AGA Survey and Statistics System; AGA-CEE Natural Gas Efficiency Programs Survey: Utility expenditures for gas efficiency programs exclude data that have not been released by participating companies at the state level; U.S. Energy Information Administration; and U.S. Department of Transportation.
Statewide Elected Officials Next Election: 2021
Phil Murphy (Dem.)Governor
Sheila Oliver (Dem.)Lieutenant Governor
Gurbrir Grewal (Dem.) Attorney General
Legislature Next Election: 2019Session Dates: 1/12/2016-1/2016
Term: 4 year
President: Stephen Sweeney
President Pro Tempore: M. Teresa Ruiz
Senate Majority Leader: Loretta Weinberg
Senate Minority Leader: Thomas Kean
Senate Member Breakdown
Term: 2 year
Speaker of the General Assembly: Craig Coughlin
Speaker Pro Tempore of the House: Gordon Johnson
Majority Leader: Louis Greenwald
Minority Leader: Jon Bramnick
General Assembly Member Breakdown
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioners: Gubernatorial appointment, Senate confirmation: 6 year termChairperson: Appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor: Indefinite term
Richard Mroz (R), President Appointed by Governor Chris Christie in 2014; current term ends in 2021
Upendra Chivukula (D), Commissioner Appointed by Governor Chris Christie in 2014; term expired in 2020
Joseph Fiordaliso (D), Commissioner Appointed by Governor Richard Codey in 2006; current term ends in 2019
Mary-Anna Holden (R), Commissioner Appointed by Governor Chris Christie in 2012; term ends in 2017
Dianne Solomon (R), Commissioner Appointed by Governor Chris Christie in 2013; terms ends in 2019
New Jersey Natural Gas Corp offers a special rate designed to incentivize Distributed Generation, including CHP. CHP is also featured in its Energy Efficiency Program.
South Jersey Gas Co. offers a special rate designed to incentivize CHP applications. CHP is also featured in its Energy Efficiency Program.
Promoting the expansion of the natural gas pipeline systems is included in Governor Chris Christie’s 2011 Energy Master Plan; Specifically, the plan encourages New Jersey’s gas utilities to evaluate the economic and environmental merit of distribution system expansions to areas where natural gas is not presently available or where there is a relatively high saturation of oil-fired hit; The plan also includes a recommendation to establish a Transportation Infrastructure Bank to explore the potential of establishing a funding source that can assist in financing the development of needed infrastructure to support the increased use of AFVs (including NGVs)
Of note, the Plan empowers the New Jersey Division of Energy to intervene in matters of the Board of Public Utilities if a proceeding is thought to impact the Energy Master Plan.
As well, the Plan recognizes CHP as a viable energy efficiency option in many sectors of the economy, as well as the fact that DG and CHP are “dispatchable” and can decrease the burden on the transmission grid and on generating plants during peak demand hours, thereby reducing wholesale power costs and the price of electricity to all customers.” The Plan also acknowledges that the implementation of DG and CHP projects would require legislative support providing incentives and lowering barriers to the development of these projects. The Plan specifically mentions offering loans and loan guarantees as well as a streamlined permitting process as ways to boost DG and CHP development. The Energy Master Plan (EMP) set a target to develop "1,500 MW of new DG and CHP" resources over the next decade where net economic and environmental benefits can be demonstrated. Commercial and industrial applications are projected to contribute 1,400 MW, and district energy systems the remaining 100 MW.
On July 22, 2015, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) issued a notice that public hearings had been scheduled to commence a review of the state's Energy Master Plan (EMP). The BPU noted that since the release of the 2011 EMP the state has become aware of additional issues that must be considered: protecting critical infrastructure; improving emergency preparedness and response times; increasing the use of micro-grids and distributed energy resources; and, financing for long-term resiliency measures.
Since 2003, the Office of Clean Energy within the Board of Public Utilities has administered the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, which has offered statewide customer energy efficiency programs. Prior to this, the regulated energy utilities in New Jersey had been responsible for administering natural gas efficiency programs. A collaborative of stakeholders, called the New Jersey Clean Energy Council, provides input to the Board of Public Utilities on programs.
On April 15, 2015, the NJ BPU approved PSEG's plan to spend an additional $95 million on energy efficiency programs for health care facilities, multi-family housing and small urban businesses, government agencies and non-profits.
On August 19, 2015, the NJ BPU approved an extension and enhancement of its energy efficiency programs through August 31, 2017. The programs, through which the utility implements financing offers, replacement and installation of higher efficiency equipment and grants in varying terms, consist of the Residential Home Performance and Finance Energy Efficiency Program, Enhanced Residential HVAC Rebate Program, Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Investment Program, Commercial Customer Direct Install Financing Program and the new Social Marketing and Education Program.
Promoting the expansion of the natural gas pipeline system is included in Governor Chris Christie’s 2011 Energy Master Plan; Specifically, the plan encourages New Jersey’s gas utilities to evaluate the economic and environmental merit of distribution system expansions to areas where natural gas is not presently available or where there is a relatively high saturation of oil-fired hit; The plan also includes a recommendation to establish a Transportation Infrastructure Bank to explore the potential of establishing a funding source that can assist in financing the development of needed infrastructure to support the increased use of AFVs (including NGVs)
In January of 2015, Elizabethtown Gas filed for approval of a neighborhood expansion program. Under this program, customers would pay a monthly fixed surcharge over a ten-year period in lieu of an up-front contribution. This matter is presently pending.
In 2009, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved accelerated infrastructure programs for five of the seven major utilities that had filed such plans. In total, the plans provide that the utilities will invest $956 million in incremental infrastructure and energy efficiency programs over the following two years, and the costs of the various programs were to be recovered through various, separate adjustment mechanisms (see below). New Jersey Natural Gas: In 2009, New Jersey Natural Gas received approval to invest $71 million in new infrastructure and system upgrades, which it completed in 2011. In 2011, the utility was granted approval for an additional $60 million. The recovery mechanism is not a traditional tracker or surcharge—the utility is recovering the costs through adjustments to base rates Elizabethtown Gas: The utility implemented the Utilities Infrastructure Enhancement Program in 2009, which includes both the costs of replacing cast iron pipes and investments in specified new main extensions. The recovery mechanism was through a surcharge. In 2011, the utility was granted approval for the extension of the program through 2012, and the recovery mechanism continued to be a surcharge until October 2011 when the surcharge rolled into base rates PSE&G: In 2009, the utility received approval for an infrastructure investment program. The recovery mechanism, the Capital Adjustment Charge (CAC), is a deferral account that is adjusted each January based on forecasted program expenditures. South Jersey Gas: In 2009, South Jersey Gas received approval for its Capital Investment Recovery Tracker (CIRT) mechanism. The program has gone through several revisions in the last several years (CIRT-I, CIRT-II, CIRT-III)
In October of 2012, New Jersey Natural Gas received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to implement its Safety Acceleration and Facility Enhancement (SAFE) program. Through SAFE, NJNG will replace 276 miles, or approximately 50 percent, of the cast iron and unprotected steel mains and associated services in its delivery system over the next four years.
In August 2013, Elizabethtown Gas received unanimous approval from the New Jersey BPU to implement its Accelerated Infrastructure Replacement (AIR) program. The agreement will enable Elizabethtown Gas to invest up to $115 million over a four-year period to enhance the safety, reliability and integrity of the utility’s distribution system. Under the terms, Elizabethtown Gas will file a rate case no later than September 1, 2016 at which time the AIR program costs will be subject to review. During the AIR program, Elizabethtown Gas will accrue Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC) related to project expenditures during the construction period, and accrue associated carrying costs from the time the project is placed in service until the time its costs are recovered through base rates. This program allows the company to replace approximately 30 miles of year of cast and bare steel mains per year.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Public Service Electric & Gas Co (PSEG) has proposed a multi-billion dollar network hardening plan to improve resiliency and allow its electric delivery system to recover more quickly after damaging events. Had it been approved as PSEG proposed, the program, referred to as Energy Strong, would have allowed PSEG to will invest $1.1 billion into gas service system upgrades over a 10-year period to proactively protect and strengthen its systems against increasingly frequent severe weather.
On May 21, 2014 the New Jersey BPU adopted a settlement approving PSEG’s Energy Strong infrastructure improvement program and related surcharge mechanisms. PSEG will improve its natural gas infrastructure over a three-year period. Under the now-approved settlement, over the next three years PSEG is to expend on natural gas investments: $350 million to replace and modernize 250 miles of low-pressure cast iron gas mains in or near flood areas and $50 million to protect five natural gas metering stations and a liquefied natural gas station affected by Hurricane Sandy or located in flood zones.
On July 23, 2014 the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved New Jersey Natural Gas' (NJNG's) New Jersey Reinvestment in System Enhancements (NJ RISE) infrastructure program. The NJ RISE program is comprised of multiple investments over a five-year time frame of $102.5 million in gas distribution storm hardening and mitigation projects. The BPU also authorized an annual adjustment mechanism for this program. This mechanism covers program costs incurred through July 31, 2015. A base rate case must be filed no later than November 15, 2015. All costs incurred after July 31, 2015 will be addressed in the base rate proceeding.
Also on July 23, 2014, the BPU approved the Elizabethtown Natural Gas Distribution Utilities Reinforcement Effort (ENDURE) program, under which the company was authorized to invest approximately $15 million over a one-year period from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 in its natural gas infrastructure to prevent damage from future major storm events, and to improve communication during and after weather-related emergencies. Elizabethtown Gas proposed to defer the costs of the program, with recovery of the ENDURE program-related deferrals to be determined in a base rate case to be filed in 2016.
On August 20, 2014, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved the South Jersey Gas’s $103.5 million storm hardening and reliability program (SHARP) to improve its infrastructure in advance of significant weather events. SHARP, which is expected to be completed in the next three years, will replace roughly 93 miles of natural gas mains and approximately 11,100 associated services. Program costs will be recovered through annual adjustments to South Jersey Gas base rates on October 1st of each year of the program. There will be no immediate impact to customer bills.
On March 2, 2015, PSEG filed a proposal with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to invest $1.6 billion over the next five years to proactively modernize its gas systems. PSEG's Gas System Modernization Program would include replacing an average of approximately 160 miles of cast iron and unprotected steel gas mains, and about 11,000 unprotected steel service lines to homes and businesses per year, over the five year period of the program.
On September 15, 2015, PSE&G announced a $905 million settlement in principle with the staff of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel to expedite the replacement of aging gas pipelines. The settlement will enable the company to replace up to 510 miles of gas mains and 38,000 service lines over the three-year period.
Under the agreement, PSE&G will earn a return on equity of 9.75 percent on $650 million of investment based on an accelerated recovery mechanism, and will seek to recover the remaining $255 million in a base rate case, to be filed no later than November 1, 2017. This agreement was approved on November 16, 2015.
On September 23, 2015, Elizabethtown Gas Co. filed a plan a 10-year, $1.1 billion infrastructure program with the BPU. The program aims to replace 630 miles of aging cast iron, steel and copper pipelines.
The proposed Safety, Modernization and Reliability Tariff plan intends to eliminate all aging pipelines, along with 240 regulator stations associated with the utility's low-pressure distribution system, by 2027,and also includes the installation of excess flow valves on all new service lines, and the transferring of gas meters to the outside of homes and businesses. This matter is presently pending.
On February 29, South Jersey Gas (SJG) filed a petition with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities seeking to continue its Accelerated Infrastructure Replacement Program (AIRP) for a period of seven years with a total program investment of $500 million. The proposed program will be referred to as AIRP II. Under the AIRP II program, SJG would continue its Distribution Integrity Management Program-based approach to addressing the most significant threats on its distribution system and would replace and retire a significant portion of the vintage and most leak prone mains and services in its distribution system. The company's targets for replacement include:
All remaining cast iron and unprotected bare steel mains and associated services; The most leak prone coated steel mains that are 2" in diameter or less and associated services; and Other pipe materials and sizes found within replacement grids that would be logical and necessary to complete the modernization of the grid Approval of AIRP II would enable the company to continue enhancing the reliability and safety of its gas distribution system in a cost effective manner, achieve increased operational efficiencies and continue the employment benefits that have been created by its previous and existing main replacements programs. SJG proposes to recover the capital investment costs and expenses of the AIRP II program through annual base rate adjustments. The company's first AIRP II rate adjustment filing would be made on April 1, 2017 and there would be no rate adjustment or customer bill impact from the AIRP II program until October 1, 2017.
On September 23, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) adopted a settlement in New Jersey Natural Gas Company’s (NJNG) base rate case. As part of the decision, the BPU granted a five-year extension on the utility's Safety and Facilities Enhancement program (SAFE). The SAFE program is a $200 million pipeline replacement effort to modernize NJNG’s distribution system. The program allows NJNG to earn an allowance on its invested capital used in construction and request rate increases for spending in annual filings. These annual filings will consider the rate impacts associated with program spending of $157.5 million over its term.
On June 18, 2012, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved New Jersey Natural Gas Co.'s pilot program to invest up to $10 million over the following 12 months to build compressed natural gas refueling stations. The program aims to stimulate the market for natural gas vehicles by combating NGVs' primary obstacle: a lack of public refueling infrastructure.
New Jersey Natural Gas has executed contracts with three entities that use or plan to use NGVs in their fleets to build refueling stations in 2014. These companies will host the refueling stations, make the stations open to the public and initially use at least 20% of the refueling capacity, while New Jersey Natural Gas will install, own and maintain the infrastructure.
South Jersey Gas owns 3 stations in New Jersey and has a NGV rate schedule available to commercial and industrial customers who will utilize natural gas, for the purpose of providing vehicle fuel at Company-operated fueling stations or at separately metered customer-operated fueling stations.
PSE&G owns 5 CNG stations in New Jersey, which are currently used limited to private access.
On September 3, 2013 Elizabethtown Gas filed for permission from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to install, own, operate and maintain compressing equipment at customer locations within its service area. Elizabethtown’s filing also seeks permission for the utility to retail CNG to the public from stations it uses to fuel its fleet of CNG vehicles and from stations the utility may build in the future, again within its service territory.
On April 23, 2014, South Jersey Gas Co., in partnership with Wawa, will introduce compressed natural gas fueling at one of Wawa's southern New Jersey locations. Both companies expect to have the first CNG station, located in Logan Township, N.J., to begin serving natural gas fueled vehicles by early 2015. The joint venture also is considering other locations.
Full revenue decoupling mechanisms are in place for New Jersey Natural Gas and South Jersey Gas. Operation of the mechanisms is contingent on the companies achieving certain demand-reduction targets.
Weather normalization clauses are in place for Elizabethtown Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and Public Service Electric & Gas.