Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Jersey slips three spots in national energy efficiency

While many states are making strides to reduce energy use, New Jersey continues to lag behind others in using energy more efficiently, according to a new national analysis.

Tom Johnson reports for NJ Spotlight:

New Jersey fell to 24th in the nation in energy efficiency, slipping three spots, according to a scorecard compiled by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy. Less than a decade ago, the state was ranked seventh in terms of energy efficiency.
Clean-energy advocates often cite the annual study as justification behind a push for more aggressive policies and investments that would allow businesses and consumers to use energy more efficiently — a win-win proposition that would cut energy bills and reduce pollution.
The factors causing the state to lose ground are all too familiar to those who want the state to put a higher priority on energy efficiency. The analysis cited diversion of funds to promote energy savings; lack of a mandatory target to reduce energy use; and an existing utility business model that does not encourage investment in energy efficiency.
“Sadly, this is a broken record,’’ lamented Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey. “The road to becoming more energy efficient is obvious: stop raiding clean-energy funds and adopt an energy efficiency portfolio standard.’’
But the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities questioned the assumptions made in the analysis and defended its efforts in promoting energy efficiency.
In a statement, the agency said the state has a decade-and-a-half history of advancing energy efficiency, having invested approximately $2.58 billion over that time — a fact the council gives no weight. Half the state’s investment in energy efficiency has been during the Christie administration.
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