NJBPU Approves $820,000 in Grants for 46 Municipalities to Create Community Energy Plans to Combat Climate Change
Trenton, NJ.—June 8, 2022—The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today approved Community Energy Plan Grants (CEPG) for 46 municipalities throughout New Jersey, totaling $820,000. In late 2021, the Board redesigned the program to incorporate a greater emphasis on equity and overburdened municipalities. The redesigned program also simplified the grant application process and reduces barriers to program utilization. Awardees
The CEPG program empowers local communities to create community energy plans that align with the State’s Energy Master Plan, the roadmap to reaching Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The program encourages communities to create localized community energy plans to combat climate change with a specific focus on equitable access, energy resilience, renewable energy, and efficiency.
“After redesigning the program, we received a strong response to the grant from dozens of communities all across New Jersey,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “This program brings activities to combat climate change to the local level, especially in overburdened municipalities which have often borne the brunt of pollution.”
“Municipalities have tremendous authority over our energy future,” said Randall Solomon, Executive Director of Sustainable Jersey. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Board of Public Utilities to create a program that helps municipalities comprehensively identify and implement strategies to address climate change and build a sustainable energy future.”
Sustainable Jersey will be providing technical assistance to grant applicants and in the creation of community energy plans for overburdened municipalities.
There are two grant award levels in the redesigned program. All municipalities are eligible for $10,000 awards. However, overburdened municipalities are eligible for a larger award of $25,000, as well as enhanced support, including technical assistance to develop and submit an application and assistance in creating a plan if a grant is awarded. Overburdened municipalities were defined using both the Department of Environmental Protection’s “Overburdened Community” census tract data and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Municipal Revitalization Index.
In awarding the grants, the Board found that the 46 municipalities all submitted complete applications and thus were eligible to receive a grant. Overall, 24 of the 46 approved applications are from overburdened municipalities. By redesigning the grant program, the Board was able to increase access to communities who historically have had a low participation rate in State clean energy initiatives and move closer to reaching Governor Murphy’s clean energy goals.
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About the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)
NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at www.nj.gov/bpu.
About New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program (NJCEP)
NJCEP, established on January 22, 2003, in accordance with the Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act (EDECA), provides financial and other incentives to the State's residential customers, businesses and schools that install high-efficiency or renewable energy technologies, thereby reducing energy usage, lowering customers' energy bills and reducing environmental impacts. The program is authorized and overseen by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and its website is www.NJCleanEnergy.com.