NJNG’s largest energy-efficiency program request would expand opportunities for low- and moderate-income customers, align with State’s clean energy goals for energy efficiency
Building on its decade-long record of leadership in running energy-efficiency programs, New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) today filed a proposal with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU), seeking to significantly expand its offerings to help customers save money, manage their energy usage and reduce emissions.
The $249 million proposal would strengthen NJNG’s existing energy-efficiency offerings for residential and commercial customers, launch a new program to serve multi-family properties and provide targeted assistance for low- and moderate-income households. In addition, this filing reflects new legislative provisions intended to shift administration of some programs from the State to utilities, and provides an innovative approach for collaboration with electric utilities that have overlapping service territories with NJNG.
If approved in full, the programs reflected in this filing will help NJNG customers save more than 128 million therms of natural gas, preventing the emission of over 677,000 metric tons of CO2 - the equivalent of taking 146,000 cars off the road for a year. As proposed, the filing would also allow NJNG to meet or exceed the energy reduction targets set by the BPU, consistent with the landmark New Jersey Clean Energy Act, which was signed into law in 2018 and for the first time ever set specific energy reduction targets for the State’s utilities.
"NJNG has been a leader in New Jersey’s energy-efficiency industry for over a decade, running robust programs that have conserved energy, delivered savings for our customers and reduced emissions to benefit the environment," said Steve Westhoven, president and chief executive officer of New Jersey Natural Gas. "As NJNG’s largest-ever program to put energy efficiency within reach for our customers, this filing reflects our strong commitment to clean energy, emissions reduction and sustainability. We are doing our part to help New Jersey reduce emissions and realize a clean energy future, while doubling down on our efforts to help our most vulnerable customers save energy and money."
Pending BPU approval, NJNG expects to invest more than $249 million over the three-year program, consisting of approximately $127 million of direct investment and $98 million in financing options, and approximately $23 million in operation and maintenance expenses. The average annual impact for the typical residential heating customer using 1,000 therms per year over the 15-year recovery term of the program is estimated to be $21.71 or 1.9%. Expected savings for participating customers will range from 1 to 30% depending on the program utilized. Lifetime net benefits – above and beyond the cost of the program – are expected to exceed $191 million.
Since 2009, NJNG has invested more than $169 million in energy-efficiency programs through The SAVEGREEN Project®, generating $463 million in economic activity in its service territory, while reducing greenhouse emissions. Over the last decade, more than 66,000 customers – one out of every nine – have participated in SAVEGREEN, helping to grow the green energy economy for the more than 2,800 contractors who have taken part in the program.
NJNG’s strong focus on running successful energy-efficiency programs has helped reduce its average customers’ gas consumption by 12% since 2006.
To increase the energy-efficiency opportunities for residential customers, NJNG will provide rebates and incentives for qualifying equipment replacement and comprehensive home energy measures and offer customers 0% APR repayment and on-bill repayment options, with special terms for Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) customers. Additionally, there are new no cost programs proposed to help renters and homeowners achieve immediate energy savings and to provide a special no cost weatherization program that will help LMI households achieve deeper energy savings.
New multi-family offerings will provide potential services that include: energy-efficiency education through energy assessments; installation of standard energy savings measures; equipment replacement; and, custom retrofits and engineered solutions and emergency equipment replacement. In addition, this program will provide an on-bill repayment program with longer repayment terms for low and moderate income and affordable housing properties.
Commercial and Industrial Offerings
The filing proposes multiple approaches to help commercial customers address the upfront costs of energy-efficient equipment and whole-building energy improvements, as well as new retro-commissioning and energy management efforts to maximize savings and reduce payback time. The proposal includes incentives and on-bill repayment programs for comprehensive approaches like Direct Install and Engineered Solutions that start with energy audits of the facilities of commercial customers, including small businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, schools and faith-based organizations.
Putting Energy Efficiency in Reach for Low- and Moderate-Income Households
NJNG’s SAVEGREEN proposal focuses on a number of approaches that can help LMI customers reduce their energy bills. This includes special incentives and longer repayment terms for HVAC programs to make energy efficiency upgrades more accessible; an efficient products program to offer lower cost energy-efficiency products that can provide immediate savings and appeal to renters as well as homeowners; the no cost quick home energy check-up; distribution of free energy conservation kits in partnership with local foodbanks and community organizations; a new moderate income weatherization program; and, program options that serve the needs of a broad range of multi-family properties and are designed to help increase the likelihood of participation.
NJNG is also streamlining the process to allow automatic qualification for these special incentives based upon designated geographic location (e.g. Urban Enterprise Zones) or participation in another qualifying program.
Pending BPU approval, NJNG will earn a return on its investments at its currently allowed weighted average cost of capital.
About New Jersey Resources
New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR) is a Fortune 1000 company that, through its subsidiaries, provides safe and reliable natural gas and clean energy services, including transportation, distribution, asset management and home services. NJR is composed of five primary businesses:
- New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR’s principal subsidiary, operates and maintains over 7,500 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve over half a million customers in New Jersey’s Monmouth, Ocean, Morris, Middlesex and Burlington counties.
- NJR Clean Energy Ventures invests in, owns and operates solar projects with a total capacity of more than 350 megawatts, providing residential and commercial customers with low-carbon solutions.
- NJR Energy Services manages a diversified portfolio of natural gas transportation and storage assets and provides physical natural gas services and customized energy solutions to its customers across North America.
- NJR Midstream serves customers from local distributors and producers to electric generators and wholesale marketers through its ownership of Leaf River Energy Center and the Adelphia Gateway Pipeline Project, as well as our 50 percent equity ownership in the Steckman Ridge natural gas storage facility, and our 20 percent equity interest in the PennEast Pipeline Project.
- NJR Home Services provides service contracts as well as heating, central air conditioning, water heaters, standby generators, solar and other indoor and outdoor comfort products to residential homes throughout New Jersey.
NJR and its more than 1,100 employees are committed to helping customers save energy and money by promoting conservation and encouraging efficiency through Conserve to Preserve® and initiatives such as The SAVEGREEN Project® and The Sunlight Advantage®. For more information about NJR: www.njresources.com.
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