Economic Development & Energy Policy
The Division of Economic Development and Energy Policy (Division) manages and coordinates cross-cutting issues within the BPU related to energy and economic development.
The Division is comprised of a variety of offices and also oversees numerous projects and initiatives including:
Federal Energy Policy
The decisions made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on energy issues directly impact the state’s economy. The FERC regulates the wholesale sale of electricity and sets the transmission rates for the utilities operating within the state. FERC also regulates natural gas interstate pipeline rates as well as the siting of new or an expansion of existing inter-state natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Without a strong presence at FERC, many proposed rate adjustments or proposed policy changes, if not opposed or questioned, are routinely approved, some to the detriment of NJ ratepayers.
Proceedings at PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM), the transmission grid operator for the 14 states PJM operates within, also require constant monitoring and participation by the BPU. The Division works to ensure effective advocacy to protect and promote the state’s interests regarding changes to the PJM Tariff, Operating Agreement and Reliability Assurance Agreement.
Office Of Clean Energy (OCE)
New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP), administered through the OCE, promotes energy efficiency programs and the development of clean, renewable sources of energy including solar, wind, geothermal, combined heat and power (CHP) and sustainable biomass. The goal of the OCE is to lower energy costs, reduce demand for electricity, emit fewer pollutants into the air and create jobs. Through its programs, the OCE offers education, outreach and financial incentives to residential, commercial businesses and industry, schools and governmental customers.
NJCEP is a statewide program which promotes technologies that save electricity and natural gas, and increase the amount of electricity generated from clean, renewable resources and distributed forms of generation. New Jersey has instituted a number of successful initiatives that help to reduce the State’s peak energy demand, conserve finite resources and transform the marketplace for the next generation of electricity and natural gas supply technologies. Incentives are available to offset the initial cost of energy conservation measures and renewable energy technologies for ratepayers. Programs are comprehensive and complementary, and focus on providing technical and financial assistance and provide project development assistance from information on best practices to rebate payments and financing tools.
For more information http://www.njcleanenergy.com/
Office Of The Energy Ombudsperson
The Ombudsperson, created through legislation, focuses on providing information to businesses on energy costs, state programs and third-party supplier (TPS) options. The Ombudsperson along with providing these services, also works on much larger scale projects that have the potential to drive the future direction of energy use by the state’s business community.
State Energy Office
In 2011, Governor Christie has established a State Energy Savings Office (SEO) within the Board of Public Utilities to determine where the greatest opportunities exist for state facilities to save energy and money. The Governor also established the State Energy Savings Oversight Committee (Committee). The Committee was charged with designing a framework for a program that would utilize the New Jersey Energy Savings Improvement Act and would identify and implement actual projects, track costs, energy savings, dollar savings and other important factors such as environmental benefits. The SEO began to implement the projects identified through the Committee process and is working with the Committee to develop a long term plan for many of the 300 plus state owned/operated facilities.
American Recovery And Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
The BPU was allocated approximately $90M in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) through ARRA to further State and Federal energy conservation and energy efficiency goals. The USDOE approved the BPU’s proposal to use these funds to supplement existing Clean Energy programs that offer focused technical and financial assistance to homeowners, businesses, industry, non-profits, schools, and government organizations.
The ARRA program is monitoring all of the projects funded which range from residential energy efficiency projects to multi-faceted energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at universities. Data is collected on all projects funded related to energy savings and jobs creation. The full amount of the ARRA funding must be spent by the spring of 2012.
Energy Master Plan (EMP)
New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan Statute, N.J.S.A. 52:27F-14, was enacted in 1977 as a response to the energy crisis of the mid-1970s. The statute called for a “master plan” for the “production, distribution, and conservation of energy in New Jersey.”
The Division is responsible for the coordination of the EMP. This process includes drafting a plan or plan update, facilitating public comment, working with Rutgers Center for Energy, Economic, and Environmental Policy (CEEEP) to develop and update the date needed to support the plan and monitoring and reporting on plan implementation.
The Division is in the process of finalizing the 2011 EMP. Once completed and released the Division, in conjunction with various state agencies and the Governor’s office will initiate the implementation process.
For more information visit http://www.state.nj.us/emp/