At South Jersey Gas, a push to increase energy efficiency programs to low-, moderate-income customers

South Jersey Gas, hoping to extend its success with energy efficiency for low- and moderate-income customers, recently filed a request with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to expand the company’s energy efficiency programs for two and half years — beginning in January 2025.

South Jersey Gas officials said the $425 million proposal, the company’s largest energy-efficiency program request, would expand opportunities for customers to align with the state’s clean energy goals.

The programs include:

  • On-bill repayment and rebates for energy efficiency equipment upgrades;
  • An efficient products marketplace featuring discounted smart thermostats;
  • Free weatherization measures for low- to moderate-income customers;
  • Tailored solutions for commercial and industrial customers.

While the overall program investments will lead to reduced energy usage and savings for participating customers, South Jersey Gas officials say the impact of the proposed programs on the monthly bill of a residential heating customer using 100 therms would be an increase of $1.24, or 0.7 %, as compared to current rates.

The filing also proposes three new programs focused on building decarbonization and natural gas demand response. South Jersey Gas also proposed to expand its recently launched Workforce Development Program, which provides free educational opportunities, technical training and certification to support and advance a clean energy workforce and economy.

SJI Utilities President Melissa Orsen sees it as a win-win.

“SJI and our regulated utility subsidiaries remain steadfastly committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to our over 725,000 natural gas customers across the state,” she said. “Promoting energy efficiency is core to our efforts to reduce costs for our customers while also advancing favorable environmental outcomes.

“We fully support the (Gov. Phil) Murphy administration’s and the BPU’s efforts to continue the progress our industry has made in enhancing energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction in our state.”

South Jersey Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Schomber agreed.

“Building on our decades-long record of leadership in running energy efficiency programs, South Jersey Gas continues to help customers save money, manage energy usage and reduce emissions,” he said. “As proposed, by enlarging energy efficiency programs available to our community, we hope to empower residential, multifamily, commercial and industrial customers to save energy in a cost-effective way.”

South Jersey Gas is a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries.