Dear New Jersey Leader:
I’m pleased to start the new year by sharing some great news on a number of fronts. Bills for PSE&G’s residential gas customers are dropping for the seventh straight year; our $1.2 billion infrastructure upgrades are making New Jersey “Energy Strong;” we received approval to build more solar farms on landfills and brownfields; and this year we upgraded 177 miles of gas pipes in more than 80 towns across our service area. Importantly, this work is creating good-paying jobs with benefits for the people of New Jersey.
Gas bills are half what they were in 2009
Overall, customers’ natural gas bills are lower even as PSE&G continues significant improvements designed to make its infrastructure more reliable and more resilient. In January and February, PSE&G is providing bill credits that will lower monthly bills by 9 percent for our typical residential gas heating customers. The bill credits are in addition to a 3 percent annual bill decrease that took effect Oct. 1. Since January 2009, annual bills for our residential gas heating customers are 52 percent – or $879 – lower due to supply rate reductions.
Teaming with Google and EDF to Stop Methane Leaks
Our three-year, $905 million Gas System Modernization Program is well under way. To help us determine which gas pipes to replace first, we are the first utility to collaborate with the Environmental Defense Fund and use methane emissions in addition to the condition and location of the gas mains. A high-tech Google Street View car rode along targeted areas to determine which pipes were leaking the most methane. Using this information, we are reducing more methane emissions at less cost – replacing 35 percent fewer miles of pipe than would have been necessary to achieve the same emission savings without the EDF’s methane data. Read more about the methane mapping in an article that appeared in The Record last month: http://bit.ly/mappingmethane
In addition to ensuring the continued safety and reliability of our gas system, our program is creating 500 jobs. Last year alone, PSE&G hired 195 new, full-time employees for entry-level jobs, as well as supervisors and project managers. These are good-paying, blue-collar jobs with benefits.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the municipal officials, town engineers, local police, residents and businesses for their cooperation and patience as we complete these important upgrades.
ReliabilityOne Award 15 years running
I’m proud to report that PSE&G was recognized as the most reliable electric utility in the Mid-Atlantic region for the 15th year in a row. This award would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our employees. We have invested millions of dollars to protect and strengthen our electric network against severe weather. But when storms do occur, our employees are on the front lines, safely responding to outages.
I’m also pleased to share that last month PSE&G was recognized for outstanding customer satisfaction for the second year by Cogent Reports, and Forbes Magazine named PSE&G to its JUST 100 list – which celebrates America’s best corporate citizens.
Making New Jersey ‘Energy Strong’
We are making solid progress with our $1.2 billion Energy Strong program to make our electric and gas systems more resilient against severe weather. When Energy Strong’s work is complete, 460,000 of our 2 million customers who lost power in Superstorm Sandy won’t lose power in the next storm due to flooding – and all 2.2 million of our electric customers will experience faster restoration times.
Because of our infrastructure investments to date, if a Sandy-like storm were to occur today, about 225,000 customers affected by flooded substations and switching stations during Sandy would not lose power, and 1.3 million customers would be more quickly restored. For natural gas customers, 90,000 customers are no longer at risk of losing service from floodwaters seeping into previously leak-prone mains.
Adding more universal solar; making energy efficiency a priority
Our Solar 4 All® Program received an extension from the Board of Public Utilities that will allow us to build an additional 33 megawatts-dc of solar farms on landfills and brownfields in PSE&G’s electric service territory. With this new approval, Solar 4 All is now a 158 megawatt-dc program that creates jobs, aligns with the New Jersey Energy Master Plan and helps the environment by directly increasing the amount of grid-connected solar power in the state. Read more in an article that recently appeared in The Star Ledger: http://bit.ly/PSEGsolar4all. We have also invested hundreds of millions on energy efficiency efforts that help key customer groups, like hospitals, multifamily buildings, small businesses, non-profits and government agencies, save money by using energy more wisely.
Assistance available paying heating bills
I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that payment assistance is available to help those in need. Under the NJ SHARES program, New Jersey customers can make a donation and PSE&G will match it, dollar for dollar, to help a fellow PSE&G customer in our service area. More information about payment assistance programs is available at www.pseg.com/help.
Thank you for this opportunity to update you on news important to our company, community and customers. As always, if you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy and safe new year.