Updated: Jan 7, 2020
On Thursday, April 18, 2019, NJ.com published a report titled "N.J. approves $300M nuclear bailout — and your utility bill just went up." The article reports that The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has awarded New Jersey's largest electric supplier, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G), massive subsidies. The subsidies will be received by PSE&G through “Zero Emission Certificates” that will assist in the operation of its nuclear power plants in the coming years.
And, the cost of the subsidies is being passed along to residential customers.
Impact on New Jersey Residents
The average residential utility customer in New Jersey will see their electric bill rise about $41 each year, to pay for the subsidies. Customers from all public utilities in the state would foot the bill through a rate hike.
Following the vote, NJBPU President Joseph Fiordaliso stated:
“We do not make this decision lightly and the Board must balance protecting ratepayers with our responsibility to the citizens of the state... We have a moral obligation to our fellow citizens to do everything we can to decrease carbon emissions."
The Cause of Skyrocketing Utility Rates
The decision is the final step in a controversial nuclear bailout program that NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed into law last year as part of his clean power plan for the state. Part of the bailout plan is a companion law that sets aggressive energy goals for New Jersey as Murphy's administration pushes to slash the emission of greenhouse gases.
Targets of the law include the reduction of carbon dioxide and methane, which drive climate change. The law requires that the Garden State obtain 50% of its energy from clean sources by 2030.
While the cited hike was applied to PSE&G, all state utilities will be impacted by this legislation across every corner of North, Central and South Jersey (including utilities such as Jersey Central Power & Light, Atlantic City Electric, New Jersey Natural Gas Company... and beyond).
The State of Traditional Utilities
The latest utility rate hike is no surprise. In fact, it is in line with trends in the last decade. On average, consumer rates for traditional utilities have experienced an annual 3 percent increase. Traditional fossil fuels are scarce. Because the source of traditional fuels is limited, the market has consistent volatility, and businesses pay the price. For traditional electric customers, this trend is projected to continue for years to come.
The Underlying Problem with Utilities
Skyrocketing electricity prices have a common driver: the environment. Traditional utility suppliers rely on fossil fuels that have an adverse impact on the environment. As previously noted, this problem is compounded by limited resources. The recent price increase was the result of state legislation aimed at protecting the environment.
And, it makes sense. Traditional utilities are the cause of environmental damage and should be held responsible. However, the financial penalties are being absorbed by the consumers of residential electric services. Or, more simply, consumers are paying the price.
A Better Alternative to the Utility Company
While these challenges are complex, the summary is simple.
Fossil fuels are limited resources.
As their source decreases, the cost increases.
Fossil fuels hurt the environment.
Efforts to penalize utility providers for environmental damage result in more penalties.
Consumers pay the penalty for limited resources.
While state and federal government agencies continue to solve the problem with subsidies and penalties, consumers have a better option - to dramatically reduce or eliminate their utility monthly bill entirely.
Converting your home to solar energy can eliminate the effect of raising utility rates. With solar energy, consumers can eliminate their reliance on fossil fuels entirely, by sourcing their energy from the sun. Since the sun is an unlimited source of energy, there are no rate hikes or market volatility. Further, solar energy is established technology, and is the most environmentally-friendly source of energy available.
Solar generation offsets more than 73 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year, equivalent to:
· Taking 15.6 million vehicles off the road
· Planting nearly 1.2 billion trees (Source)
New Jersey is Solar Energy Friendly
As previously noted, New Jersey is increasingly enacting legislation to combat environmental damage. As part of this initiative, New Jersey has passed lucrative incentives for its commercial and residential residents alike to adopt solar energy. In fact, The State of New Jersey ranks in 5th place for solar energy production. When combined with federal incentives, residents in New Jersey can deduct between 30% - 60% off of the cost for installation of a solar energy system.
A Summary of Solar Energy Advantages
Dramatically reduce or ELIMINATE your monthly utility bill for 25+ YEARS
Federal and State incentive can deduct up to 30% - 60% off the cost of installation
Earn money for the energy that their solar system produces with Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECS)
Protect the Environment with Renewal, Green, Solar Energy
Learn more about the Benefits of Solar Energy
Learn more about Lucrative Incentives available for Solar Energy
Learn more about why NOW is the best time to Go Solar
About National Energy Partners:
National Energy Partners (NEP) is a solar energy development company dedicated to bringing clean, renewable energy to businesses and residential consumers alike. At the forefront of the solar energy landscape, our passion is in fostering relationships through integrity, knowledge and efficiency. NEP embraces the specific needs and challenges of each project, offering our valued clients the best experience through strategic management, trusted relationships and eco-friendly solar energy solutions.
With over 10 years of experience in the solar industry, our portfolio includes over $100 million of projects with more in development.