NJ's Final Energy Master Plan Released

November 9, 2008
by BRETT SLENSKY
Client Alert Newsletter November 2008

On October 22, 2008, New Jersey Governor John Corzine released the state's final Energy Master Plan ("EMP"), which outlines New Jersey's long-term strategy to meet the state's energy needs through 2020. New Jersey law requires issuance of an EMP every ten years addressing the production, distribution, consumption and conservation of energy in the state; however, the state's last plan was formulated in 1991 and updated in 1995. The current EMP was nearly two years in the making, and the process involved participation and input from numerous state agencies, stakeholder groups and members of the general public.

The final EMP's goals closely reflect those proposed in last April's draft: 1) maximize energy conservation and efficiency to reduce consumption by 20 percent; 2) reduce peak demand for electricity by 5,700 megawatts ("MW"); 3) strive to provide 30 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable sources; 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. Recommended actions to meet these objectives include development of statewide building codes that will require new construction to be at least 30 percent more energy efficient than is required by current state code, expansion of incentives for participation in regional demand response programs, creation of pilot programs for technologies (e.g., smart meters) and rate structures that will determine the best way to achieve peak demand reductions, increases in the state's solar energy goals, and development of 1500 MW of additional cogeneration capacity.

The EMP calls for the governor to establish a State Energy Council comprised of twelve state departments and offices that will be advised by stakeholder groups and meet quarterly.