State and Local Policy Database

New Jersey

State Scorecard Rank


New Jersey

17.5Scored out of 50Updated 9/2016
State Government
Score: 2 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

The state offers grants and loans for energy efficiency investments, as well as PACE financing. The state government leads by example by requiring the benchmarking of energy use in public buildings and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. Research focused on efficient vehicles is conducted at the Edison Innovation Clean Energy Fund.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for New Jersey is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE New Jersey). In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE, New Jersey has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has an active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Last Updated: July 2016

Building Energy Disclosure List All

There is no disclosure policy in place.

Last Updated: July 2016

Public Building Requirements List All

In January 2008, New Jersey enacted legislation mandating the use of high performance green building standards in new state construction. The standard requires that new buildings larger than 15,000 square feet constructed for the sole use of state entities achieve US Green Building Council LEED* Silver certification, a two-globe rating on the Green Building Initiative Green Globe rating system, or a comparable numeric rating from another accredited sustainable building certification program.  New Jersey's Clean Energy Program now offers free benchmarking for specific commercial & industrial sectors, including hospitals and healthcare, municipalities, industries, hospitality, multifamily, higher education, K-12 public schools, retail and others.

New Jersey leads by example with an initiative to increase the energy efficiency of state owned and/or operated facilities and buildings. Energy Savings Improvement Programs (ESIP) will be used for energy efficiency and energy conservation improvements, renewable energy upgrades, and the expansion of other green oriented programs - particularly demand response and combined heat and power.  These initiatives will contribute to the state’s goal of reducing energy usage 20% by 2020.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities established the Office of State Energy Facilities in order to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy in state facilities. This office has access to the suite of energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives in the NJ Clean Energy Program (NJCEP). Through this program, the state offers free energy audits and benchmarking for public facilities, including state, county, and local governments, non-profits, and state colleges and universities. The Office of State Energy Facilities has acceess to a $100 line of credit for state energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. and strongly encourages and promotes the use of these programs to result in energy efficient improvements.

Last Updated: August 2016

Fleets List All

New Jersey follows federal guidelines and requires 75% of light duty, non-emergency vehicles to be alternative fuel vehicles. 

Note: For state efficient fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing state fleet efficiency. State alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Last Updated: July 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

New Jersey’s ESPCs policies are part of the larger “Clean Energy Program” (NJCEP) and stem from 2009 legislation which allows New Jersey state facilities to enter into ESPCs through the Energy Savings Improvement Program. The website does provide some model documents.

The New Jersey Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP) is allows public facilities to enter into long-term energy savings agreements. New Jersey has had 65 ESIP projects to date, with $300 million in total contracts worth $40 million in annual savings. The Office of State Energy manages the performance contracting process for public facilities and has assisted school districts with poor bond ratings to actually finance energy efficiency projects through ESIP.

Last Updated: August 2016

Research & Development List All

The New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology (CST) administers the Edison Innovation Clean Energy Fund through a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The Clean Energy Fund provides grants of $100,000 to $500,000 to New Jersey companies for demonstration projects and developmental and ancillary activities necessary to commercialize identified renewable energy technologies and innovative technologies that significantly increase energy efficiency. All grants are subject to a 50% matching funds requirement. Businesses may also apply for and receive up to 20% of the approved grant amount in equity-like financing from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) for non-research and development related costs.

Last Updated: July 2016

Score: 4 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

Residential buildings must comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC, while commercial buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The state has not provided information on compliance initiatives.

Residential Codes List All

The 2015 New Jersey Uniform Construction Code for residential and commercial buildings is mandatory statewide as of September 2015. Residential construction must comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC.

Last Updated: September 2016

Commercial Code List All

The 2015 New Jersey Uniform Construction Code for residential and commercial buildings is mandatory statewide as of September 2015. The commercial codes are based on ASHRAE 90.1-2013.

Last Updated: July 2016

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: NA
  • Utility Involvement: NA
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: NA

Last Updated: July 2015

Score: 1.5 out of 4
CHP Summary List All

New Jersey offers incentives and financing programs for CHP projects and has an output-based emissions standard. Five new CHP installations were completed in 2015.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: New Jersey Administrative Code 14:4-9

Description: New Jersey provides for interconnection of distributed generation systems, which, though not explicitly inclusive of CHP, can include CHP at the discretion of the applicable electric distribution company. These standards are applicable to the state’s investor-owned utilities. There are three separate levels of interconnection, and systems up to 2MW in size are covered by the interconnection standard. There are varying fees that scale up in accordance with system size, and varying degrees of review that must occur before a system can interconnect.

Last Updated: June 2016

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

CHP in energy efficiency standards:  New Jersey has not defined CHP as an eligible resource within a binding energy efficiency portfolio standard, but the state’s Energy Master Plan does include a non-binding CHP target of installing 1,500 MW of CHP by 2020.

Last Updated: June 2016

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: New Jersey provides incentives for CHP deployment through several programs.

The state established its Energy Resilience Bank in 2014 to provide $200 million in grants and loans to critical facilities for installing CHP and other distributed energy resources. The program supports projects that are designed to provide energy to all designated critical loads during a seven-day grid outage without a delivery of fuel to emergency generators. Grants are calculated on a project-by-project basis but will not be less than 40% of the eligible costs including new CHP equipment, switchgear, engineering and installation. In 2015, the Energy Resilience Bank officially updated its program to include hospital resilience projects.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) offers financial incentives for several types of CHP facilities. The CHP and Fuel Cell Incentive Program provides an incentive ($/W) depending on system size for projects that meet a 65% LHV CHP efficiency standard. The program was amended July 1, 2015 to increase the amount of grant aid for CHP projects over 500 kW and the new incentive structure provides a significant increase in incentives for projects over 1 MW in size. The program was further amended in July 1, 2016 to suspend fuel cells without heat recovery from participation in the program. 

The state’s Cogeneration Tax Exemption provides a sales and use tax exemption on natural gas purchases for customers using gas to fuel on-site energy generation. Additionally, the Act amended the definition of “contiguous property” to include those buildings attached to or served by a district thermal energy system. This definition allows electricity generated by the system to be delivered to other facilities served by the same thermal district energy system, using existing infrastructure and at prevailing wheeling tariffs.

Last Updated: August 2016

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

Some additional supportive policies exist to encourage CHP in New jersey. The state’s Superstorm Sandy Action Plan includes funding specifically for CHP and recommends that critical infrastructure use CHP in order to increase the system resiliency. New Jersey also changed the definition of contiguous property to help promote CHP system incorporation with district energy systems.

New Jersey has also streamlined its air permitting process by offering a general permit for some eligible CHP systems, allowing a range of facilities to more quickly and easily install CHP technology. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) developed two GPs: one for internal combustion engines (General Permit CHP-022) and one for turbines (General Permit CHP-021). Each GP contains four different sets of fuel and emission limits, depending on the size of the equipment and how the source plans to operate the equipment.

Last Updated: June 2016

Score: 4 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Since 2003, the Office of Clean Energy within the Board of Public Utilities has administered the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, which has offered statewide customer energy efficiency programs. Prior to this, the regulated energy utilities in New Jersey had been responsible for administering electric and natural gas efficiency programs. 

New Jersey electric programs have been successful in generating significant savings. However, portions of the state’s societal benefit charge (SBC) have been re-allocated to pay state energy bills in recent years, reducing potential energy efficiency programming.

Natural gas programs are also available to customers within the state.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in New Jersey are administered by the Office of Clean Energy within the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) under the New Jersey Clean Energy Program. Prior to 2007, utilities were required to administer and implement energy efficiency programs with oversight from the BPU. In 2002, the New Jersey BPU began a re-assessment of this administrative structure and in 2007 program administration was turned over to the Office of Clean Energy (OCE). OCE meets monthly with energy efficiency and renewable energy program managers, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, and the state's utilities to plan and coordinate programs. The OCE also chairs monthly meetings with stakeholders to solicit input on programs and budgets.

Today, investor-owned utilities are still responsible for collecting the Societal Benefit Charge (SBC) for the programs, but then transfer these funds to the state. The state’s societal benefit charge has repeatedly been reallocated away from energy efficiency programming. 

Individual energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are offered statewide to electric and gas customers of the public owned utility companies.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: August 2016

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

New Jersey's restructuring statute requires the Board of Public Utilities to perform “comprehensive resource assessments” (CRA) for energy efficiency and renewable energy resources every four years. These assessments account for system needs and costs. The CRA typically commences with a potential study. The results of the latest benchmarking study of the NJCEP can be found on the NJ Clean Energy Program web site.

Last Updated: August 2016

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

New Jersey set energy savings goals of 20% savings by 2020 relative to predicted consumption in 2020 in its Energy Master Plan of 2008. However, these goals are advisory and lack consequence if they are missed. 

The BPU sets annual energy savings targets through its Comprehensive Resource Analysis (CRA) proceeding, but has yet to pursue a binding EERS that would require each electricity supplier/provider to meet long-term energy efficiency goals. Although they are required to submit individual energy master plans pursuant to the New Jersey Energy Master Plan, these have been delayed indefinitely

Last Updated: August 2016

Utility Business Model List All

On October 12, 2006, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approved requests by New Jersey Natural Gas Co. and South Jersey Gas Co. to replace their existing weather normalization clauses (WNC) with a conservation incentive program (CIP) that would capture gross margin variations related to both weather and customer usage. (Weather normalization clauses mitigate the financial effects of weather on utilities and their customers.) The three-year pilot programs, were extended through 2016 in a later Order (See BPU Docket Nos. GR05121019 and GR05121020). The Board does not permit utilities to collect lost revenues.

In New Jersey, traditionally, there were third party “Market Managers” selected by the NJ Office of Clean Energy (OCE) to run the energy efficiency programs in New Jersey. These Market Managers were eligible to receive a performance incentive. However in 2011 the OCE requested that the Market Manager significantly reduce their budgets and eliminate their performance incentive (Docket Nos. Eo07030203 and Eo10110865). The Board is currently developing new performance incentives.

Last Updated: August 2016

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in New Jersey is not formally required, but it is recognized that it is highly desirable, and the Board approves an annual evaluation budget in an Order adopting annual program plans and budgets. Evaluations are administered by the both the utilities and the NJ Board of Public Utilities. New Jersey has formal requirements for evaluation articulated in 2010-2011 Evaluation and Research Plan and Protocols to Measure Resource Savings\Revisions to December 2009 Protocols. Statewide evaluations are conducted. New Jersey uses all of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the Total Resource Cost (TRC), Utility/ProgramAdministrator (UCT), Participant (PCT), Social Cost (SCT), and Ratepayer Impact Measure (RIM). New Jersey does not have a primary cost-effectiveness test that it relies upon. The benefit-cost tests are required for total program and customer project level screening. New technologies must pass benefit cost screening at the measure level. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in BPU Docket No. EO08030164.

An updated evaluation and research plan was developed in 2015 and updated protocols were approved in May 2015.

Last Updated: August 2016

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The State’s low-income energy efficiency program, New Jersey Comfort Partners, arose out of 1999 restructuring legislation that designated a systems benefit charge as the funding source for energy efficiency programs.

There appear to be no specific levels of required of spending, although each year the program budget does specify annual goals for number of customers served. The goal for the number of electric service customers both served and committed is 4,400 on a 12-month basis from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017. The goal for the number of gas service customers both served and committed is 4,090 on a 12-month basis from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

Comfort Partners has helped more than 100,000 low-income households since 2001 and has consistently increased its funding levels each year along with those of other Clean Energy programs.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

New Jersey uses all of the five classic benefit-cost tests identified in the California Standard Practice Manual. These are the total resource cost (TRC), utility cost test (UCT), participant cost test (PCT), social cost test (SCT), and ratepayer impact measure (RIM). New Jersey does not have a primary cost-effectiveness test that it relies upon. The benefit-cost tests are required for total program and customer project level screening. New technologies must pass benefit-cost screening at the measure level. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in BPU Docket No. EO08030164.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The Office of Low-Income Energy Conservation (OLIEC) within the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is responsible for administration of the state’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). In addition, seven utility partners throughout the state administer the New Jersey Comfort Partners Program. The NJCP program tracking database provides information on the population of households served by the program, their home and job characteristics, program spending and measures, and inspection results, in addition to enabling coordination of information with WAP.

If WAP or NJCP does not or is prevented from providing a service, the agency or contractor is instructed to make a referral to the other program. For example, air conditioner replacement or repair is provided by NJCP, but is not provided by WAP. The WAP agency would refer a customer who is a candidate for an air conditioning repair or replacement to NJCP for their review and eligibility. 

Last updated: April 2017

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

There are no self-direct or opt-out programs in New Jersey.

Last Updated: July 2016

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third party access

No requirements are in place, however, all usage data will be provided to third party supplier through an EDI system on request. 

Requirements for Provision of Energy Use Data

There are no requirements in place, however, utilities have been asked to provide this information voluntarily and have done so provided that confidentiality requirements are met.

Energy Use Data Availability

The state does not have an online standardized system through which access to individual and aggregated energy use data may be requested. 

Last Updated: September 2016

Score: 6 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

The state integrates transportation and land-use planning and has a complete streets policy in place. New Jersey offers incentives for high efficiency vehicles and devotes a significant amount of funding to transportation initiatives.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

In January 2006, New Jersey adopted rules to implement the California Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program beginning in 2009. These rules implement the Air Pollution Control Act provisions at N.J.S.A. 26:2C-8.15, which require the Department to promulgate rules to implement the California LEV program in New Jersey. The New Jersey program contains three components: vehicle emission standards, fleet wide emission requirements, and a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) sales requirement. The rules will require automakers to reduce fleet-wide greenhouse gas emissions from the vehicles they sell in New Jersey 30% by 2016. The state has also adopted California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires increasing production of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel-cell vehicles from 2018 to 2025. 

Last Updated: July 2015

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land use Integration: The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan aims to implement statewide planning objectives that encourage development in recognized city, town and village centers and a balance of conservation in rural areas to enhance the quality of life for residents. The plan is a cross-institutional effort to promote smart growth across the state, estimated to save as much as $2.3 billion in capital costs in the process, if fully implemented.  Unfortunately, implementation of the state planning effort has languished in recent years. As of August 2009, a required update to the State Plan was long overdue, the State Planning Commission was suffering from a lack of appointments and staff levels at the Office of Smart Growth continued to shrink.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) continues to run the New Jersey Future in Transportation (FIT)program in an effort to provide affordable and sustainable transportation solutions that break the sprawl cycle and integrate land use and transportation planning. The NJDOT also runs the Transit Village program which encourages transit-oriented development, and the Mobility and Community Form project, which helps communities plan future transportation and land use by preparing a Mobility and Community Form (MCFElement that combines the circulation and land use elements of their master plans. 

In January 2008, New Jersey passed the “Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit Act”, providing businesses that choose to locate in “urban transit hubs” – defined as the area in a one-half mile radius around rail stations -- with tax credits. This law was amended by the New Jersey Economic Stimulus Act of 2009, requiring businesses to invest at least $50,000,000 in a business or residential facility before it can earn tax credits that can be applied to corporate business taxes, insurance premiums tax or income tax.

VMT Targets: No policy in place or proposed.

Complete Streets: The New Jersey DOT adopted a complete streets policy in 2009 to provide safe access and mobility to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users of all ages and abilities through the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of new and retrofit transportation facilities.

MAP 21 Freight Plans and Goals: The state has had a comprehensive freight plan since 2007.

Last Updated: July 2015

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2015

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

All zero emission vehicles (ZEV) in the state of New Jersey are exempt from state sales and use taxes.

Last Updated: July 2015

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Policy: N.J. Stat. § 48:3-99 et seq., New Jersey Energy Efficiency Product Standards

Description: In 2005 New Jersey Governor Richard J. Codey signed a bill introducing Energy Efficiency Product Standards that established minimum standards for eight products. All eight standards have been preempted by the 2005 federal Energy Policy Act, the latest as of January 1, 2010. Appliance standards in New Jersey are considered and adopted by the Board of Public Utilities in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, as established by New Jersey Statute 48:3-99 and the Administrative Procedure Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.).

Last Updated: July 2016