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NJ Board of Public Utilities approves state’s Energy and Water Benchmarking Program for large commercial buildings

NEW JERSEY —The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) has issued an Order requiring the owner or operator of every commercial building over 25,000 square feet in the state to benchmark energy and water use using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager tool, as required by the New Jersey Clean Energy Act signed into law by Governor Murphy in 2018.

“This is the next important step in implementing a best in class, statewide, energy efficiency program which will help us achieve Governor Murphy’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Creating a system of benchmarking allows us to measure the use of energy (electricity and gas) and water by the state’s biggest buildings and support building owners in reducing energy and water usage and operating costs.”

This Board initiative is also directed by Goal 3.3.2 of the Energy Master Plan, which calls for transparent benchmarking and energy labeling to spur market-driven energy efficiency improvements. The program helps commercial building owners and operators measure and analyze their respective facilities’ energy and water usage and compare it to other similar buildings. Building owners and operators can use this information to make informed decisions about taking advantage of financial incentives for energy efficiency improvements through State and utility programs.

In particular, the program will enable building owners to obtain aggregated, building-level energy and water data from their utility companies through a data access service. The Board will also establish a “help desk” to assist building owners as they measure and analyze their respective buildings’ energy and water performance. The first benchmarking submissions are due on October 1, 2023 for energy and water consumed in 2022.

This program will also protect individual ratepayers’ energy and water use information by requiring utilities to securely provide aggregated, building-level data. Building owners are required to obtain their tenants’ affirmative, written consent for the utilities from which they receive services to provide building-level energy and water data to the building owner in certain situations to protect individual energy and water use information. Consent will be required only when there are fewer than four tenants in a building or if one tenant exceeds fifty percent of the energy or water consumption.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program also offers assistance to building owners to benchmark their buildings. This service is available to buildings owners who are not required to benchmark under the Clean Energy Act.

For more information about building benchmarking, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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