the NJ SHARES partner network and in their communities.
The meetings will be held from 10am to 1pm as follows:
• August 17 – New Jersey Natural Gas, 4415 Wyckoff Road, Wall, NJ, 07719
• August 18 - Atlantic City Electric Main Campus, 5100 Harding Highway, Mays Landing, NJ, 08330
• August 24 - PSE&G Training Center, 234 Pierson Ave., Edison, NJ, 08837
• August 25 - JCP&L Morristown Office – 300 Madison Avenue, Morristown, NJ, 07960
Any questions about registering requirements, locations, schedules or meeting agendas can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Jersey American Water (NJAW) is offering a conservation program that our clients will be screened for during the grant application process. NJAW has authored a conservation questionnaire that will be a required backup document for all applications. Clients must fill it out and Agencies must include it in the back-up document package. This requirement is tentatively expected to go into effect on August 8, 2011. Once in effect, the conservation questionnaire will be found in the NJAW Training Packet and Useful Tool section of the NJAW Welcome Screen. The conservation questionnaire will automatically print with each application.