‘Go Green’ educates students; provides discounted electric rates

NEWFIELD — Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s Go Green initiative challenges students, faculty parents and community supporters to re-evaluate their impact on the environment and discover ways to make Mother Earth just a little bit better for its inhabitants.

The curriculum has students research technological changes, government legislation and other topics related to making the planet safer for future generations. As part of this process, the entire school community engages in its own energy audit, a program that will not only involve the participation of teachers and students, but will also engage the support of parents, alumnae and extended network of friends.

And, OLMA will be the beneficiary of an energy fundraiser that is supported by program participants who save on their monthly electric rates.

“Let’s face it, parents and contributors are constantly bombarded by schools and organizations to provide donations. In today’s economy, we needed to come up with something unique that could not only benefit our school but also ease the financial burden facing the many people who support our school,” explained principal Sister Grace Marie, D.M. “This fundraiser not only enhances our curriculum but helps fund our school operations and also provides a way for each and every supporter to realize a nice savings on their electric bills.”

Sister Grace added. “We receive needed funds to support our school without ever asking anyone to spend one dime more. It’s a wonderful program.”

The fundraising program is through a partnership with Viridian, a green energy company that provides electric to customers throughout the area. Through the state’s Energy Choice program, residents can choose Viridian as their third-party provider and, through this simple choice, realize a savings on their electric bills.

“The majority of people don’t know about Energy Choice or just don’t understand how simple it is to choose,” explained Sister Grace. “It’s up to us to help educate our parents and supporters so they can experience the benefits of the program. If electric customers do not choose, they have no control over the rates they pay. It’s really very simple.”

For supporters who choose Viridian through the OLMA fundraiser, the process is simple: just sign up online (www.viridian.com/OLMA) or through the mail. There are no fees to sign up, no contract or cancellation fees. Customers can cancel at any time. For each new customer, OLMA receives a contribution from Viridian. Delivery, line maintenance and customer service is still handled by the distributor, such as Atlantic City Electric, PSE&G and JCP&L. The billing process does not change and is still provided by the distributor.

And the savings?

According to company data, for the period June 2010 through November 2010, Viridian rates averaged $.1093/kWh. Atlantic City Electric rates averages. $.1393/kWh, equating to an average savings of 21.5 percent during the period. For the month of November, new Viridian customers receive a 17 percent savings off the posted ACE “pool” rates.

“Educating our students, faculty, parents and community about Energy Choice is one small part of our Go Green program,” explained Sister Grace, “but it’s an important element. Without choosing, parents won’t save on their electric and our school fundraiser won’t benefit.”

Anyone in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania (Viridian service areas) can support the OLMA program. It is not restricted to OLMA families.

For more about the program, visit www.olmagogreen.org or call the school at 856-697-2008.

Categories: Catholic School News

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