TRENTON, N.J. – A measure (A4535) permitting public-private partnerships for energy-related projects cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee today creating an opportunity for more savings and freeing up public funds say sponsors Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips and Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce.
“Everyone will see savings as a result of this legislation,” said DePhillips (R-Bergen). “We won’t burden our taxpayers for energy upgrades in our public schools and municipal buildings. Public entities can get a more energy efficient infrastructure and the private companies can use the utility savings.”
The bill would permit government entities to enter into a contract with a private company to take over projects like replacing old heating and cooling systems or updating lighting to make them more energy efficient. The private company would be permitted to keep the difference in utility costs.
“It is a win-win,” said DeCroce (R-Morris). “This legislation will allow long-overdue projects to be undertaken without incurring the expense of millions of dollars in public funds. We will receive more reliable power in our government facilities.”
State law has allowed state and local governments as well as public school districts to form similar types of partnerships, commonly referred to as P3 agreements, for transportation and building projects.
The legislation would also create an Energy P3 unit in the Economic Development Authority to review and approve proposed projects. After three years of enactment, the EDA would be required to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature outlining the number, nature and scope of the agreements.
The bill is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly on Monday.