New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) today received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to continue The SAVEGREEN Project® energy-efficiency programs through June 30, 2015. SAVEGREEN provides incentives, such as grants and on-bill repayment opportunities, to help NJNG customers upgrade their natural gas heating equipment and make their homes and businesses more energy-efficient. These programs augment those offered through the New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) and support the state’s Energy Master Plan (EMP) goals of lowering customer costs, reducing emissions and encouraging economic development. The extension of SAVEGREEN will result in NJNG making investments of more than $85 million over the two-year period and produce energy savings of close to $115 million for customers. “The SAVEGREEN Project has been an incredible success in helping customers choose energy-efficient options, encourage job creation and advance the goals of the state’s Energy Master Plan,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas. “Since its inception, we have helped over 24,000 customers upgrade to high-efficiency equipment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 30,000 tons. Additionally, our investment has resulted in more than $142 million of economic activity in the state.” Through SAVEGREEN, customers who install qualifying, high-efficiency natural gas furnaces or boilers through the NJCEP WARMAdvantage program will be eligible for a $500 grant from NJNG. This incentive enhances the $250 rebate available from the state to upgrade a furnace; $300 for a boiler. Additional financial incentives and rebates are available through NJCEP for customers installing high-efficiency equipment as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Customers installing both a high-efficiency natural gas furnace or boiler and water heater at the same time can qualify for the $500 grant or the opportunity to participate in NJNG’s On-Bill Repayment Plan (OBRP) for up to $6,500 at zero percent interest for five years. This is in addition to the $900 rebate available through NJCEP.
After the upgrade is complete, a required Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) audit performed by an NJNG Building Performance Institute-certified home energy auditor will be provided at no cost to help identify other energy-efficiency opportunities. Customers who initiate the installation of recommended seal-up and insulation measures identified by the audit within six months may also be eligible to increase the level of their OBRP to a combined total of $10,000 and adjust the repayment term from five to 10 years. Participating customers may also be eligible for grants up to $5,000 based upon the level of energy savings achieved with the additional HPwES measures.Customers interested in an independent home energy audit can receive a HPwES audit performed by NJNG for $250. Proceeds generated from these independent audits will be used to help offset the cost of the SAVEGREEN programs. Customers with income below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, who do not qualify for the New Jersey Comfort Partners Program, may be eligible to receive an HPwES home energy audit at no charge. The goal is to help customers of all income levels identify energy-efficiency improvements that can produce both financial and energy savings. Additionally, eligible commercial customers implementing upgrades through the NJCEP Direct Install program can receive OBRP incentives covering the difference between the available NJCEP grant and the allowable level of the program costs. Direct Install is a turnkey solution for existing small-to medium-sized facilities designed to help cut energy costs by making it easy and affordable to replace outdated operational equipment with energy-efficient alternatives. The NJCEP program pays up to 70 percent of retrofit costs. Through SAVEGREEN, NJNG will provide the OBRP option up to $37,500 to be paid back over two years. The Board also approved a rate change related to the SAVEGREEN program operation. The impact for the typical residential heat customer using 100 therms a month, combined with NJNG’s recently announced decrease in natural gas costs, is a net decrease of 2.6 percent. Pending the BPU’s approval of NJNG’s CIP rate, this decrease will grow to 3.5 percent on October 1, 2013.
Since inception in 2009, SAVEGREEN has created 27 full-time positions at NJNG, completed more than 22,000 energy audits and awarded nearly 23,000 grants for high-efficiency equipment upgrades. SAVEGREEN has also helped increase activity in the contractor market. Over the past four years, the number of contractors participating in the program has grown from just over 100 to more than 1,600.Customers interested in upgrading their heating equipment and making their home or business more energy efficient should call 877-455-6564 to learn more about SAVEGREEN. About New Jersey Resources New Jersey Resources (NYSE: NJR) is a Fortune 1000 company that provides safe and reliable natural gas and renewable energy services, including transportation, distribution and asset management. With annual revenues of $2 billion, NJR is comprised of five key businesses:
- New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR’s principal subsidiary, operates and maintains 7,000 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve approximately half a million customers in New Jersey’s Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties.
- NJR Clean Energy Ventures is a leading renewable energy company that invests in, owns and operates solar and onshore wind projects with a total capacity in excess of 47 megawatts, providing residential and commercial customers with low carbon solutions.
- NJR Energy Services manages a diversified portfolio of natural gas transportation and storage assets and provides customized energy solutions to its customers across North America.
- NJR Home Services is a provider of heating, central air conditioning, standby generators, solar and other indoor and outdoor comfort products to nearly 130,000 residential homes and businesses throughout New Jersey.
- NJR Energy Holdings invests and maintains an equity ownership in a natural gas storage facility and a transportation pipeline, and serves companies from local distributors and producers to electric generators and wholesale marketers.
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