Bucco: Businesses, taxpayers avoided multibillion-dollar increase in energy costs

State senator applauds DEP’s removal of mandatory electrification of large commercial boilers, starting in 2025

Sen. Anthony Bucco. (File photos)

State Sen. Anthony Bucco feels the state has dodged a multibillion-dollar bullet.

Bucco (R-Denville) lauded the decision by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to shelve a controversial mandate proposed by Gov. Phil Murphy that would have required the electrification of large commercial boilers starting in 2025.

Opponents of the plan have said the cost of each implementing just a single boiler was approximately $2 million, a cost that would have been passed onto renters, consumers and — in the case of schools — taxpayers. Thousands of boilers would need to be replaced.

The DEP announced last week that the mandate to electrify boilers was not included in new “NJ PACT” rules.

Bucco said he felt common sense — and fiscal sense — won out.

“Gov. Murphy’s plan to force the replacement of efficient, clean and cost-effective gas boilers with electric versions short-circuited because it didn’t make any sense,” he said. “His plan would have required thousands of businesses, schools, apartment complexes and government buildings to pay millions each to convert to electric boilers that cost four times as much to operate as existing gas boilers.

“It would have been a massive and unnecessary cost for both businesses and taxpayers.”

Bucco said the issue isn’t settled.

“We need to make sure this proposal isn’t resurrected in the future,” he said. “We’ll keep fighting to ensure that the other provisions of Gov. Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, which would result in tens of thousands of dollars of unnecessary costs for families and homeowners, are removed as well.”

For now, Bucco said residents can enjoy a cost-saving victory.

“With the removal of the boiler mandate from NJDEP rules, we just dodged a multibillion-dollar bullet that business owners, renters, school districts and local governments couldn’t afford,” he said.