Statement from Thomas R. Churchelow, Esq., President, New Jersey Utilities Association on Governor Murphy’s Final Energy Master Plan

“New Jersey’s investor-owned utilities continue to lead investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives. As such, NJUA’s members  support many aspects of Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan (EMP) and we thank the Governor for his leadership. NJUA’s member companies have already proposed significant investment in important initiatives such as energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure. With the BPU’s support, our members will implement these key initiatives that are critical to meeting the stated goals of the EMP.

We are glad to see the EMP reflects an understanding of the need to work in “lockstep” with utilities in implementing its proposals. NJUA’s investor-owned utility members are key stakeholders in this effort as it is their mandate to provide safe, reliable, and reasonably priced service to all those who live, learn, and conduct business in this great state. We are also glad to see, given the unknowns in future technological advances required to meet the EMP proposals, that the EMP is a “living document” and that the Administration recognizes the need for flexibility and our members’ statutory obligations. With that in mind, we urge the State to recognize the need for continued investment in natural gas infrastructure to ensure the safety of our residents, the reliability of our grid, and the viability of our economy.

Natural gas contributes important reliability services to the electrical grid. The transition to cleaner burning natural gas from other fuel sources has led to lower emissions while also lowering electric bills.  If New Jersey is to deploy more renewables in order to achieve the clean energy goals outlined by the EMP, we must recognize that natural gas and renewables are not mutually exclusive - natural gas is a necessary complement.”