Ralph Izzo, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Public Service Enterprise Group, today called for a set of regulatory reforms in New Jersey that would create financial incentives for utilities to help their customers reduce at-home energy use, as well as expand access to renewable energy and new energy-saving technologies.
Izzo delivered his remarks at a state energy forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey.
“Customers’ demands are changing,” Izzo said. “They want more reliability, they want more resilient power, they want cleaner energy and they want access to smart technology to better understand their energy usage – all while keeping bills affordable.” In order to meet these competing demands, utilities and the regulatory framework that governs them must adapt from a system that encourages utilities to sell as much energy as possible to a new system that provides incentives for the utility to promote greater energy efficiency.
Izzo also discussed the role utilities can play in helping increase the speed of adoption and depth of penetration of new technology, and called for a new look at how New Jersey regulates the long-term modernization of gas and electric infrastructure. He said the state can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the long-term project-approval process without reducing regulatory oversight.
New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities typically approves infrastructure projects – such as PSE&G’s programs to flood-proof electric substations or replace aging cast-iron gas mains – in three-year increments. A longer-term approval would allow utilities to plan their purchasing and hiring more efficiently and lead to creation of more jobs, Izzo added.
“If done right, the future of energy in New Jersey is one where we use less energy, the energy we use is cleaner and more reliable, and bills are affordable,” Izzo said.