In age of uncertainty, there are some things you can count on

How infrastructure investment by PSEG is helping people, neighborhoods and community

It’s graduation season across New Jersey. A time when there is both hope and uncertainty. Hope at the world of possibilities. Uncertainty for the path ahead.

Graduates, like all of us, soon discover the importance of being prepared for the future. Ben Franklin once said failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Being prepared inspires hope and allows one to face challenges head-on with the knowledge that you are well equipped to succeed. Being prepared also requires us to think about the future and to try to understand what may be coming at us.

At Public Service Enterprise Group, we pride ourselves in helping New Jersey prepare for a brighter future, whether it’s managing in extreme weather or supporting the growth of electric cars and appliances or whatever may come.

Simply put — our job is to keep the lights on, homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and provide the predictability you can rely upon even in a fast-changing world.  That’s what you need from your trusted energy supplier — that’s PSEG. We help our customers meet the challenges of the future.

Our investments in the infrastructure in your community are not unlike what we get out of going to school — work we put in today pays dividends tomorrow. Over the last 20 years, PSEG has improved reliability by approximately 20% by strengthening and updating our electric system, and we’ve reduced methane emissions by approximately 35% by upgrading our old infrastructure, all while maintaining high customer satisfaction levels and keeping costs down. Our award-winning energy efficiency programs have helped our customers save millions on their bills.

But, we must not rest. Like today’s graduates, New Jersey’s future brims with exciting opportunities and the challenges of managing the clean energy transition wisely.

We’re busy finding additional ways to pursue clean energy initiatives affordably, making prudent investments in projects that lead to safer, cleaner energy with highly reliable performance and customer satisfaction. We do this while maintaining some of the lowest costs compared with state and regional peers.

We invest in strengthening New Jersey’s communities because corporate citizenship and social responsibility go hand-in-hand with our business responsibilities. These efforts strengthen our business, our support from stakeholders and our ability to get things done. At Public Service, we know that good energy policies for New Jersey are most successful when the private sector and public sector work together.

When we invest and strengthen the infrastructure in our communities, we’re also creating jobs — at PSEG and with our partners and suppliers. We pay attention to who our partners and suppliers are —ensuring they’re a good fit not only from a technical perspective but also doing what’s good for New Jersey communities by choosing local labor and building diverse workforces. Those aren’t just words — we buy in New Jersey and we hire New Jerseyans. PSEG conducted $2.1 billion of business with New Jersey-based companies in 2022, helping boost the state’s economy, including $748 million with businesses based in our Newark home.

Many a commencement speech talks about leaving places better than you found them. That is indeed what PSEG endeavors to do. Not just in your community, but across the state.  We’re investing and creating opportunity and we aim to do so with the support of all stakeholders. That’s why, along with our partners in the nonprofit community and labor, we also take steps to train and support the workforce of the future.

Our Clean Energy Jobs Program to date has facilitated the hiring of more than 2,400 New Jersey residents, most of whom were unemployed or underemployed. We also support STEM-focused pre-college and college programs and scholarships, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions, through the PSEG Foundation. In fact, the PSEG Foundation has provided millions of dollars to support sustainability centers, research and programs at leading institutions such as Rutgers University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Stevens Institute of Technology. PSEG also partners with community and nonprofit organizations, trade and vocational schools and county workforce development boards.

What’s good for New Jersey is good for PSEG. Communities are stronger when the partner building that infrastructure has local roots and community interests in mind. We know that, to be successful in the long term, we must keep the community’s and our customer’s best interests at the heart of what we do.

Our legacy of providing safe, reliable and affordable service is strong and, just like those graduates, we are preparing to help the state forge ahead.

Rick Thigpen is a senior vice president – corporate citizenship at Public Service Enterprise Group.