BPU Advisors: Beware Eliminating Efficiency Rebates

October 24, 2011 – In The News
The Star-Ledger

In its first report, the advisory group of the NJ Board of Public Utilities said the state should not end a surcharge on ratepayer utility bills that pays for rebates for efficiency work and appliance replacement.

The group warned against switching to a revolving fund instead. Steve Goldenberg, chairman of the committee, said that revolving funds elsewhere in the country were financed with federal money that is no longer available.

"However attractive it is, there are several problems involved in the near term, not the least of which is it requires a rather large infusion of capital," said Goldenberg.

"If you have a residential ratepayer who has an operating furnace or refrigerator and is having trouble paying their bills each month, offering them a low or no-interest loan to get something more efficient going forward isn't attractive," Goldenberg said.

The working group said there are changes the BPU could make to save ratepayers money, including they transition administrative oversight of all clean energy programs to a single contractor to reduce inefficiencies.

"We're recommending fewer fixed fees so that whoever manages the programs has an incentive to be successful," said Goldenberg.

View entire article