10.10.2012Author: Kenneth J. Sheehan, Esq. and Cynthia L. M. Holland, Esq. View the article (pdf) Earlier this year, Governor Christie signed L. 2011, c. 216 (codified at N.J.S.A. 48:3-60.3), authorizing commercial and industrial ratepayers to credit the cost of certain energy efficiency expenditures against the societal benefits charge ("SBC"). This credit is intended to provide commercial and industrial ratepayers an additional incentive to install and use energy efficient goods and services by reducing or eliminating the SBC charge in the following year or years. The proposed credit can be as much as 100% of the SBC obligation, and may be carried forward from year to year for up to 10 years. The SBC, imposed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:3-60 and collected as a non-bypassable charge by the electric and gas public utilities, is incorporated into the electric and gas utility bills of customers throughout the State. The SBC provides, in part, a fund for the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities ("BPU") to provide energy efficiency and renewable energy programs throughout the State. Because the SBC is a usage-based charge, customers that use the most electricity and gas, such as large commercial and industrial entities, bear the greatest burden for the SBC. Therefore, a credit against the SBC may result in substantial savings for commercial and industrial ratepayers. To read the full article, please click above.