NEW JERSEY – Senate Republican Leader Anthony M. Bucco said the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has sent New Jersey down an expensive and disruptive path toward the full electrification of homes and businesses that will lead to banning gas stoves and other natural gas appliances.
“The Murphy administration doesn’t seem to care that people don’t want to replace their gas stoves or undertake expensive conversions to electric furnaces and water heaters,” said Bucco (R-25). “The BPU’s action today demonstrates that they’re willing to start implementing electrification plans no matter how unpopular they are, regardless of the cost, and without legislative oversight.”
The BPU adopted the “building decarbonization” roadmap at a special meeting Wednesday afternoon, Bucco said.
The Division of Rate Counsel, a government watchdog that represents the interests of consumers, and other advocates have warned that the BPU lacks the statutory authority to implement the plan.
“It’s disturbing that Governor Murphy is trying to circumvent the Legislature by having the BPU rubber-stamp his plan to transform how millions of New Jersey homes are powered,” Bucco said. “Given the $1.4 trillion cost and the certain disruption to families, businesses, and communities, these policies deserve more public input than they’re getting from the governor’s friends at the BPU.”
A pair of BPU commissioners who questioned the governor’s energy plan were forced out and replaced this spring.
A prior administration effort to force the electrification of commercial boilers failed after Bucco and others highlighted that it would cost an estimated $2 million to convert each of the thousands of impacted buildings from gas to electric.
“Imagine the cost of electrifying huge commercial boilers at our county colleges,” Bucco said. “The colleges don’t have the money, so students would eventually get stuck with the bill. That’s what’s going to happen with all of these electrification efforts, somebody will be stuck paying for it.”