New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) received verbal approval today from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to extend The SAVEGREEN Project through December 31, 2012 for an additional $19.4 million in incentives and rebates for customers who make energy-efficiency home improvements. The program is designed to complement the energy-efficiency programs administered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ (NJCEP); and its extension comes at a time when the state’s Energy Master Plan encourages the use of high-efficiency natural gas equipment and related energy-efficiency programs. Moreover, the program helps customers save energy and money, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates local jobs.

Launched in September 2009, SAVEGREEN provides NJNG customers with on-bill repayment opportunities and the financial incentives to help them save energy and offset the costs of energy-efficiency upgrades, including an enhanced $900 rebate for the purchase and installation of a qualified high-efficiency heating system. When combined with the NJCEP WARMAdvantage rebate of up to $400, qualified customers would receive a total rebate of $1,200. Additionally, the free home energy audit included with NJNG’s enhanced rebate can help identify further energy-savings opportunities for customers.

“The SAVEGREEN Project has been a tremendous success,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas. “This extension demonstrates the state’s commitment to help customers reduce their energy costs through conservation and energy-efficiency and we welcome the opportunity to help them save energy and money.”

For homeowners looking to take a whole-house approach to energy efficiency, SAVEGREEN offers customers the opportunity for a 0% APR On-Bill Repayment Program. Qualified customers may be able to borrow between $2,500 and $10,000 – fixed at 0% APR for 10 years – for the approved cost of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) eligible energy-efficiency home improvements. (For example, on a $10,000 repayment with an APR of 0% and a term of 10 years, the homeowner would make 119 payments of $83.33 and one final payment of $83.73) There are no fees, no closing costs and no prepayment penalties.

Customers interested in this whole-house approach generally start with an audit by an accredited HPwES contractor. As a result of today’s BPU decision, NJNG customers will have the option of receiving an independent HPwES audit performed by SAVEGREEN professionals. Customers selecting this NJNG audit path will pay a fee of $250, with the proceeds from those audits helping to offset the overall program costs. Since its inception, SAVEGREEN has performed more than 12,300 audits and provided customers with over 12,770 rebates and incentives, totaling more than $21 million. Moreover, 27 direct jobs were created as a result of this program, and the number of participating contractors has increased nearly tenfold from 144 in January 2010 to 1,029 as of December 31, 2011.

No immediate rate change will result from this approval and the company will earn an overall return on the incentives and rebates of 7.12 percent, which includes a 10.3 percent return on equity.

New Jersey Natural Gas

New Jersey Natural Gas is the principal subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, a Fortune 1000 company, that provides safe and reliable natural gas and renewable energy services, including transportation, distribution and asset management in states from the Gulf Coast to the New England regions, including the Mid-Continent region, the West Coast and Canada, while investing in and maintaining an extensive infrastructure to support future growth. With $3 billion in annual revenues, NJR safely and reliably operates and maintains 6,800 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve nearly half a million customers; develops and manages a diverse portfolio of 1.55 Bcf/day of firm transportation and over 59.4 Bcf of firm storage capacity; offers low carbon, clean energy solutions through its commercial and residential solar programs and provides appliance installation, repair and contract service to nearly 150,000 homes and businesses. Additionally, NJR holds investments in midstream assets through equity partnerships including Steckman Ridge and Iroquois. Through Conserve to Preserve®, NJR is helping customers save energy and money by promoting conservation and encouraging efficiency. For more information about NJR, visit www.njresources.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2010