TINTON FALLS – The Team Monmouth Slate composed of State Senator Vin Gopal and state assembly candidates Dr. Margie Donlon and Luanne Peterpaul for District 11 are formally calling on the State Board of Public Utilities to make it clear they are only pushing incentives on electrification for the replacement of gas appliances and not mandates. Last May, Senator Gopal introduced legislation, S2671, that would prohibit the state from implementing building electrification mandates until it publishes a comprehensive report detailing the costs electrification would impose on New Jersey residents.
“While I’m supportive of efforts to expand the utilization of clean energy in the state and to offer incentives to move in that direction, we still don’t have a full accounting of the consequences this rule could carry for New Jersey taxpayers,” Gopal said. “We’ve made some important strides towards addressing New Jersey’s affordability crisis in recent years and any type of mandate could hurt working-class families in New Jersey.”
Dr. Donlon, who currently serves as the Deputy Mayor of Ocean Township, highlighted that the New Jersey Rate Counsel, which advocates for New Jersey’s utility customers, has raised concerns that the proposal could push landlords to raise rents to cover the costs of installing electric appliances as well as increasing New Jersey ratepayers’ electric bills.
“There are simply too many unanswered questions around the impact this policy will have on New Jersey’s hard-working residents,” Donlon said. “New Jersey’s clean energy goals are commendable, but we need to ensure we achieve those goals through practical and sustainable policies.”
Peterpaul, a former judge and prosecutor, added that the broad policy could commit the state to making significant further investments, such as upgrading the state’s electrical grid to handle the greater demand, but the policy does not discuss how the state would meet those commitments.
“Ensuring New Jersey achieves its clean energy goals is critically important, to both the state’s environment and, through the emergence of new industries and technologies, its economy,” Peterpaul said. “Given what’s at stake, the state cannot afford to move forward with regulations that have not been fully considered.”
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