Governor Corzine’s Energy Master Plan: Property Owners Should Pay Attention

June 23, 2009 Mercer Business Magazine

Copyright 2009, Mercer Business Magazine. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Last fall, Governor Corzine unveiled New Jersey's latest Energy Master Plan (BMP), which will provide the blueprint for the state's energy policies through 2020. The EMP addresses the threats of global warming, our ever-increasing demand for energy, and the growing imperative to further develop renewable energy sources. The EMP emphasizes energy efficiency in buildings, because buildings are among the largest consumers of energy and emitters of greenhouse gases. To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, the EMP advocates enhanced building and appliance regulations and codes, and expansive use of solar energy. Property owners should pay attention to these evolving energy policies, as the policies will require significant investments in, and the retrofitting of literally all properties located throughout the state.

The EMP candidly acknowledges its goal to position New Jersey "at the forefront of a growing clean energy economy with aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy goals." The state's original goal was to reduce the state's energy consumption 20 percent by the year 2020. The EMP now advocates a 30 percent goal, and largely adopts energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to achieve the goal, in lieu of developing conventional infrastructure, such as new base load power plants, to replace a fleet of plants that is nearing the end of its useful life.

The first stated goal of the EMP is to significantly increase energy efficiency in new buildings through changes to the state's building code to be implemented by the end of 2009. The EMP also proposes to dramatically increase the implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures in existing buildings, advocating a "massive effort to address more than 300,000 buildings each year," and utilizing a "whole building approach" that includes building envelope, HVAC, lighting and appliance retrofits, among other things...

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