The centerpiece of PSE&G’s historic Clean Energy Future proposal is a six-year commitment to energy efficiency programs. While we have invested in energy efficiency in the past, our latest proposal is larger and more inclusive. This program, for the first time, seeks to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to every PSE&G customer.
PSE&G is proposing to spend nearly $2.8 billion over six years on 22 energy efficiency programs that will reduce environmental impact and help customers reduce their energy consumption by using energy efficient equipment, technologies and strategies.
PSE&G’s energy efficiency proposal has the potential to save customers billions of dollars by helping them cut their household energy use, while also leading to improvements in the quality of our air and in public health, and to drastic reductions in the state’s carbon footprint.
The proposed program would:
• Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22 million metric tons and put the state on track to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals;
• Save enough electricity to power more than 5.5 million homes for a year and enough natural gas to supply more than 675,000 homes for a year;
• Create about 5,000 jobs.
New Jersey has set ambitious public goals for renewable energy, but the state has been less aggressive in the area of energy efficiency – and it shows. On the 2018 national energy efficiency scorecard, New Jersey ranks No. 17 – up from No. 18. However, when it comes to actual electricity savings, shown in the accompanying chart, New Jersey ranks No. 34, down six places from 2018. That is New Jersey’s lowest-ever national ranking for the actual amount of electricity saved through energy efficiency, reflecting a 35% decrease in year-over-year statewide savings. Over the same period, the state’s energy efficiency spending increased to No. 22 – meaning we are moving in the wrong direction, spending more to save less electricity.
That’s where PSE&G’s energy efficiency proposal can make a difference.
In states that rank higher than New Jersey for energy efficiency savings, policymakers have embraced the role of the utility in delivering universal access to energy efficiency, and adjusted their regulations to encourage the spread of energy efficiency. States that have directed utilities to drive energy efficiencies are achieving net energy savings of 2%. New Jersey’s savings, meanwhile, are less than 0.4%. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont are saving more than six times as much as New Jersey.
PSE&G’s proposal would more than quintuple New Jersey’s current statewide electric energy efficiency savings. It borrows from the success other states have in achieving greater energy efficiency saving. Eighteen of the 20 states achieving the most savings have turned their utilities loose to pursue energy efficiency and mandated significant savings. In those states, utilities have had to change their business models. No longer do they make more money by selling more energy but, instead, they are rewarded for helping customers reduce their energy consumption.
PSE&G aims to build on its success in providing efficiency programs to hospitals and apartment buildings, as well as buildings that house nonprofits, small businesses and government agencies, helping them to reduce their energy bills by millions of dollars a year.
PSE&G’s Clean Energy Future energy efficiency filing is a leap forward in the effort to lower utility bills, improve New Jersey’s environment and create green jobs that will help drive the economy. This proposal closely aligns with and supports state public policy, including the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, and builds on PSE&G’s existing energy efficiency efforts.