At a Glance: EEA-NJ’s Comments on the 2024 Energy Master Plan

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June 26, 2024

Earlier this month, EEA-NJ staff met with member businesses to discuss New Jersey’s 2024 Energy Master Plan (EMP), a key document guiding New Jersey’s energy economy over the next decade. 

The Energy Master Plan sets out a roadmap for transitioning New Jersey towards clean energy while slashing climate-warming emissions. While the 2019 EMP aimed to chart a path to 100% clean energy and an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the 2024 revision will seek to meet the goal of 100% clean energy by 2035 outlined in Governor’s Murphy’s Executive Order 315.

Energy efficiency is a key component of any clean energy transition, and especially one in the timeframe New Jersey seeks to accomplish. The EMP will guide that transition. To help shape the strategies of the 2024 EMP, EEA-NJ submitted comments reflecting business member priorities and expertise. EEA-NJ will continue to be involved in the stakeholder process as NJBPU works to update the EMP and meet ambitious clean energy goals.

What did the comments say? You can read the complete document here, but below are some of our biggest takeaways:

Include energy efficiency businesses and implementers in the conversation.

Energy efficiency businesses will be doing the on-the-ground work of helping New Jersey citizens slash their emissions and their energy bills. Policies like the EMP can help or hinder this process, depending on how well they’re designed. That’s why business voices are essential to the stakeholder process, and why we invited the NJBPU to an ongoing conversation with program implementers.

Prioritize customer engagement that maximizes uptake of energy efficiency programs.

Applying to different programs in different locations with different application requirements takes work—which is why we encouraged the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” for consumers to access energy efficiency initiatives and incentives. We also advocated for diverse language representation in program documents, not just for applications, but also for program marketing and outreach so customers know what’s out there.

Low-to-moderate-income (LMI) customers can’t be left behind.

We must ensure the benefits of clean energy and energy efficiency get to everyone in New Jersey. Our comments included suggestions for critical repair and pre-weatherization programs that help low-income customers live in healthy and safe homes while gaining eligibility for energy efficiency programs. “Bridge” programs like innovative financing options can help more LMI community members afford energy efficiency improvements and the associated energy bill savings. Diverse strategies in the EMP, from transportation electrification to clean energy development, must consider impacts on and ways to unlock benefits for LMI communities as they move ahead.

Proceed—thoughtfully—on building electrification.

Thoughtful building electrification is key to decarbonizing the Garden State’s future. That’s why we advocate for pairing electrification with the continued adoption of up-to-date building standards like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Like the IECC does with new buildings, benchmarking and building performance standards can help make existing buildings more efficient and more ready for electrification. We also advocate for targeting buildings with oil, propane, and inefficient electric heating for efficient electric heat pump installation, as well as slowing gas buildout where heat pumps can get the job done.

Modernize the grid–while prioritizing energy efficiency.

Grid modernization must go in-hand with increased clean energy development. Distributed energy resources (DERs) and virtual power plants (VPPs) will help the grid manage renewables generation and demand, and an “Efficiency First” strategy that incentivizes efficiency to manage demand will smooth the way.

Grow the Garden State’s clean energy workforce.

New Jersey will need a skilled workforce to ensure that the EMP’s goals can become a reality. We make a variety of recommendations for strengthening training and certification policies, from standardizing the certification process for energy auditors and efficiency contractors, to training heat pump installers, to leveraging community-based partners like non-profits and vocational schools in designing programs.

EEA-NJ holds regular members-only listening sessions around the EMP, utility filings, and other important energy developments in the Garden State. Want to learn more? Email John Kolesnik at Interested in EEA-NJ membership? Email

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