New Jersey has been recognized as the “most improved” state for its energy efficiency policies and best practices, according to a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The ranking, part of ACEEE’s 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, showcases New Jersey’s new annual energy savings targets for electricity and natural gas, as well as the state’s strategic vision to utilize energy efficiency to combat climate change.
ACEEE’s 12th edition of its annual Scorecard provides a ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia relative to energy efficiency and best practices. The Scorecard also highlights those showing marked improvement. Overall, New Jersey improved by four Scorecard points this year, the most of any state, and rose in the state ranking to 18th, up from 23rd.
“Reducing energy consumption is a priority of this administration and goes hand-in-hand with our focus on renewable energy as we do everything we can to mitigate the effects of climate change and make for a healthier environment here in New Jersey,” said Governor Phil Murphy.
“We have begun making progress in very short order, but there remains more hard work ahead. I thank ACEEE for their acknowledgement of our progress and I look forward to New Jersey’s continued leadership on making our environment healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable for future generations,” he added.
ACEEE is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, with a mission to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. The organization advocates for the full potential of energy efficiency to achieve greater economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection.
“ACEEE’s 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard is an important yardstick to gauge the short- and long-term effects of our policies. The fact that New Jersey has emerged as the most improved state speaks volumes about Governor Murphy’s commitment to energy reduction and energy efficiency,” said New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) President Joseph L. Fiordaliso.
Since taking office, Governor Murphy has signed into law landmark legislation (A-3723/S-2314) which establishes new targets for annual reductions of electricity and natural gas usage of 2 percent and .75 percent within five years. The law also creates a new energy storage target, strengthens the state’s renewable portfolio standard, and sets energy benchmark requirements for commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet.
The ACEEE Scorecard cites the steps New Jersey has taken to rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate cap and trade emissions compact. It also points to the state’s Comfort Partners Program, which has helped more than 112,000 income-qualifying families save energy and money by making their homes more energy efficient. Improvements include adding insulation, caulking, weather stripping, energy-saving showerheads and light bulbs, and more, all at no cost to the customer.
“This administration has placed energy efficiency front and center and I’m proud Governor Murphy has entrusted the NJBPU to advance many of these efforts,” said President Fiordaliso. “Reducing New Jersey’s energy use is just one of the many ways this administration is fighting climate change and protecting our environment.”