In recognition of successful public-private energy consumption reduction efforts, the Somerset County Business Partnership and county freeholders will participate in the federal Department of Energy’s Community Energy Strategic Planning Academy.
The academy will host a series of training sessions for cities and counties nationwide to implement strategic energy planning.
Mike Kerwin, president of the SCBP, said a diverse range of communities from around the country will be participating in the academy, adding that he felt very appreciative the county is included.
“This is a unique opportunity for Somerset County to do something special, and continue the momentum generated in this area of energy,” said Kerwin.
While Somerset engineers will do most of the direct participation in the program, the business partnership’s public-private initiatives — like the county’s energy council and involvement in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s kick-off of two national green energy campaigns — were a catalyst for selection in the program.
“The participation in this program is to basically share our experiences with best practices throughout the country,” Kerwin said, “and to articulate all the work that Somerset County has done into a vision that will give the county a competitive advantage in creating … a community that is sustainable and really energy efficient.
“We can then incorporate that vision into the work that SCBP is doing with the county on an overall comprehensive economic development strategy,” he said. “It’s interesting the way the pieces are starting to fit together, because … this energy component is critical.”