TRENTON, NJ – On Monday December 6, 2021, the Murphy Administration left a big lump of coal in the stockings of New Jersey commercial building owners, tenants, schools and others, when it proposed a boiler electrification rule in the New Jersey Register.
“Yes, Virginia, there is an Electrification Mandate in Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan,” said Jeanette Hoffman, spokeswoman for SmartHeatNJ.
“At Monday’s Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Senate Bill 4133 (legislation that would prohibit the state from mandating electric heating or water heating systems), many opponents of the bill repeatedly stated there was no electrification mandate. The New Jersey Register proposal belies these statements. The first step in Governor Murphy’s electrification mandate is now beginning, starting with a boiler electrification mandate for small and midsize buildings, schools, and offices, among others, in 2025. And on a parallel track through an effort being coordinated by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, the Murphy Administration is beginning the process of mandating electrification of single family homes.”
“Unfortunately, Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan is the worst gift ever for New Jersey homeowners,” Hoffman said. “The electrification mandate will leave businesses and homeowners out in the cold, with higher energy costs, increased winter power outages, and over $20,000 in conversion costs for a 2,000 square foot home.”
At 53 NJR 1953 (page 43) the NJDEP proposal reads:
“Pursuant to the proposed amendments at N.J.A.C. 7:27-8.14, 8.18, and 22.16, as well as proposed new N.J.A.C. 7:27F-4.2, Applicability, and 4.4, Additional requirement necessary to permit a fossil fuel-fired boiler with a maximum gross heat input rating equal to or greater than one MMBTU/hr and less than five MMBTU/hr, on or after January 1, 2025, the Department will not issue a permit for a fossil fuel-fired boiler with a maximum gross heat input rating equal to or greater than one MMBTU/hr and less than five MMBTU/hr, unless the owner or operator has met the additional requirement at proposed N.J.A.C. 7:27F-4.4. Specifically, an application for a permit or permit revision submitted pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:27-8 or 22, must demonstrate that a fossil fuel free heating mechanism is technically infeasible, based on physical, chemical, or engineering principles; or is infeasible because interruption in boiler operations caused by an electrical outage could jeopardize public health, life, or safety.
“Anything is ‘technically feasible’ – the only issue is how much the ‘anything’ will cost and who has to pay for it,” Hoffman continued. “A recent news article states this regulation will cost Rutgers University $500 million! The urgency for the Legislature to enact Senate Bill 4133 is greater now than it was even 48 hours ago. Families and businesses deserve to have options in their clean energy sources, including net zero carbon fuel.”