Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get answers to common questions and more specific situations about all kinds of businesses.

What energy efficiency incentive programs are available to New Jersey businesses?

1. New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU)

The BPU is a regulatory authority with a statutory mandate to ensure safe, adequate, and proper utility services at reasonable rates for customers in New Jersey. In 2011, $77 million is available to corporate and commercial customers paying a Societal Benefits Charge (SBC) on their utility bills and who are moving forward with certain energy efficiency projects.

General Program Process:

• Most benefits require pre-approval prior to equipment installation. Some exemptions exist for prescriptive HVAC and premium motors applications with incentives below $5,000.

• Pre and post inspections requirements are determined by a number of factors including incentive value, technology and program. Estimated incentives $25,000 and greater will likely be pre- and post-inspected.

• Incentives ≥$300,000 require Board of Public Utilities (BPU) approval. BPU Board meetings are held roughly once per month. BPU’s Board meeting schedule can be found on the BPU’s website:

• Program administration outsourced to TRC Energy Services.
• Installed efficiency measures must be manufactured in the U.S.

• Application documents must be prepared by TRC 3-4 weeks in advance of the BPU Board meeting.

2. SmartStart Program, Prescriptive Measures

• $14 million available and allows customers to choose equipment from a pre-qualified list of energy-efficiency measures and receive a fixed incentive.

• Commercial and industrial customers of any size are eligible.

• Incentive capped at $500,000 per year per electric and natural gas utility account.

• Designed for customers who have projects beyond the design phase. These projects may include new construction, renovation, remodeling, and equipment replacement.

• Prescriptive measures are those technologies where energy savings can be predicted with reasonable accuracy. These technologies include:

  • Electric Chillers Gas Cooling
  • Electric Unitary HVAC Ground Source Heat Pumps
  • Gas Heating Variable Frequency Drives
  • Gas Water Heating Premium Motors
  • Prescriptive Lighting Lighting Controls
  • Performance Lighting Refrigeration Controls
  • Refrigeration Doors/Covers

3. SmartStart Program, Custom Measures

• Incentive available for new and/or innovative energy efficiency technologies not offered a prescriptive incentive.
• For projects more complex than prescriptive measures, but involving less than a whole building design.
• Incentive capped at $500,000 per year per electric and natural gas utility account.
• Customers are required to provide a detailed analysis of technology.
• Incentives are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
• To be eligible, a proposed electric project must offer a reduction of 75,000 kWh annual energy savings.
• Gas projects are required to reduce gas usage by 1,500 therms annually.

4. Pay For Performance

• $27 million available for new construction and existing building projects. Holistic building approach for higher levels of energy performance geared to new construction and existing building projects.

• $1 million per electric meter; $1 million for natural gas meter; another $1 million for Combined Heat and Power. Annual entity cap of $4 million.

• A large network of approved Program Partners provide technical services to the customer to walk them through the program.

• Customer’s selected Partner develops an Energy Reduction Plan for each project that includes technical components, a financial plan for funding the energy efficient measures, and a construction schedule for installation.

Existing Buildings

  • For buildings over 100 kW peak demand.
  • A minimum 15 percent total energy savings is required to participate in the program. Industrial customers must meet a minimum energy savings of 100,000 kWh, 350 MMBTU or 4 percent of total facility consumption, whichever is greater.
  • Incentives split with some paid upfront, some upon completion, and the remainder after measured savings.

New Construction/Major Gut Rehabilitation

  • Project site must be 50,000 square feet or larger and must be in a Smart Growth area as defined by the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
  • A minimum of 15 percent energy savings must be achieved over existing building code. (Currently ASHRAE 90.1-2007 is recognized.)
  • Incentives are awarded as program milestones are completed with the final incentive paid following a comprehensive measurement and verification report that proves the savings targets have been met or exceeded.

5. Direct Install

• $18.3 million available.

• Provides direct installation of prescribed measures that save electric and/or natural gas for customers with 150 kW peak monthly demand over a 12-month period.

• Local approved contractors install measures based on building needs and 70 percent of the material and labor costs are incentivized and paid to the installing contractor. Business pays for the remaining 30 percent.

• Incentives are limited to $75,000 per project; $250,000 per entity.

• Recommended measures must achieve savings criteria through program resource cost test.

• Average length of time for job completion, 4-6 months.

6. Free Energy Benchmarking

• This free service provides energy managers and building owners with a performance assessment and valuable information on how to get your project started.

• Benchmarking is available for hospitals and healthcare, municipalities, industries, hospitality, multifamily, higher education, retail and other commercial accounts.

• For 2011, K-12 public schools are eligible for free energy benchmarking.

7. NJ Clean Energy Program

New Jersey's Clean Energy Program is a statewide program that offers financial incentives, programs and services for New Jersey residents, business owners and local governments to help them save energy, money and the environment.

• Rebate Quicklinks
• Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) Program

8. Local Government Energy Audit

The Local Government Energy Audit is available to qualifying local governmental and non-profit entities, as well as state colleges and universities. NJCEP provides 100% reimbursement for investment grade energy audits by a prequalified network of energy auditing firms. It allows them to examine their facilities and see how they can improve their energy use.

The program can help you identify cost-justified energy-efficiency measures, as well as subsidize the full cost of the audit. The entire audit process including customer assistance, application processing and auditing will be performed by TRC Energy Services, the Program Manager for New Jersey's Clean Energy Program (NJCEP). More details are available about the LGEA program in the Program Guide and FAQs.

The LGEA Application Workbook walks applicants through the application requirements. If you have additional questions, please contact us at 866-NJSMART (657-6278) or by email at

Note: If you have submitted a question or application to this email address and have not received a response within five business days, please contact our office at (732) 855-0033 extension 0.

Rockland Electric

Toni Graziano, Manager Economic Development
One Lethbridge Plaza, Suite 32
Mahwah, NJ  07430

Rockland Electric Incentive Program

Rockland offers a 20% discount on the delivery portion of a company’s electric bill for 5 years.

• An application must be submitted prior to signing a lease or purchasing a property. State the anticipated date on which a lease will be signed, or the closing of sale.

• Provide suitable documentation that Applicant has qualified for and will receive a comprehensive package of economic incentives conferred by the local municipality or state authorities including substantial financial assistance or a substantial tax incentive program designed to maintain or increase employment levels in the service area.

• Customers must construct a new building, purchase or lease an existing building that’s been vacant for three months or expand an existing building.

• The space must be at least 7,500 square feet and require no additional investment to serve the new load.

• The customer’s overall employee count must grow.

• It provides a 20% discount off the electric delivery portion of the rate to qualified commercial and industrial customers for five years.

• Customers must operate under a qualifying North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. (qualifying codes specified in attached)

Atlantic City Electric

J. Mike Charles, Regional Account Manager
Atlantic City Electric

10 Cohansey Street
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
856-453-5012 office; 856-305-0032 cell

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