The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved PSE&G’s Clean Energy Future proposal Wednesday, clearing the way for the state’s largest utility to commit $1 billion toward energy efficiency investments over the next three years.
PSE&G said in an announcement on the investment’s approval that it’s expected to provide environmental benefits and reduce customer bills while creating jobs and boosting New Jersey’s economy.
PSE&G’s Clean Energy Future proposal aligns with Gov. Phil Murphy’s commitment to clean energy.
“Today’s decision will allow us to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to every customer and give them options to reduce their energy use, save money and shrink their carbon footprint,” said PSEG Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo in a prepared statement. “New Jersey now has the opportunity to be at the forefront of clean energy policy and be a role model for the nation.”
The $1 billion plan includes investments in customer programs and information technology platforms that work to support energy efficiency.
The Clean Energy Future proposal include rebates for energy-efficient appliances and equipment aims to help reduce the state’s carbon emissions and help it recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering $1 billion in net customer savings while creating 3,200 direct jobs and another 1,100 indirect jobs, the company said.
Additionally, about 70 percent of the program will be earmarked to help business customers lower their energy consumption and costs, thus enhancing New Jersey’s economic competitiveness; and in all, the programs will help New Jersey avoid 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions through 2050, PSE&G said.
“How appropriate that, during Climate Week, New Jersey has taken this vital step to pursue energy efficiency, the most cost-effective approach to addressing climate change,” Izzo said. “Today’s decision is a tribute to Gov. Murphy’s decisive leadership on climate change and will deliver the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency to our customers.”
To help build a workforce needed to implement energy efficiency projects, PSE&G launched an energy efficiency job training program in partnership with a network of community organizations and the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development in August. The job training program aims to recruit and prepare up to 2,000 New Jerseyans from urban centers for jobs with the contractors that will implement PSE&G’s energy efficiency programs.
Additionally, PSE&G’s program offers residential, commercial and industrial customers rebates and incentives to purchase energy-efficient lighting, HVAC equipment and smart thermostats, designed to meet the needs of low-income, multifamily and small business customers.
“We are committed to ensuring that all of our customers and the communities we serve get an opportunity to share in the benefits of this program, including lower energy bills, new jobs and cleaner air,” said President Dave Daly in a prepared statement. “PSE&G appreciates the efforts of BPU staff, New Jersey Rate Counsel and other parties involved to help move this exciting program forward.”
The program will help lift New Jersey into the top five U.S. states for both electric and gas savings, per PSE&G’s Wednesday announcement.
“This large-scale commitment to energy efficiency is the cornerstone for PSEG to make further progress as a leading provider of sustainable energy,” Izzo said. “That commitment includes other clean energy investments, methane-reduction initiatives and zero-carbon nuclear generation.”