CHIVUKULA, GREENSTEIN & VAINIERI HUTTLE BILL TO ALLOW MORE BUSINESSES TO QUALIFY FOR ENERGY INCENTIVES CONTINUES ADVANCING

(TRENTON) — Pro-business legislation Assembly members Upendra Chivukula, Linda Greenstein and Valerie Vainieri Huttle sponsored to allow more businesses to qualify for energy-related incentives and funding continues to advance.

The bill (A-906) requires the Board of Public Utilities to provide equal opportunity for prospective business applicants from all areas of the state to apply for and receive incentives for funding under programs that the board determines would be funded by the societal benefits charge, which is collected from all electric public utility customers.

“All businesses, no matter where they’re located, should have access to this vital program that supports renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Chivukula (D-Somerset/Middlesex), who chairs the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee that released the bill. “Helping businesses grow and prosper is the right thing to do as we battle through this recession.”

Under current law, the BPU focuses these incentive grants on designated growth areas, pursuant to the State Plan. This legislation would direct the BPU to also make these grants available to parts of the state that are not specifically designated for growth.

“Whether a business can benefit from these incentives and funding has nothing to do with where they are located,” said Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “Job growth and economic development is crucial throughout our state.”

“A map shouldn’t decide whether a business gets this vital help,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “What should matter is whether energy-related incentives and funding offered by this program can spur business and job growth and boost our economy.”

The bill was recently approved 76-0 by the Assembly and has now been referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

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