New Jersey Natural Gas to add $341m to energy efficiency budget


US energy provider New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) filed a proposal with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to expand its energy efficiency programmes.

The utility is also seeking an approval to install solar systems at its facilities. Energy generated from the facilities will be integrated into the main grid to provide customers with clean and low-cost energy.

Energy efficiency funding

NJNG plans to increase its energy efficiency investments by $341 million over the next six years of which $158 million will be a direct investment and $183 million in financing options.

Financing options will include providing consumers with financial incentives especially industrial and commercial customers to install energy efficient equipment and energy management technologies.

Public entities with high energy demand — municipalities, schools, universities, nonprofits, healthcare and multifamily housing will also receive the funding to implement energy efficiency retrofits.

Customers of NJNG will provide $302 million of the required investment through an increase in their bills over the next 30 years.

For instance, a consumer using an average of 1,000 therms per year will see an increase in bills by $14.74 or 1.4%.

New Jersey Natural Gas and efficiency benefits

The utility says the energy efficiency initiatives will help consumers to achieve a 30% increase in energy savings.

In total, the programmes are expected to create energy savings of up to $605 million over the 30 year period and reduce carbon emissions by 3.4 million tonnes.

The energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes will be deployed for residential, low-income (including seniors and the disabled), public entities, commercial and industrial customers.

The projects are expected to help New Jersey to achieve it’s energy-efficiency and clean energy goals.

“Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to help customers save energy and money, protect our environment and create a stronger and fairer clean energy economy,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas.

“We have already helped our customers save $374 million through programmes that reduce natural gas usage, and our efforts have protected the environment by preventing the release of 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which equates to removing approximately 400,000 cars from New Jersey’s roads each year…”

The utility has invested $150 million in energy efficiency programmes and generated $150 million in economic activities since 2009.

50,000 consumers and 2,600 contractors have participated in the utility’s SAVEGREEN programme in the past ten years.

NJNG will also help its senior residents in Ocean County to convert their equipment to natural gas, and providing other upgrades, smart thermostats and conservation kits to maximise their energy savings. The measures will be provided at no cost to these seniors and help reduce their energy burden, providing an estimated 35 to 50% in annual savings on their energy bills.

The utility’s PowerSave Schools energy efficiency programme which trains students to identify and implement measures to save energy will be extended to 100 schools during the 2019-2020 academic year. The initiative is implemented in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy.