NJ Board of Public Utilities approves energy efficiency plans, president says gas stoves won’t be banned

The board approved three years’ worth of plans to increase the number of buildings in the state that run on electricity – including incentives for those who voluntarily switch to electric power.

Matt Trapani

Jul 26, 2023, 9:12 PM

Updated 323 days ago

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The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on Wednesday approved energy efficiency plans it says will save customers millions of dollars and reduce carbon emissions. The plans were controversial because they were mischaracterized by opponents as a ban on gas stoves.
The board approved three years’ worth of plans to increase the number of buildings in the state that run on electricity – including incentives for those who voluntarily switch to electric power.
Board of Public Utilities president Joe Fiordaliso says that he wants to quell the social media rumor mill that gas stoves would be banned in New Jersey.
“We are not requiring; we are not mandating anyone to give up their gas stoves. If that were the case, I'd be thrown out of my own house,” Fiordaliso said. “We are not coming for your gas stove or your local pizza shop's oven. We are not forcing you or anyone to do anything in any way.”
Fiordaliso’s statements mirror similar language Gov. Phil Murphy used in February when he was speaking about ending new gas-powered car sales by 2035. The governor says he wants New Jersey to be powered 100% by clean energy by 2050.
These are all pieces of the governor's energy master plan, but it's still unclear exactly how much it would cost.
Republican lawmakers and some Democrats still don't like this plan. They say it's going too fast, even if giving up a gas stove or heater is voluntary and subsidized. Republicans say that the Board of Public Utilities is overstepping its authority.
The Murphy administration says the already present effects of climate change in severe storms and heavier rainfall make this transition to clean energy all the more urgent.
This has already become a campaign issue. Fiordaliso has worn a wind turbine lapel pin for years. But at Wednesday’s meeting, he was also sporting a pin given to him by Republican state Sen. Mike Testa featuring the symbol for nuclear power.


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