PSE&G president urges legislators to support investments

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY - New Jersey should start to address the effects of the recent economic storm by encouraging investments in energy efficiency and renewable projects that will create jobs and strengthen our economy, according to Ralph LaRossa, president and COO of Public Service Electric and Gas Co. in legislative testimony.

Speaking before the Joint Meeting of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and the Environment and Solid Waste Committee in Trenton, LaRossa urged lawmakers to take decisive action to approve investments in projects that create real economic value over the long term.

"The temptation at times like this is to hunker down, to take no risks, to delay investments until the economy somehow recovers on its own. But that, in my view, would be exactly the wrong path," LaRossa said.

"When we invest in energy efficiency, homeowners and businesses can save money for years, even decades. When we invest in solar power and wind power, we create green-collar jobs and answer the need to combat climate change. When we invest in modern transmission lines, we help to contain electricity costs and improve reliability. In each case, we are building a stronger and more productive economy," LaRossa said.

"PSEG stands ready to make these investments. And we want to do it on a scale that is large enough to make a real difference in New Jersey," he said.

For example, he noted, the state's largest utility is awaiting New Jersey Board of Public Utilities' approval of a $46 million plan to install insulation, efficient lighting, programmable thermostats and seals around doors and windows in homes and small businesses in Trenton and Newark, along with hospitals and businesses across PSE&G's service territory.

"Statewide, we believe there is room for $2 billion in efficiency investments over the next five years," LaRossa said. "That would create 2,200 good jobs. It would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 7 million tons over that period. And it would lower bills."

In addition to investments in energy efficiency, LaRossa said the company is willing to expand its solar loan program beyond the $105 million already approved. He also pointed to the offshore wind proposal, approved by the BPU, that will create hundreds of construction jobs in the state, and 30 permanent jobs.

"If we work together constructively, we will emerge from this with an electric system that's cleaner and more efficient, and an economy that is stronger than ever," he said.


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