Energy Efficiency Bill Would Encourage Vendors to Bid on Projects


Lawmakers are trying to craft fixes to a program to help local and state governments save taxpayer money by reducing how much energy they use. But whether the changes go far enough is a matter of dispute — even among the proposal’s proponents.

The bill (S-1753) aims to overhaul the Energy Savings Improvement Program, which advocates say could save hundreds of millions of dollars for governments if impediments discouraging energy companies from participating in the effort were removed.

Without giving these companies more flexibility in deciding who actually performs the energy efficiency work, they will never invest in long-term contracts that guarantee energy savings, according to some who have followed the bill through the legislature.

The original law, approved more than three years ago, was designed to allow government entities to enter into performance-based contracts with energy service companies, enabling them to cut energy use without any capital expenditures. The agencies pay off the projects over a 15- to 20-year period through the energy savings they capture, which can run as much as 25 percent.
Among other things, the bill moving through the legislature, would eliminate a requirement that state contracts be awarded to the lowest bidder. Instead, it would allow contracts to be awarded on a basis of best value, a standard that would allow New Jersey to award deals based on which bids provide the greatest energy savings.

“There are literally hundreds of millions of dollars of projects that can be done,’’ said Steve Goldenberg, an energy lawyer who has been pushing for changes in the law.

According to studies the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on utility bills, a large portion of which is waste. Homeowners lose an estimated $40 of every $100 spent on heating and cooling to leakage alone.

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(Excerpt of article posted by Tom Johnson, March 27, 2012 in  the Energy & Environment news section of NJ Spotlight. NOT AFFILIATED WITH LAMBOO INC.)

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Blog by: Dustin Dennison

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