SJI is committed to conducting its business in a manner that protects and sustains the environment for future generations.
HELPING OUR CUSTOMERS, HELP THE ENVIRONMENT
Our utilities are dedicated to involving and engaging customers in our efforts to protect the environment and sustain our natural resources.
South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas have long prioritized energy efficiency programs as a means to help customers reduce their energy consumption and costs. To date, more than 16,000 customers have participated in these programs.
In 2006 South Jersey Gas became one of the first utilities in the country to implement a Conservation Incentive Program. Today, the program continues to encourage customers to use natural gas more efficiently and benefits both South Jersey Gas and its customers by eliminating the link between utility profits and the quantity of natural gas sold. Since its inception, customers have reduced their natural gas usage by a total of 82.1 billion cubic feet, enabling them to save $771.2 million in energy costs.
In 2018, South Jersey Gas received approval from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for an expanded energy efficiency program aimed at making efficiency even more accessible, offering $81.3 million for rebates, financing and home energy audits, as well as solutions for large commercial customers.
Customer Energy Education
To make smart decisions about their energy usage, customers must be informed. Home Energy Reports play a critical role in this process. To date, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas have collectively delivered almost one million Home Energy Reports. These personalized reports show each customer their unique energy usage data and provide recommendations for how they can control their energy consumption, cost and environmental impact.
Building Sustainable Communities
Our New Jersey utilities, South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas, are both partners with Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit group that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities and school districts as they pursue sustainability programs.
- Since 2013, South Jersey Gas has provided Sustainable Jersey with more than $757,000, contributing $55,000 in 2018.
- Since 2017, Elizabethtown Gas has provided Sustainable Jersey with more than $15,000, contributing $10,000 in 2018.
With our support, Sustainable Jersey offers a certification program, grants, educational resources and trainings that empower the communities we serve to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality.
(448 Municipalities Participating)
Sustainable Business Practices
At SJI, we take our commitment to environmental stewardship seriously. Across our business, we measure our environmental impacts while making significant efforts to reduce or mitigate them. Additionally, we employ an Environmental Management System and procedures specifically designed to minimize waste and the use of hazardous materials, energy and other natural resources.
Our Environmental Principles
- Conduct operations in compliance with all applicable environmental laws, regulations and corporate policies
- Provide sufficient resources to achieve our environmental obligations
- Promote pollution prevention and/or waste minimization through best management practices
- Strive to continuously improve our environmental performance through environmental awareness training
- Assess the effectiveness and performance of the environmental program by conducting periodic site audits
- Work with regulatory agencies to develop scientific, fact-based environmental policies and regulations
- Seek to further our environmental stewardship through development of the next generation of environmentally friendly energy technologies
Driving our Region Forward with Compressed Natural Gas
South Jersey Gas is committed to building an infrastructure for natural gas vehicles in southern New Jersey. To make conversion to compressed natural gas possible for more businesses and vehicle fleets, South Jersey Gas supports the expansion of fueling station infrastructure. Currently, South Jersey Gas supplies nine refueling stations across southern New Jersey and plans to open two additional stations in 2019.
South Jersey Gas Supplied Compressed Natural Gas Stations
(as of year-end 2018):
- Egg Harbor Township (2)
- Atlantic City
To further support the expanded use of this fuel source, South Jersey Gas has agreed to convert its entire fleet of field vehicles. In 2018, we introduced our 140th compressed natural gas vehicle and plan to add 31 more vehicles in 2019.
Our Elizabethtown Gas fleet also relies on this environmentally-friendly fuel option. To date, Elizabethtown Gas has 62 compressed natural gas vehicles in its fleet. To sustain these vehicles, Elizabethtown Gas uses a fueling station, located at its headquarters in Elizabeth, New Jersey that is also open to customers.
Environmental Investigation and Remediation
During the 1800’s manufactured gas was produced from materials such as coal and oil at Manufactured Gas Plants. When the interstate pipeline first introduced natural gas to our region in the 1950’s, these plants rapidly disappeared. However, the operations at these decommissioned plants left byproducts that require remediation to meet modern environmental standards. SJI is committed to ensuring that these sites are properly investigated and remediated and meet all environmental standards and regulations.
SJI oversees several long-inactive plants and sites owned by past or present subsidiary companies. As a result, in 2018 SJI had liabilities to 21 sites previously owned by subsidiaries and eight sites associated with former SJI subsidiary companies that required investigation or remediation.
Subsidiary Progress to Date
- Six sites have received regulatory closure
- Six sites have had substantial remediation activities completed and are in a monitoring phase
- Nine sites have remediation planned or underway
Former Subsidiary Company Progress to Date
- Eight sites associated with SJI legacy companies have either received regulatory closure or are in various stages of closure
Tracking and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As part of our effort to reduce our environmental impact, we track the greenhouse gas emissions from our natural gas delivery systems annually.
South Jersey Gas decreased its direct CO2-equivalent emissions from its system by 45 percent from 2011-2018
In 2018, Elizabethtown Gas infrastructure decreased its direct CO2 direct CO2-equivalent emissions from its system by 30 percent from 2011-2018. Elkton Gas only has cathodically protected coated steel and plastic mains and services within its system, which subsequently provides reduced greenhouse gas emissions when compared to unprotected steel and cast-iron systems.
Additionally, we track the greenhouse gas emissions from our Marina Thermal Facility in Atlantic City, New Jersey on an annual basis. The energy produced at this natural gas-powered facility emitted 43,888 tons/yr of direct CO2 emissions in 2018 – a reduction of approximately 72% when compared to a conventionally powered facility.
EPA STAR Best Management Practice
South Jersey Gas joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program in 2016 as a founding partner. The program is designed to provide a transparent platform to utilities to make, track and communicate commitments to reduce methane emissions.
The STAR Methane challenge aligns with our commitment to protect our region’s environmental and natural resources.
As part of our participation, South Jersey Gas follows the Cast Iron and Unprotected Steel Best Management Practice. We pledge to reduce emissions by replacing a significant portion of our aging and leak prone bare steel and cast-iron distribution mains and services with modern, medium-density plastic mains and services.
At the current replacement rate, South Jersey Gas expects to reduce direct CO2-equivalent emissions by our targeted annual average goal of at least 5% per year through the pipeline replacement process, anticipated to be complete by 2021.
While Elizabethtown Gas and Elkton Gas are not currently partners in the program, both utilities still prioritize safe pipeline replacement. In October 2018, Elizabethtown Gas proposed a $518 million, five-year Infrastructure Investment Program to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities – targeted at replacing vintage cast iron, bare steel, ductile iron, copper and vintage plastic mains and services.
Building an Environmentally-Friendly Workplace
As SJI continues to grow and expand, we unendingly look for opportunities to minimize our environmental footprint, including in our workplaces. In 2018, we made efforts at our facilities across New Jersey and Maryland:
- All SJI facilities have comprehensive recycling programs in place
- Our new South Jersey Gas Headquarters was built following the strict Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and processes including:
- High-efficiency LED lighting with occupancy sensors
- Automated window shades with connectivity to the HVAC system
- Waterless men’s restroom facilities
- Air hand dryers in all restroom facilities
- Filtered water stations that helped reduce the waste from discarded plastic water bottles by approximately 10,000 bottles
- Our SJI janitorial services use green chemical products and recycled materials whenever possible
- The cafeteria vendor for our new South Jersey Gas Headquarters sources food products with a focus on reducing their carbon footprint