Some New Jersey lawmakers are reacting with disgust and anger after learning a new report on what the impact of Gov. Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan will be on ratepayers does not contain any information at all about how much ratepayers will wind up paying as the Master Plan is implemented.

Almost 3 years ago Murphy unveiled the EMP, which calls for a 100% transition to wind and solar clean energy in New Jersey by 2050, but there has never been any details offered on what the plan will cost consumers and business owners.

When the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Energy Master Plan Ratepayer Impact Study was released on Wednesday, its main finding was New Jerseyans who adopt clean energy technology by 2030 could wind up saving a few hundred dollars a month on their utility bills, and those who do nothing will pay a little more every month.

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, said the study, which was paid for by the residents of the state, was a monumental waste of money.

Gary Shannon
Gary Shannon
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It's 'a pile of garbage'

“It ignores the cost of ripping out and replacing appliances, heaters, boilers, you name it, that’s outrageous, we waited 3 years for this, a pile of garbage,” he said.

He said “if in order to save 10% on your electric bill, what is that, a couple of hundred bucks a year, you have to spend $30,000, that’s just a load of garbage, it is a useless document because it leaves out critical costs.”

State Sen. Tony Bucco, R-Morris, agrees the report is ridiculous
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“First the report is almost 3 years overdue, then when it comes out the information contained in the report isn’t really useful at all,” he said

It's not rocket science

He pointed out “in the report it says that if you use less energy it will be cheaper, well you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.”

Bucco said,“If you don’t know what the up-front costs are how do you know whether or not it’s beneficial to you in the end.”

O’Scanlon said it almost appears as if the study was done in a way to hide the true costs consumers will have to bear in the coming years.

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Jaykayl
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Let people know what the truth is

He said promoting clean energy is important but people need to be given a clear understanding of what this policy is going to cost them.

“It is incumbent on the governor to be transparent, but this administration has been the least transparent of any administration I’ve ever dealt with,” said O’Scanlon.

Bucco said what we really need is a report that tells us “what are the costs to the public to buying a new electric vehicle, what are the costs of replacing all of your natural gas appliances and heating systems.”

O’Scanlon’s message to governor Murphy is “don’t hide and only have people find out years later once the commitments have been made that they have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on new equipment to be able to abide by this commitment, it’s insanity.”

Many families are struggling

Bucco said more than half of all Jersey families are living paycheck to paycheck “so how can you go to those families and say you need to spend all this money now to potentially save a few hundred dollars a year going forward.”

He added most people are not aware this policy is coming and “once they find out this is coming there is going to be an uproar.”

He also pointed out that the government incentives and rebates that could be offered for people to convert to all-electric homes and vehicles will be supported by New Jersey taxpayers, which means taxes will have to be raised in order for people to have to get incentive deals to purchase systems that will still be very costly, so it doesn’t make sense.

BPU members have stated the report does not factor in capital costs because there is no way to know how much they will be in the coming years.

O’Scanlon said he is also troubled after hearing the report does not properly take into account the cost of additional electric capacity generation and upgrading transmission lines in the state that will be necessary.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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