There is a reason PSE&G’s territory cuts a swath across the most densely populated and developed cities in New Jersey. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, PSE&G laid thousands of miles of natural gas pipes to bring this new energy source to homes and businesses – fueling the growth of New Jersey’s cities and industry. At the time, the material of choice was cast iron, and later unprotected steel. While the majority of these pipes have served us well all these decades since, it’s time to modernize our system for the next generation of growth.
Which is why we are pleased to report that last week, PSE&G reached an agreement in principle with the staff of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel to invest $905 million in our Gas System Modernization Program (GSMP).
Like all infrastructure – roads, bridges, tunnels – gas systems need to be maintained, and eventually replaced. PSE&G’s ambitious new GSMP will accelerate the replacement of our aging gas mains and service lines with new plastic pipes, ensuring a safe, clean, reliable gas system well into the future.
The three-year program will enable PSE&G to replace up to 510 miles of gas mains and 38,000 service lines to homes and businesses. The work will take place across our service territory in 11 counties, concentrating on urban areas that were already established in the early 1900s.
Updating our gas system is important work and we’re not the only ones who think so. We’re proud to have the support of our skilled construction unions, including Ray Pocino, VP of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), who understand that improving the safety and reliability of our gas system also means “work” for the highly skilled people who will be doing the installation of the new mains and services. The program will create 500 direct jobs in New Jersey over the three-year period of the program – providing an economic boost for the state.
And the timing is right. Since 2009, residential gas heating bills are down 47 percent because of the lower cost of natural gas supply. That means we can make these investments now without causing undue hardship for our customers.
PSE&G has been providing safe, reliable gas service to customers in New Jersey for over 100 years. Our GSMP is part of the more than $10 billion PSE&G is investing to make New Jersey’s energy systems more reliable and resilient for our 2.4 million customers in the most densely populated areas of our state. Our agreement with the BPU staff means we can modernize our gas system at a faster pace – benefiting our customers, the environment and the economy of New Jersey. The next step is a signed settlement and, with subsequent approval from the BPU, we plan to begin construction early next year.
John Latka, Senior Vice President Electric & Gas Operations – PSE&G