New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) announced two initiatives to support the state’s clean energy goals. NJNG has installed a photovoltaic (PV) cell system at its William L. Maude Service Center in Wall, New Jersey that will use solar energy to produce approximately nine percent of the facility’s electricity. NJNG also will be the first energy utility in the state to implement a new option allowing customers to make voluntary contributions to the New Jersey Clean Energy Program through their bill.Wall, New Jersey – October 27, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] “Our commitment to our communities includes working to protect our environment and preserve our natural resources,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO. “It is fundamental to our business to ‘think green,’ by promoting energy conservation and renewable energy and through efforts to protect our environment such as recycling and neighborhood enhancement projects. We commend the state’s leadership in promoting initiatives that improve the quality of life for all New Jerseyans.” New Jersey is one of the most progressive state in terms of support for renewable energy. The state has established a goal to have 20 percent of New Jersey’s energy from renewable energy sources by 2020. The PV system installed at the Maude Service Center uses rooftop panels to convert renewable solar energy into electricity. It will generate approximately 25,800 kilowatt-hours each year for the facility, saving an estimated $2,800 in yearly electricity expenses. By using the sun to generate electricity, the system will eliminate about 43,300 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions annually that would have been produced if the electricity were purchased from the local utility. “Energy independence and reliability are areas of critical importance to our state’s residents and businesses,” said Seema M. Singh, director of the Division of the Ratepayer Advocate. “Programs that promote energy efficiency and distributed clean energy play an important role in meeting these goals.” NJNG also is introducing a new BPU initiative to offer customers the option to contribute to the New Jersey Clean Energy Program through their natural gas bill. This statewide program, launched in 2001, promotes energy efficient equipment, energy-saving practices and the use of renewable energy sources. The program’s aim is to help preserve natural resources and reduce the need to add conventional power plants while improving the overall reliability of the power grid. “The state’s voluntary contribution program offers an additional avenue for customers to help support the environment,” Downes said. “Developing innovative ways to implement the state’s plans for protecting the environment is the responsibility of all New Jersey’s utilities. To further advance this important new initiative, NJNG will match customer contributions with 50 cents for every dollar donated, up to $50,000,” he said. Through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program, rebates are available for up to 60 percent of the cost of eligible renewable energy systems, including PV, small wind, sustainable biomass technology, or fuel cells using a renewable fuel source. NJNG will receive a rebate of $106,520 from the program for its PV system, which cost $195,117 and demonstrates the benefits of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program to encourage others to participate. As part of its efforts to help build the market for renewable energy technologies, NJNG has installed a PV array that powers the spotlight on the flag at the Maude Service Center to showcase the benefits of solar technology.