This is the centralized source of all the sustainability initiatives going on in New Jersey. Specifically, it includes links to the NJ Energy Master Plan, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RecoveryNJ.gov, the Green House Gas Report, and resources within the Department of Environmental Protection Agency. It includes other links to organizations with various specific green living topics - such as Jersey Fresh produce, local businesses, municipal and county programs to help New Jersey residents incorporate green practices in their everyday lives.
New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing for families in New Jersey. NJHMFA provides financing for the construction of affordable housing and also works with and provides mortgages for first time homebuyers, senior citizens in senior and assisted living facilities, and/or the disabled in our special needs communities. In every situation NJHMFA is committed to make quality housing available at costs affordable to New Jersey residents. NJHMFA is dedicated to implementing policies and practices to help transform the market for and aid the development of more sustainable and energy efficient affordable housing. Green affordable housing directly benefits individuals and families by lowering utility costs and creating healthier living environments. Project developers and operators gain both directly and indirectly through higher quality, more efficient, and more durable projects. Green building strategies add value through increased tenant satisfaction, improved marketability, reduced turnover, lower operating costs, and increased longevity. To that end, NJHMFA is placing a higher priority on financing developments that bring about efficient, safe, healthy, prosperous and livable communities while simultaneously maintaining and enhancing the environment. The Green Homes Office is located within NJHMFA and advocates for resources to encourage energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building.
NJHMFA is an associated agency to the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services that respond to issues of public concern including fire and building safety, housing production, community planning and development, and local government management and finance.
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is a regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in New Jersey. BPU is also charged with overseeing the NJ Energy Master Plan. With this in mind, BPU promotes conservation and energy efficiency programs that assist businesses and households in New Jersey. The BPU sets the Renewable Portfolio Standard for the public utility companies. Currently, the RPS goal states that 2.12% of state's energy consumption will be provided by solar photovoltaics; which is approximately 1,500 MW by the year 2020. This goal has not been updated to coincide with the Energy Master Plan's flat goal of 1,800 MW (instead of a percentage of energy usage, which is expected to drop due to upcoming energy efficiency measures) by the year 2020. It is expected that the RPS goals will be under future review to address goals for year 2021 through 2025.
New Jersey's Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) promotes increased energy efficiency and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy including solar, wind, geothermal, and sustainable biomass. The results for New Jersey are a stronger economy, less pollution, lower costs, and reduced demand for electricity. NJCEP offers financial incentives, programs, and services for residential, commercial, and municipal customers.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is the agency concerned with preserving and improving the environment of New Jersey. The DEP is a rich resource of information about recycling, environmental stewardship, environmental education, remediation, and helps coordinate sustainable planning and development practices.
ENERGY STAR® is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping to identify energy efficient products and practices which help protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Through its partnerships with more than 15,000 private and public sector organizations, ENERGY STAR® delivers the technical information and tools that organizations and consumers need to choose energy-efficient solutions and best management practices.
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The database has state by state listings of the various programs available to support the adoption of renewable energy technology and increase energy efficiency.
Executive Order 54 was signed February 13, 2007 and (1) calls for a reduction of Greenhouse Gases to 1990 levels by the year 2020; (2) further requires a reduction of projected 2006 Greenhouse Gas levels by 80% by the year 2050; and (3) directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to develop measurement standards, monitor reductions, and coordinate an implementation plan to meet these goals with other state initiatives. The Department of Environmental Protection has a draft report available - meeting these requirements and those indicated in the Global Warming Response Act.
The Global Warming Response Act, bill numbers S2114/A3301, was passed by both state houses on June 21, 2008 and approved on July 6, 2008. This bill mandates that the goals of the Governor's Executive Order 54 be met, sets timelines and provides further details and direction. The bill can be found HERE.
A few goals of the NJ Energy Master Plan are (1) to reduce total energy consumption in New Jersey by 20% by the year 2020; (2) to have 30% of total energy consumed come from renewable energy sources by the year 2020; and (3) to provide for a continuing supply of energy at a reasonable cost while meeting the state's sustainability goals. The goals of the EMP are consistent with and help meet Greenhouse Gas reduction requirements as directed in Executive Order 54 and the Global Warming Response Act. On page 12 within the introductory section of the EMP is found a breakdown of renewable energy goals for the year 2020: "This renewable electricity supply will come from 900 MW of biomass capacity, at least 3000 MW of offshore wind capacity, 200 MW of onshore wind capacity, and 2,120 GWh (approximately 1,800 MW) of solar energy production."
In August 2006, eight Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont) signed an agreement (later joined by two more states, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) for a cap-and-trade program. The goal is to reduce carbon emissions from power supply companies p roviding energy to these states. Every so often, there will be a carbon emissions credit sale, where electric generation facilities buy ‘allowances' for each ton of carbon dioxide they are allowed to emit. The proceeds of the sale that go to New Jersey will be spent on energy efficiency, renewable energy and other environmental programs that help to meet the state's goals. Each year the number of carbon dioxide allowances will be reduced and the energy facilities will need to take additional measures to reduce emissions. The goal across RGGI is a 10 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2018.