The late Yogi Berra once said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” I agree with Yogi’s wise words. No one knows for certain what the future will bring. But at PSEG we always try to plan for the next generation’s energy needs – with a strong focus on constantly improving how we provide energy solutions for our customers and the larger society around us.
PSEG’s 2015 Sustainability Report is intended to provide an update on our efforts to turn our challenges into opportunities for everyone we serve and for those who will come after us. Here are some key issues on which we’re working with sustainability in mind:
First, our customers not only rely on our energy more than ever, but also want us to improve resiliency against storms like Sandy and Irene. So, we’ve been investing over $2 billion a year in critical infrastructure upgrades – bringing our customers the benefits of improved reliability and hardening our electric and gas systems against severe weather.
These investments boost the economy and create jobs. We’re creating 6,000 to 7,000 jobs a year as we rewire New Jersey’s high voltage power network and another 2,000 jobs a year through our Energy Strong program of resiliency improvements.
Second, on top of the need to modernize our systems, society is increasingly demanding cleaner energy – and everyone is looking for ways to lower their energy bills. Since 2009, PSE&G has invested over $300 million in energy efficiency programs – saving enough electricity to power 30,000 homes and enough natural gas to supply 6,500 homes a year. We’re eager to do much more to bring the benefits of energy efficiency to all of our customers. Energy efficiency makes sense. It’s the most cost-effective tool we have to fight climate change.
Third, there’s the challenge of developing renewable energy in ways that are affordable in the short term but help secure our energy future over the long term. We’re proud to be active in efforts that have made New Jersey a leader in solar energy, but for three out of every four people in our New Jersey service territory – including urban, low-income residents – it’s just not feasible to put solar panels on the roof. So, PSE&G has built 27 community-based solar facilities, feeding into the local grid and providing clean electricity to all of our customers. Larger solar facilities like those we’re building on landfills generate power at 50 to 60 percent of the cost of rooftop solar.
Ultimately, sustainability is about people finding ways to accomplish more together – recognizing our tremendous, common stake in healthy communities and a healthy planet. Our dedicated employees have been behind all of PSEG’s sustainability efforts for more than a century. In addition to all they do in their jobs, our employees raise money for the March of Dimes, build neighborhood playgrounds, volunteer at the PSEG Children’s Specialized Hospital and Special Olympics, among other worthy causes. We’re proud to recognize and support their efforts.
Strong partnerships are vital at every step to our progress – along with strong values. Diversity and inclusion are critically important in our efforts to become more closely aligned with the changing faces of our customers and communities – and be the type of company that can attract the highly talented and skilled people we will need for the next 100 years.
Recently, PSEG was named for the eighth consecutive year to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, which recognizes leading companies for their commitment to economic, environmental and social responsibility. We will continue to pursue our vision based on safe, reliable, economic and greener energy, in our efforts to make things even better. It’s what you would expect of a company called Public Service.
I encourage you to take a closer look at our 2015 Sustainability Report, and welcome your ideas and suggestions. Your feedback is invaluable in our efforts to improve. Together, we can build a safe, secure and prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.
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