New Jersey residents and business owners could be looking at tens of thousands of dollars in costs from the 294-page Energy Master Plan, or EMP, a document most of the public has never even heard of, hasn’t had a significant chance to weigh in on, or had the time to read from cover to cover.
Mike Butler, Consumer Energy Alliance’s Executive Director for the Mid-Atlantic weighs in with the New Jersey Society of CPA’s on the impacts and implications of the EMP in New Jersey. We break down some key topic points here, but if you’re into economics, energy, and the environment – click on the podcast below and give it a listen!
Background. Every three years, New Jersey state law requires the governor to issue an energy master plan of immediate-, short-, and long-term goals they’d like the state to pursue. The plan serves as a guideline unless the NJ EPA and its Board of Utilities choose to adopt regulations to implement it.
Key Changes. The most significant Governor Murphy’s energy master plan calls for New Jersey energy to become 50 percent carbon free by 2030 and 100 percent carbon free by 2050. The
The Kicker. 75 percent of New Jersey households rely on natural gas and only 5 percent of New Jersey’s total energy is renewable making the relatively quick shift and sole transition to become carbon free costly.
Who Picks Up the Tab? Currently the plan has no goal of balancing the ratepayer impact for businesses and consumers meaning citizens will be subsidizing additional funding through taxes. Coming off the heels of the pandemic, these extra expenses can have a huge effect or many residents who are still or just recently from its impacts.
Summary. It’s not about the lack of support for renewable energy, it’s about finding balance. Whether it’s renewable (wind, solar, electric, etc.) or traditional (coal, oil, natural gas, etc.) energy, transparency is key, especially when it comes to substantial infrastructure changes that can have significant economic and financial impacts of a state’s residents.