The state of New Jersey is embarking on a significant push to transition its fossil fuel-based economy to a cleaner one. The Clean Energy Program was initiated in 2019 with the goal of making New Jersey 100% carbon-neutral electric generation and with the maximum electrification of transportation by 2050. This summer has been very busy for the program. The State passed 4 GW of installed solar capacity with over 157,000 installations statewide. Additionally, year three of Charge Up New Jersey was kicked off. Finally, the FY2023 Comfort Partners program opened in July.
A foundational aspect of the clean energy transition is “programs to promote end-use customer energy efficiency”. Both the State of New Jersey and the utilities are operating programs to ensure customers are making the best use of energy in their homes and businesses. Comfort Partners is a joint effort between the State and the utilities to make available energy upgrades to income-eligible families at no cost to them. The 2023 program year budget is over $41 million with a goal of weatherizing over 11,000 gas and electric homes over the next twelve months.
Program activity in the renewable energy sector has heated up as well. A report recently published indicates a strong pipeline of solar photovoltaic projects that will build on the 4 GW of installed capacity. At the end of August, over 14,000 projects representing another 1 GW of capacity were underway. The bulk of the projects are considered “behind the meter” (~73%), but a significant number (16%) are community solar. This indicates that access to solar energy is increasing.
Charge Up New Jersey is a statewide program to electrify the transportation market by promoting the purchase of electric vehicles. A significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions (42%) in New Jersey comes from the transportation sector. Incentives not only help offset some of the initial purchase prices of the vehicle but also help fund the in-home charging system. The program also encourages local and State governments to convert their fleet from fossil fuel to electric. Additionally, some of the utilities in the State are running their own electric vehicle programs as well.
As New Jersey makes this transition to a clean energy future, ANB Systems is providing workflow management tools to streamline the process. Whether it is providing an energy efficiency incentive tracking and processing system or a platform that manages the adoption of electric vehicles, eTRACK+ seamlessly interfaces with other systems to simplify program management procedures. The clean energy transition will not happen overnight, but with systems like eTRACK+, customers and utilities can reduce the time spent in the application stage and move more quickly to a project generating benefits.
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.