Cost to Families

The strains on working families that would result from the current EMP—both financial and practical—are entirely avoidable.

Without a directional shift within New Jersey’s Energy Master Plan (EMP), the cost to families will be incredible. From the actual cost, in dollars, to the time and money lost when the power grid inevitably fails, the people of New Jersey will pay dearly.

Affordability: Within Our Reach, But Not This Way

Comfort Zone:

Stay in the Comfort Zone when you heat your home with a zero-carbon alternative that enables you to maintain your same heating system.

The Legislature should require existing fossil fuels to begin phasing in renewables now and increase the percentage to 100% by 2050.

Cold Days, Cold Nights:

In an average-sized home the estimated cost for heat pumps in just two rooms is $4,000 to $7,000. Cost aside, this is only two rooms! For the cost of living in New Jersey, you should really get to enjoy your entire house, regardless of the weather.

Toasty and Cozy? Not Exactly. And at What Cost?

Yes, in theory you can fully heat your home by putting a heat pump in every room. But when temperatures drop below freezing, your electric heat pump may not be able to generate enough heat to keep you warm. And $20,000 is a lot of money for a lot of uncertainty.

Learn more about heat pumps and the consequences of an all-heat-pump approach.

Take a look at the potential costs families will face if mandatory heat pumps become a reality.

The Energy Master Plan states the following:

Because efficient, electrified heat from air- and ground-source heat pumps is less expensive than propane and heating oil, the most significant expenditures will be the one-time capital cost of installing the electric heating system, which costs an average of $4,000 to $7,000 for a typical residence … state policy will have to aggressively target existing natural gas-heated buildings to reduce emissions and achieve aggregate energy demand reductions.

The reality:
For many families, the actual cost is closer to $20,000—and could surpass that—depending on the size of your home. That’s because the Energy Master Plan only factored in one unit that would heat and cool 2, maybe 3 rooms. Recent studies offer a real-world look at the costs associated with the installation of residential air-source heat pump systems as well as the technical implications of complete electric conversion of residential heating and hot water systems from fossil fuels to electricity.

Purchase Power…Outage

In June 2020, Stephen Bennett, the editor of Fuel Oil News wrote, “The New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition…said that complying with the EMP would add $100,000 to the cost of a new, 2,400-square-foot house.”

Strain on the grid presents another consequential cost to NJ families.

cold As stated in the “Power Failure” section of the NJ Office of Emergency Management’s 2019 Hazard Mitigation Program, “Power failure is particularly problematic for homes that are heated with electricity. Widespread power outages during the winter months can directly impact vulnerable populations such as the elderly and medically frail.”

Widespread power outages also impact people’s ability to earn their income and care for their families, especially with the work-from-home community seeing extensive expansion since the early days of the pandemic. (See Table 5.22-3 “Power Failure Events That Have Affected New Jersey,” on page 7, for an at-a-glance look back at major power failures.)

Cold-Weather Woes

One way the industry may deal with managing the grid-strain challenge is by incentivizing people’s electric use, meaning people would pay more to use electricity during peak times. (You may see this talked about as time-of-use, or TOU, pricing.) However, the reality is that under the current EMP, working families would be asked to make a change that many of them are not in a financial position to make. And the cold weather doesn’t wait for off-peak hours, when the rates may be lower, to rear its ugly head.

Finding Common Ground

With sensible solutions that include the range of low- and zero-carbon fuels currently available, the opportunity for legislators on both sides of the aisle to find common ground is achievable. Learn more!