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USGNN Original StoryNew Law Encourages Energy-Efficient Construction in New Jersey

Legislation was passed in New Jersey recently that encourages public entities, including the state, counties, municipalities, school districts and public colleges, to implement energy savings improvement programs. Through the new program, public organizations will be able to contract with energy services companies to implement energy saving measures. The money saved through the reduction in energy expenses will defray the cost of energy infrastructure improvements. The use of high-performance glass and glazing, windows, doors and other construction elements is just one way public agencies will be able to benefit from the acquisition of new and efficient energy-saving improvements.

Many companies, including glass fabricators and manufactures, curtainwall producers and other glazing component suppliers may also find benefit in seeing more high-performance materials used in the state's construction.

"From our perspective, as a New Jersey business and directly involved in the supply of improved glass performance products, we are clearly supportive and in favor of this legislation, but whether it has any 'teeth,' will need to be determined," says George Smith of Pedricktown, N.J.-based J.E. Berkowitz L.P. Smith, who handles the company's energy purchases, ISO quality and facilities management, was also the project executive in charge of constructing the company's new plant in Pedricktown, which features a number of the efficiencies that are now being encouraged by the state's governor. These include artificial lighting, heating, water circulation and natural day lighting through skylights, punched openings and high-efficiency glass curtainwall.

"As we look for new and creative ways to overcome the national economic crisis, we cannot ignore the benefits of green construction in New Jersey," said Senator Bob Smith, (D-Middlesex, Somerset), and chairman of the Senate Environment Committee. "This new law allows public agencies to capitalize on proven cost savings to jump-start the State's green economy. By allowing public agencies to tap into cost-neutral start-up capital, we can show to the world the benefits-both economic and environmental-of going green and supporting green construction in the Garden State."

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