Joel Sonkin is the Environmental and Energy Service Director for the City of Newark’s Sustainability Office. Joel looks at the city’s operations and puts together a plan for the best solution the City needs to help the economy, environment and public health. For example the Sustainability Office entered the City into an energy purchasing consortium where the city purchased energy in the wholesale market rather than from the public utility (PSE&G). Entering this consortium will save the city just under $600,000 over a 12 month period! The Sustainability Office also helped the city save money by working with PSE&G to change lighting in 5 municipal buildings to light fixtures that use less energy.Joel also worked with the Facilities Department to replace some out-dated boilers to a more efficient model.
Joel decided to work with the city of Newark because he wanted to help improve the urban environment. He decided to take on the challenge to help make the city cleaner to improve environmental health. While working for the Sustainability Office and the Department of Economic Development Joel’s goals are to work hand and hand with major business corporations to help them lower energy costs in their buildings. Joel also wants to develop a more successful storm water management system through green infrastructure. This system will help out with severe flooding and help the air quality in the city of Newark.
After talking with Joel, I am inspired to look at the appliances in my home and replace them with Energy Star appliances. Also when I go back to school I will help assist student entrepreneurs lower the energy costs of their operations by sharing the knowledge I have learned during my summer internship at the City of Newark Sustainability Office.