“New Jersey will be making major investments in energy efficiency and conservation as well as expanding renewable generation with this ARRA funding,” said Governor Corzine. “These are the types of investment projects that will put people back to work quickly and create a more secure energy future for our state and our economy.”
The proposals would create jobs by expanding the state’s energy efficiency programs and providing additional support for renewable energy development. The proposed spending, outlined in an application to DOE, is consistent with the Governor’s Energy Master Plan, which includes a goal to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020 and increase the amount of renewable energy to 30 percent of our energy consumption by 2020.
The projects also compliment the work of New Jersey’s existing Clean Energy Program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the current clean energy programs of the state’s electric and gas utility companies.
“The foundation New Jersey created with Governor Corzine’s Energy Master Plan and our Clean Energy Program will allow us to quickly implement the Governor’s proposals to the benefit of all New Jersey residents and businesses,” noted Jeanne Fox, President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
Specific program and grant categories for the anticipated funds include:
- Grants and Loans for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Alternative Energy Applications: $15 million will be committed to a competitive grant program administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). The program will fund public and private renewable energy projects that are classified as a Class 1 or Class 2 renewable energy technology as well as energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Applications will be prioritized based on the ability to create jobs, potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of energy saved or created and innovative aspects of the technology to be used or its application.
- Grants for State-Sponsored Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects: $20,643,000 will be dedicated to a new BPU-administered program to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at state departments, agencies, authorities and public colleges and universities. Applications will be prioritized based on the ability to create jobs, potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the amount of energy saved or created and innovative aspects of the technology to be used or its application.
- New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) Solar Financing Program for Residential Solar: $7 million will be dedicated to the HMFA for grants to construct solar energy projects on HMFA’s income- qualified multifamily buildings. The funds will be leveraged with existing state rebate programs and the federal investment tax credit. HMFA will own the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and the funds generated by the credits will be used to establish a revolving fund to finance additional solar installations.
- New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Low-Interest Loan Program for Residential Energy Efficiency: $8 million will be dedicated to the HMFA for a low-interest loan program for energy efficiency upgrades at single-family and multifamily homes. These loans will be made available to households that are at or below 250% of Area Median Income (the higher of statewide or county median income) based on a family of four, and affordable multifamily building owners that meet HMFA’s affordability requirements. Participation will also be limited to those ineligible for other equivalent financing programs offered by the utilities or New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. Loan repayments will be used to establish a revolving loan fund to finance additional energy efficiency projects.
- Energy Efficiency Programs through the Clean Energy Program: $17 million will be committed to the Clean Energy Program to develop new programs or supplement existing programs to increase the New Jersey’s investment in energy efficiency. As part of this Clean Energy Program funding, eligibility will be expanded to include energy users not currently subject to the Societal Benefit Charge, such as oil and propane heat customers and electric customers not served by the four investor-owned utilities.
- New Jersey Office of Energy Savings - $6,000,000: The Office of Energy Savings is charged with reducing state government’s energy consumption and lowering its energy costs. It performs energy audits on state-operated buildings in order to identify opportunities for energy efficiencies. It prioritizes the buildings that consume the greatest amount of energy, and makes capital investments in those facilities. The funding will be used to expand it auditing and investments in state-owned buildings such as state-run health facilities, prisons, and office buildings.
Details concerning application processes, selection methods, selected projects and progress on selected projects will be made available at the state’s recovery website at www.nj.gov/recovery/. In addition, BPU staff will work with each of the state entities implementing the programs to ensure they meet the reporting requirements of the ARRA and the DOE. For additional information on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.recovery.gov.