TRENTON, NJ - Legislation sponsored by Sen. Christipher "Kip" Bateman (R-Somerset,Hunterdon, Mercer,Middlesex) to encourage homeowners and businesses to continue investing in renewable energy systems has been approved by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.
“New Jersey needs clean, safe, and affordable energy,” said Bateman. “The expansion of programs that support our goal of increasing green energy production can help to lower electric bills and protect our environment. Allowing more customers to take advantage of net metering will encourage New Jerseyans to continue installing renewable energy, such as solar power, by expanding opportunities to lower their utility bills.”
When a renewable energy system installed at a home or business produces more electricity than the customer is using, net metering allows for the excess power to be sent onto the power grid, resulting in a credit to the customer for the full retail value of the electricity.
Under current law, utility companies are not required to continue offering net metering to new customers once the total generating capacity produced by net metering customers reaches 2.9 percent of the total electric power sold.
Bateman’s legislation doubles the electric power net meter threshold from 2.9 to 5.8 percent, allowing more customers to achieve the cost savings provided by net metering that would result from installing new renewable energy systems.
According to the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, renewable resources, such as solar, help stabilize and reduce home energy costs while producing electricity with no pollution. In addition, the continued growth of solar energy has created thousands of jobs in New Jersey.
“New Jersey once had some of the dirtiest air in the nation, but our shift to cleaner energy and renewables has led to continued improvements in air quality,” said Bateman. “By encouraging this trend, New Jersey will reap the benefits of a cleaner environment, a boosted economy, and more affordable energy for our residents.”
The legislation heads to the full Senate for consideration.