Efficiency is everything: Reif, head of renewables and energy solutions at PSE&G, says company has programs for businesses of all shapes and sizes

The scale of the energy program is impressive: More than three dozen buildings at Rutgers University are being impacted — one that’s more than 120 years old; another that’s 660,000 square feet — for a potential savings of up to $5 million to go along with the reduction of carbon emissions.

This ongoing modernization of Rutgers’ three campuses are a perfect example of Public Service Enterprise Group’s Clean Energy Future program, one in which the utility works with organizations to find ways to improve their energy efficiency — doing right by the economy and the bottom line at the same time.

So said Karen Reif, vice president – renewables and energy solutions at Public Service Electric & Gas.

“We’re working with Rutgers right now to make their buildings more efficient and more comfortable,” she said. “In each building, we figure out what makes the most sense: Do we make the heating better or the lighting better? What is needed?

“The impact is great.”

The program is designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by lowering energy consumption. And PSEG provides upfront financing of the cost of eligible energy efficiency installations.

So far, eight buildings on the College Avenue campus, 10 on Douglass and seven on Livingston are being updated. In addition, 16 buildings on the Newark campus, eight at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and 10 at Camden will be impacted.

The efforts at Rutgers — and other universities around the state — are just the latest examples of PSEG’s efforts on energy efficiency. It follows the company’s concerted efforts in the health care and multifamily sectors.

And, while the scale of the effort at Rutgers is large — Reif boasts that the program scales down, as well.

“We are eager to work with businesses of all sizes,” she said. “We want to determine their needs and meet them where they are at. It could be a big renovation or a small adjustment.”

Karen Reif, vice president – renewables and energy solutions at Public Service Electric & Gas.

Reif stressed that all efficiency programs essentially meet at the same place: lower costs for the users and lower emissions for the climate.

That’s why PSEG is active in so many renewable areas — including various projects in solar and electric vehicles (small and medium-size fleets for business).

It’s all about scale. And time.

Reif and PSEG understand that, while there is enthusiasm for saving energy (and money), it comes with some hesitation.

“EV range anxiety is a real thing,” she said.

That’s why the company is working to build out EV charging stations.

Every bit helps, she said.

PSEG stands at the ready, Reif said.

“We’re really excited to continue to support Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s vision for the state and President (Joe) Biden’s vision for clean energy and to move forward,” she said.

Doing that means following the advice many of us got in childhood: Turn out the lights when you leave the room.

“The energy you don’t use is the least expensive energy,” Reif said.

When it comes to energy, efficiency truly is everything.