Freiman, Swain & Tully Bill to Require Treasurer to Review State Energy Usage & Spending Clears Committee

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Roy Freiman, Lisa Swain and Christopher Tully to reduce state expenditures on energy consumption and help the state reach its goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2050 was released by the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee Monday.

The bill (A-4123) requires the State Treasurer, in conjunction with the Board of Public Utilities, to conduct a review of energy usage at state buildings, centers, and facilities.

“New Jersey needs to be smarter with how it spends its money. Let’s start with energy,” said Freiman (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon). “Every extra unnecessary dollar spent on state energy bills is a burden on New Jersey taxpayers. A regular audit on energy spending will make for a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”

Under the bill, the state treasurer is directed to submit a written report to the legislature summarizing the results of this review, providing recommendations for actions the state may take to reduce its energy consumption, and analyzing means to reduce state spending on energy consumption if the recommendations are implemented.

“In discussing the clean energy and the potential use of nuclear energy, we realized the lack of real tracking of the state’s actual energy consumption,” said Swain (D-Bergen, Passaic). “When we can better identify potential areas on energy conservation, we can reduce the state’s energy cost and meet the state’s clean energy goal.”

“Ensuring the proper use of state energy resources includes reigning in state spending on our energy needs,” said Tully (Bergen, Passaic). “An audit on state energy consumption will help us ensure we are making the best decisions when it comes to providing for our state buildings, centers, and facilities.”

The State Treasurer would also be required to, within 30 days after the date the bill is enacted, to provide a written report to the legislature identifying the state buildings, centers, and facilities for which energy audits were completed or updated in the two calendar years prior to the bill being enacted into law.
According to the Governor’s detailed budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019, four State facility energy audits were completed or updated in Fiscal Year 2017, and six will be completed or updated in Fiscal Year 2018.

The bill will now be further reviewed by the Assembly Speaker.