NEW JERSEY – Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio is pleased Republicans, business leaders, trade groups and advocates were able to kill the electric heating conversion requirement for the building sector, but wants everyone to keep their fighting gloves on and protect residents from the same costly mandates in Gov. Phil Murphy’s green energy agenda.
“The DEP reneged on the requirement to transition mid-sized buildings from gas boilers to electric because of the collective outcry and exorbitant price tag. While I’m relieved they came to their senses and acknowledged our arguments, I would like to see all residents protected from future conversion mandates detailed in the governor’s unrealistic energy master plan,” DiMaio (R-Warren) said.
Murphy’s Energy Master Plan calls for 100% clean renewable energy by 2050, which would be partly achieved through government electric heating mandates. The first of such mandates would have impacted about 8,500 public and private buildings, including apartment complexes, K-12 public schools, grocery stores, and other facilities. It was set to take effect Jan. 1, 2025, before the DEP removed that language from regulatory reforms adopted in December as part of the administration’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“Initial estimates to replace thousands of good-working gas boilers is in the billions. Forcing people to pay those costs and rely on one energy source in today’s economic climate is irresponsible and incredibly tone-deaf,” DiMaio said.
In addition to the up-front conversion costs, electric heating bills for buildings would be four to five times higher. Single-family homeowners would need to spend at least $20,000 to retrofit their homes with electric HVAC systems according to the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey.
“The administration’s green goals do not consider inflation, the stability of our electric grid, or people’s budgets,” DiMaio said.
Natural gas and nuclear power accounted for 90% of New Jersey’s total electricity net generation in 2021. About 73% of New Jersey households rely on natural gas as their primary heating fuel and just 16% use electric heat.
“The governor needs to be working for the people of New Jersey and not against them. Stop pushing policies that punish responsible business owners and homeowners,” DiMaio said. “Murphy should create opportunities that incentivize clean energy adoption, not oppressive regulations that make it impossible to operate a business or run a household in New Jersey.”