Energy-efficiency conundrum: Will clean energy cost electric utilities money?

Energy efficient insulation

TOM JOHNSON / NJ SPOTLIGHT – What’s not to like about cutting customers’ electric and gas bills by government mandate to curb their energy use? Plenty, it seems.

It is a big goal of the Clean Energy Act, a 2018 law that directs New Jersey’s utilities to begin reducing customer electric consumption by 2% a year and gas use by 0.75% annually. The goals are aggressive and achieving them is shaping up to be fairly complicated, even with widespread consensus over the need to reduce energy use.

The stumbling block, and a familiar one to advocates on both sides of the issue, is how to achieve those savings; who should oversee the programs; and how utilities ought to be compensated for programs that reduce energy sales, trimming the revenue they collect to keep their systems resilient …

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