PSE&G gets BPU’s approval to continue modernizing aging gas system

Newark-based Public Service Electric & Gas on Wednesday received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to continue modernizing aging natural gas pipes in 2024 through 2025.

With this extension of the second phase of PSE&G’s Gas System Modernization Program, the state’s largest utility expects to invest $902 million over two years, maintaining hundreds of well-paying jobs and contributing to New Jersey’s economy.

The extension will enhance safety and reliability and help New Jersey meet its clean energy goals.

“Continuing this work that reduces methane emissions and enhances the reliability of our gas system is a critical step to realizing our Powering Progress vision for customers,” Kim Hanemann, president and chief operating officer, PSE&G, said. “Natural gas has been the most affordable heating option for millions of New Jersey customers for years. We’re pleased to continue our balanced approach to decarbonization while meeting today’s energy demand.”

The benefits of GSMP include:

  • Prioritizing and replacing pipelines most prone to leaks, including many in municipalities that have a significant number of overburdened communities;
  • Maintaining the infrastructure through upgraded equipment, such as modern regulators and the installation of excess flow valves, with the aim of enhancing safety;
  • Upgrading to higher pressure during replacement, enabling customer use of higher efficiency and more environmentally-friendly appliances;
  • Immediate reduction of leaks by installation of new pipes that can also deliver emerging lower-carbon alternative fuels;
  • Ensuring customers’ power sources remain affordable and diversified; and
  • Realizing the benefits of maintaining jobs and vendor relationships through the continuity of the program.

In 2014, PSE&G began to accelerate the updating of its gas system by replacing aged pipes with state-of-the-art gas lines. It is about a third done, having replaced 1,450 miles of gas lines. It also has reduced methane emissions by approximately 300,000 metric tons CO2e from 2011 to 2022 — the equivalent of taking 65,000 cars off the road. The second phase of GSMP was completed earlier this year and reduced PSE&G’s gas system methane emissions by approximately 22% from 2018 levels.

The extension allows PSE&G to continue to update its existing gas distribution system to improve reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 54,000 metric tons CO2e, by replacing at least 400 miles of aged pipes with modern ones.

As part of this settlement, PSE&G also agreed to defer action on its third phase of GSMP, with the parties to that filing to reconvene on it by no later than Jan. 31, 2025. Work covered under the third phase, if approved, would be expected to commence in January 2026.