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Notices

Posted on: August 25, 2020

BPU Seeking Comments on Improvements to ESIP Program

This week the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced that they are seeking comments and hosting stakeholder meetings, looking to evaluate and refresh the Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP).

This week the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) announced that they are seeking comments and hosting stakeholder meetings, looking to evaluate and refresh the Energy Savings Improvement Program (ESIP). The goal of the review is to improve the overall process, streamline submission of required documents, and develop transparent, easily understandable rules. As part of this process, the BPU has released a Straw Proposal which contains questions to which the public is encouraged to respond.

In 2009, ESIP was first signed into law as a financing method for New Jersey’s boards of education, public institutions of higher education, local government units, and State contracting agencies to implement energy conservation measures (ECMs) as set forth under energy savings plans. The ESIP allows for improving and retrofitting public facilities with ECMs without requiring that those public facilities provide new capital investments.

The ESIP program accomplishes this by using the future value of energy savings to finance the up-front investment. Instead, the pre-qualified Energy Services Companies provide the up-front financing and are paid back, over time, from the savings that accrue to the public entity through reduced energy bills. Approved applicants can execute contracts up to 15 years in length (20 years with combined heat and power or cogeneration projects) that ensure that efficiency upgrades are installed in such a way that annual payments are lower than the savings projected, thus allowing entities that lack significant capital resources to finance the reduction of their energy consumption and energy bills.

Those interested may participate in a virtual stakeholder meeting to discuss this Straw Proposal and the ESIP process as a whole on Tuesday, September 8, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. You should register for this webinar by noon on September 2, 2020. Written comments may also be submitted by September 21, 2020 at 10 a.m., with instruction for how to do so found in the BPU’s public notice.

While guidelines for the ESIP are currently in place, staff is looking to update the program and re-establish program rules. The League is reviewing the Straw Proposal and we anticipate submitting comments.

Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x137.

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