New Jersey renewable electricity plan still under consideration
Months after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie introduced his new Energy Master Plan, the state continues to consider feedback on the proposal, according to NJSpotlight.
The plan proved controversial as it took a major turn from policies of the past decade that have made New Jersey an important hub for renewable electricity such as solar power and biomass.
Christie's most controversial proposal was the elimination of the social benefits charge, which is added on to most consumers' electricity bills. The surcharge funds many of the state's clean energy ventures and managed to raise $312 million this fiscal year, but can cost larger businesses as much as $1 million on top of already high electricity rates.
To address these proposals, the Board of Public Utilities split Christie's plan among several working groups, whose recommendations it will consider in a series of public meetings.
In the meantime, the state is hoping to further encourage investment in renewable electricity plants by opposing recent transmission line incentives provided by the federal government. NJSpotlight reports the state has filed a complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission arguing the policy discourages investment in local electricity generation.