Surcharges Boost Utility Bills, But Where Does the Money Go?

May 5, 2010 – In The News
NJ Spotlight

The societal benefits charge was originally created to fund programs such as the cleanup of contaminated gas manufacturing plants; however, New Jersey has recently tapped this fund to help balance the budget and to fund clean energy programs.

With the state adopting more aggressive clean energy goals, the budget has grown, which has increased the cost to consumers and businesses. Some large manufacturers are especially hit hard, said Steve Goldenberg, a lawyer for the Large Energy Users Coalition. Some of his members pay up to $2 million annually in SBC charges, he said.

"It has become a large tax on the business community, which receive very little benefit from some of these programs," Goldenberg said, particularly when it comes to energy conservation. For every $1 invested in energy conservation at commercial and industrial facilities, there is a $11 return on the investment, compared to $4 for residential projects, he said.

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