“The Board’s actions today underscore Governor Murphy’s priorities of clean energy and equal opportunity for all New Jerseyans,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “While forwarding the Governor’s clean energy agenda, we worked to ensure that underserved communities will benefit from these programs. These programs will reduce energy burdens and have long-term benefits for participants, including reducing utility bills, improving health, comfort, safety, and creating thousands of green jobs. We are charting a course towards 100% clean energy by increasing access to energy efficiency programs, decreasing energy burdens, and creating new economic opportunities for the state of New Jersey.”
The Clean Energy Act (CEA), voted on by the Legislature and signed by Governor Murphy in May 2018, emphasizes the importance of energy efficiency and requires each public utility in the state to reduce the use of electricity and natural gas in its service territory by at least 2% for electric utilities and at least 0.75% for gas utilities in the prior three years within five years of implementation of its gas energy efficiency program.
Since the passage of the CEA, the BPU has been working to implement these directives with board staff engaging in significant stakeholder input during the program development process, which included 15 public meetings, and numerous straw proposals over the last year.
Today’s Board Order provides for the administration of the energy efficiency programs and establishes the mechanisms for the recovery of costs associated with delivery of programs, performance metrics and targets, an evaluation, measurement, and verification framework, and program filing and reporting requirements. The Order also includes a number of requirements to ensure equity throughout energy efficiency.
Per today’s Order:
Achieving the state’s energy efficiency goals is critical to aid New Jersey’s low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities by increasing access to energy efficiency programs, decreasing energy burdens, and creating new economic opportunities for community members. To ensure that LMI communities benefit from the programs, the board order includes the following recommendations, many of which have come from stakeholder recommendations:
Additional program components aimed at equity issues include enhanced required reporting and measurement of performance including for performance incentives as well as collection of additional information via a recently completed demographic analysis study to determine energy efficiency market barriers to penetration.