ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Potential changes at the federal level could increase the burden on states to promote policies related to energy efficiency, which the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory simply defines as “using less energy to provide the same service.” A look at New Jersey’s current energy-efficiency profile reveals room for improvement. While ranking as a nationwide leader in reducing pollution, with the fifth-lowest level of CO2 emissions in the country, the state has failed to manage optimally its clean-energy funds or establish long-term energy-efficiency programs, creating market instability in the space. With robust energy-efficiency plans resulting in far-reaching, demonstrable benefits for the environment, the economy and society, New Jersey should intensify its efforts on this front, possibly through utility decoupling and by expanding consumer incentives.