Trenton – In an effort to prevent consumer energy costs from increasing, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senators Vin Gopal, Steve Oroho and Paul Sarlo, which would prohibit the State from mandating electric water heating systems. Currently, the New Jersey Energy Master Plan emphasizes the need for electrification by 2050.
“Around 75 percent of American households rely on natural gas for heating, while only 13 percent use electricity. The Energy Master Plan requires that the State develops a plan to electrify older buildings. However, this is a significant undertaking that will have pretty drastic consequences,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “If we were to mandate electric heating systems, it will absolutely lead to an increase in energy rates and higher costs for customers. New Jersey residents have spoken up and exclaimed they want us to lower costs, not increase them.”
“One of my biggest concerns with the possibility of mandating electric heating throughout the state is that there isn’t a plan to provide any financial support from the state to cover costs. Numerous studies have shown the costs of converting heating systems will cost homeowners around $20,000, far more than the few thousand the governor has claimed. This is absolutely unacceptable,” said Senator Sarlo (D-Bergen/Passaic). “How can we conceivably expect New Jersey residents to be forced to pay for something they couldn’t possibly afford? This is why I sponsored this bill with Senators Gopal and Oroho to prevent our residents from paying higher energy costs.”
Under the bill, S-4133, any State agency would be prohibited from adopting regulations that would require the use of electric heating systems or electric water heating systems as the sole or primary means of heating or providing hot water to buildings. This prohibition would also include residential and commercial buildings.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.