Trenton – In an effort to provide financial assistance to fund cost-effective energy efficiency improvements throughout the State, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Senator Linda Greenstein that would establish the Renewable and Efficient Energy Financing (“REEF”) program within the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank ( I-Bank).
“New Jersey has made significant progress in deploying renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset), Chair of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “However, we must expand our existing programs and increase funding as they are currently insufficient to meet the State’s ambitious clean energy and emissions reduction goals. By establishing the REEF program, more entities will be able to qualify for low-cost financing to retrofit their current establishments to become more energy efficient.”
The bill, S-419, would authorize the Board of Public Utilities to transfer up to $20 million to the I-Bank annually to fund the REEF program. The funding would go towards loans and other forms of financial assistance to help State entities, local units and school districts finance cost-effective energy efficiency improvements. The I-Bank would also be authorized to provide loans and other financial assistance directly to a private entity for an energy efficiency improvement project sponsored and guaranteed by a local unit.
“New Jersey has one of the most ambitious statutory renewable energy goals in the country, requiring 35 percent of the energy sold in the State to come from qualifying renewable energy sources by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “These deadlines are approaching quickly, and if we want to meet our goals, we must be diligent in mobilizing greater investments into renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.