State and Local Policy Database

New Jersey

State Scorecard Rank


New Jersey

21.5Scored out of 50Updated 10/2018
State Government
Score: 1.5 out of 5
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 energy-efficient vehicles and building components is conducted at several institutions.

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 2018

Building Energy Disclosure List All

Legislation adopted in May 2018 (A3723/S2314) provides that within five years the NJBPU require benchmarking by owners and operators of commercial buildings over 25,000 sq.ft. using the USEPA Portfolio Manager tool.

Last Updated: July 2018

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 across the state 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. Benchmarking reports for these facilities are posted online. The Office of State Energy Facilities has access 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. The NJBPU State Energy Office utilizes Energy Star Portfolio Manager to establish priorities for state building upgrades. New Jersey Treasury uses a statewide system called Energy Solves to track energy bills and usage and identify outliers that need energy efficiency upgrades. 

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Rutgers Center for Green Buildings have developed a green building manual for owners and builders interested in designing, constructing, and operating their buildings above code. In addition, Rutgers has developed a Municipal Guidance for Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Private Sector, which describes policies and local planning/zoning tools available for local governments. Municipalities and schools can use this manual to achieve certification under the Sustainable Jersey program.

Last Updated: July 2018

Fleets List All

All state government fleets and certain businesses are subject to regulation under the 1992 Energy Policy Act (EPAct). According to the DOE website EPAct Transportation Regulatory Activities, the following fleets are listed as subject to regulation:

•             State of New Jersey
•             Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
•             Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
•             Electric and gas utilities, and propane providers

The regulation requires fleet operators to acquire a certain percentage of light – duty AFVs each year.  Fleet operators may also invest in AFV infrastructure as a compliance measure.  The Department of the Treasury’s Transportation Services group is listed as the contact for the EPAct.

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 2018

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

New Jersey’s ESPC policies stem from 2009 legislation which allows New Jersey state facilities to enter into ESPCs through the New Jersey Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP). The program complements the New Jersey Clean Energy Program which website at provides some model ESIP documents.

The ESIP allows public facilities to enter into long-term energy savings agreements. New Jersey has had 124 ESIP projects to date, with $491 million in total contracts worth $70 million in annual savings. The State Energy Office in the NJBPU 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: July 2018

Research & Development List All

The Rutgers Center for Green Building promotes green building through research, advocacy and education. The Center conducts applied research utilizing planned and existing green building projects, works with industry and government to promote these concepts, and develops undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs. It seeks to establish itself as the pre-eminent interdisciplinary center for green building excellence in the Northeast, while serving as a single accessible locus for fostering collaboration among green building practitioners and policy-makers.

Last Updated: July 2018

Score: 5.5 out of 8
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. 

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. The code includes a modification to Section R402.4.1 (Building thermal envelope) of the IECC/2015 which allows for either a visual inspection with checklist or [blower door] testing for compliance with the air barrier and insulation aspects of the building thermal envelope requirements. If testing is used, the 2015 criteria of 3 air changes per hour is the criteria to meet. 

For existing buildings, the Rehabilitation subcode (NJAC 5:23-6) applies certain energy conservation provisions of the new codes based on the scope of the project.

Last Updated: July 2018

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. The code includes a modification to Section R402.4.1 (Building thermal envelope) of the IECC/2015 which allows for either a visual inspection with checklist or [blower door] testing for compliance with the air barrier and insulation aspects of the building thermal envelope requirements. If testing is used, the 2015 criteria of 3 air changes per hour is the criteria to meet. 

For existing buildings, the Rehabilitation subcode (NJAC 5:23-6) applies certain energy conservation provisions of the new codes based on the scope of the project.

Last Updated: July 2018

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: NA
  • Utility Involvement: The recently enacted law, A3723 signed May 23, 2018, requires the NJ Board of Public Utilities to develop “quantitative performance indicators”  via public rulemaking that establishes targets and takes into account each utility’s “support (for) the development and implementation of building code changes…”. Additionally, utilities may participate on the NJDCA mechanical/energy subcode committee and support the enactment of energy codes as a cost-effective means to reduce energy usage.  They can participate on the advisory board but participation is not mandated.    
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Uniform Construction Code Act establishes a Uniform Construction Code Advisory Board. And under the Uniform Construction Code Advisory Board, there is a mechanical/energy subcode committee which includes code officials, engineers and other stakeholders.  
  • Training/Outreach: The Department of Community Affairs offers spring and fall semesters of training each year.  Licensed code officials are required to complete continuing education to maintain their licensed. See,  for a link for the NJDCA Continuing Education Seminars.  There are 50+ different Code Official training courses offered, some of which are energy subcode specific.

Last Updated: July 2018

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. Ten new CHP installations were completed in 2017.

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: September 2018

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: September 2018

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. Applications for this program were closed on September 30, 2016, and it is not expected there will be further funding opportunities.

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 60% HHV 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. Incentives are higher for CHP projects that utilize renewable fuels. A bonus incentive of 10% of the total system incentive for a system incorporating blackstart technology at a critical facility is now available.

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: September 2018

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: September 2018

Score: 6.5 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 and 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: July 2018

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

New Jersey's restructuring statute requires the Board of Public Utilities to perform “comprehensive resource assessments” (CRAs) 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: July 2018

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

In May 2018 New Jersey adopted an EERS when the governor signed clean energy bill A3723, which features 2% electric and 0.75% gas savings goals. In April, consultants presented the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities with the draft strategic plan for 2019-2022 for the statewide Clean Energy Program, including an energy efficiency portfolio achieving a 56% increase in savings by 2022. 

Last Updated: July 2018

Utility Business Model List All

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) does not permit utilities to collect lost revenues related to reduced sales resulting from energy efficiency programs. Since the NJBPU administers and manages the NJ Clean Energy Program, as a state agency it is not eligible to receive performance incentives for achieving energy savings targets.

Last Updated: July 2018

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Primary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: total resource cost

  • Secondary cost-effectiveness test(s) used: utility cost test, participant cost test, societal cost test, and ratepayer impact measure

The NJBPU’s Clean Energy Program evaluation plan is developed and approved annually as part of the establishment of the NJBPU’s Clean Energy Program’s funding level and annual budget (see NJ evaluation plan 2017, on the NJCEP Home page under Public Reports).

The Protocols to Measure Resource Savings (and Generation) were revised in FY16 and 17. This was approved by the Board at its June 29, 2016, agenda meeting Docket No QO16040353 and QO16060525 “In the Matter of the Clean Energy Programs and Budget for Fiscal Year 2017.” The protocols are available on the NJCEP Home page under Public Reports.

The NJBPU’s Clean Energy Program is evaluated through a third party contract with Rutgers University Center of Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy (CEEEP) in order to keep the evaluation independent from the direct oversight of the NJBPU and the Program.

According to the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), New Jersey relies on the Total Resource Cost Test (TRC) and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. Nominally, New Jersey’s TRC accounts for non-energy benefits such as other energy fuel savings and water savings and quality benefits, but values do not appear to be included in practice. Low-income programs are not required to pass cost-effectiveness tests.

Further information on cost-effectiveness screening practices for New Jersey is available in the Database of State Efficiency Screening Practices (DSESP), a resource of the National Efficiency Screening Project (NESP).

Last Updated: May 2019

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. A low-income program is required as set forth in EDECA 1999 at NJSA 48:3-61. The NJBPU has approved a low-income energy efficiency program since 2001.

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. The Comfort Partners Utilities’ Working Group adopted the 2006 APPRISE Inc. recommendation from the evaluation of the Universal Service Fund and the December 2014 Comfort Partners evaluation that the Working Group will engage stakeholders to develop an initiative to encourage a greater number of USF customers to participate in a Comfort Partners Program audit. Per the December 2014 Apprise evaluation recommendations, the Program is transitioning from serving as many homes as the budget would allow to striving to install deeper energy savings measures per project.

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The NJBPU does not require that the Comfort Partners Program meet any cost-effectiveness tests. Implementation of a low income energy efficiency program is required by NJSA 48:3-61 and does not require any cost effectiveness tests. The low income EE CPP based on the energy audit implements all measures at the full cost plus measures required to address health and safety that are within the budget and seasonal spending guidelines.  If this level is not sufficient to implement the measures, the program can request additional approved spending. This process is set in the utilities filing and approved priority list.

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 not 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.

As of June 2017, both Comfort Partners and NJDCA WAP are implementing a pilot in a number of WAP and CPP projects to address more in-depth coordination. Both CPP and WAP are working on an MOU in this regard that may be developed following pilot implementation to set forth the structure for closer alignment of CPP and WAP.

Last updated: July 2018

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

There are no opt-out programs in New Jersey.

Societal Benefits Credit (SBC) program, with elements of a self-direct program, allows commercial and industrial (C&I) ratepayers to establish a credit against their SBC contributions. No company has implemented an SBC program to date. The credit would be equal to one-half of the costs incurred for the purchase and installation of Clean Energy Program-supported energy efficiency products and services in the preceding calendar year, and up to 50% of the SBC contributions for a given year, per utility account.

The Large Energy Users Program is designed to promote self-investment in energy efficiency and combined heat and power projects with incentives up to $4 million for eligible projects in the states' largest commercial and industrial facilities.

Last Updated: July 2018

Data AccessList All

Guidelines for Third party access

No requirements are in place, but 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, but 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: July 2018

Score: 6.5 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 2018

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 (MCF) Element 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.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: New Jersey has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals. One interesting efficiency measure in the state’s freight plan is the goal to move road freight traffic away from peak travel hours to take advantage of off-peak period roadway capacity and subsequently reduce idling and congestion.

Last Updated: July 2018

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Updated: July 2018

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 2018

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
New Jersey does not have any state programs in place to incentivize the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities, but it does consider the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners. Last Updated: July 2018
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
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 Reviewed: June 2019