Implementation of New Jersey's Energy Master Plan

January 8, 2009
by BRETT SLENSKY
Client Alert Newsletter Forecast 2009

Several actions aimed at implementing New Jersey’s latest Energy Master Plan ("EMP") are anticipated to occur in 2009. The EMP, which was released in October 2008, outlines New Jersey’s strategies to: 1) maximize energy conservation and efficiency to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2020; 2) reduce peak demand for electricity by 5,700 MW by 2020; 3) provide 30 percent of the state’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020; 4) develop a 21st century energy infrastructure; and 5) invest in innovative clean energy technologies and businesses to stimulate the industry’s growth in New Jersey.

As an initial implementation step, the Governor will establish a State Energy Council comprised of twelve state departments and offices, which will be advised by a stakeholder group and meet quarterly to monitor progress under the EMP. In furtherance of the EMP's energy conservation and efficiency goal, it is anticipated that the legislature will enact pending state legislation to authorize the development of statewide building codes which could require new construction being at least 30 percent more energy efficient than current code requires. A statewide strategy for net zero carbon emissions from all new and existing buildings may also be developed. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is also expected to evaluate load management programs and to work with New Jersey utilities on technology and rate structure pilot programs which could assist the state to achieve the EMP's peak demand reduction goal. In the area of renewable energy, anticipated regulatory changes under the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard ("RPS") could modify solar energy goals and further support offshore wind development.