One of the most important missions for utilities going forward will be to help their customers develop low-cost, energy efficient options. Reducing the consumption of electricity and natural gas will provide a host of benefits – it will give customers access to new energy efficient technologies while also lowering their utility bills and reducing pollution and environmental impacts for years to come.It may seem strange that a company would be focused on selling less of its products, but a range of innovations and increasing warnings about climate change demand a new way of thinking. Energy efficiency isn’t an entirely new goal for PSE&G. During the past nine years, we have spent $400 million to help targeted customer groups reduce their consumption and lower their bills.
Now we want to do the same kind of work on a bigger scale and provide all customers with the opportunity to take advantage of advances in energy efficiency. Our $2.8 billion energy efficiency proposal would save participating customers billions and reduce carbon emissions by 24 million tons. It is the centerpiece of PSE&G’s $4.1 billion Clean Energy Future proposal.
Our existing energy efficiency efforts help customers who otherwise would find it difficult to implement energy saving improvements on their own.
Our Residential Multifamily Housing Program is a great example of how PSE&G is helping to make energy efficiency accessible to more of our customers. We’ve made improvements to at least 800 multifamily buildings with over 28,000 individual apartments or residences over the past nine years. The majority of this work has been in low-income and low-income senior housing.
The program enables investments that increase comfort and convenience while reducing bills by providing expert advice, incentives and interest-free, on-bill financing for building owners to install efficient heating and hot water systems and controls, lighting, insulation, refrigerators and more in apartment buildings.
Summit Plaza in Jersey City, New Jersey, is a four-building, 483-unit apartment complex that is home to mostly low-income families. Some of the energy efficiency upgrades completed include the installation of interior and exterior high-efficiency lighting, installation of pipe insulation, sealing of air leaks throughout the buildings, new heating and domestic hot water systems, and the installation of low-flow water devices. Improvements to heating and cooling include new, in-unit controls for improved resident comfort, and the new system will provide more consistent domestic hot water temperatures.
“The PSE&G Residential Multifamily Housing Program gave us the ability to make comprehensive energy efficiency improvements that we might not have been able to make otherwise,” said Amy Johnson, Portfolio Management of Belveron Real Estate Partner, one of two co-owners of the buildings. “We have drastically cut our energy usage and are saving more than $350,000 a year in energy costs. We also have made Summit Plaza an even better place to live thanks to the energy efficiency improvements that were made in both the common areas of the building and also directly in residents’ apartments.”
PSE&G’s energy efficiency proposal includes 22 tailored programs to meet the needs of all of customers – residents, businesses, governments and nonprofits. It includes additional opportunities for apartment complexes such as Summit Plaza to conserve energy. The proposal targets about $120 million to make the homes of low-income and multifamily tenants more efficient.
The energy industry is undergoing a revolution. By helping customers use less energy to reduce their bills and protect the environment, PSE&G hopes to be a cornerstone of that revolution.