ESG 2019 Annual Report

The Environment

Helping Our Customers, Help the Environment

SJI is committed to conducting its business in a manner that protects and sustains the environment for future generations.

Energy Efficiency for Customers

Our utilities are dedicated to involving and engaging customers in our efforts to protect the environment and sustain our natural resources. Combined, SJG and ETG have invested more than $118,000,000 in energy efficiency programs.

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 51,000 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 101.3 billion cubic feet, enabling them to save $915.9 million in energy costs and reduce 5.56 million metric tons of CO2.

In 2018, South Jersey Gas expanded its energy efficiency programs, making them more accessible to our customers and offering $72 million in rebates, financing, an efficient products marketplace, residential weatherization program for low to moderate income customers and home energy audits as well as solutions for commercial customers. The South Jersey Gas energy efficiency suite of programs, Smart Energy Partners, represents our commitment to energy efficiency and helping customers save energy and money. The program offers customers 0% interest loans and rebates for customers that upgrade to high-efficiency equipment. Additionally, through the South Jersey Gas Marketplace, our online store customers can access $150 instant rebates on smart thermostats and 50% discounts on LED light bulbs, advanced power strips and water-saving products. Over 18,500 customers ordered over 26,400 rebated efficient products to date.

To support energy efficiency, community outreach and education, South Jersey Gas partners with Sustainable Jersey and the Alliance to Save Energy PowerSave Schools program. Sustainable Jersey works with communities and school districts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental quality. Through 2019, South Jersey Gas has provided Sustainable Jersey with over $850 million to support their efforts in southern New Jersey. PowerSave Schools program empowers students to grow as leaders, apply academic knowledge to solve real-world challenges and move their schools and communities toward a greener future. To date, 42 schools have participated in the program.

Elizabethtown Gas offers a collection of energy efficiency programs including high efficiency equipment rebates, home energy assessments and a commercial steam trap program for hospitals. Both of our utilities also offer additional programs for income-qualified customers.

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 more than 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.

Looking ahead, we remain committed to energy efficiency access and education, with a focus on benefitting our customers and the environment.

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 $850,000.
  • Since 2017, Elizabethtown Gas has provided Sustainable Jersey with more than $30,000.

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.

This is just the beginning. SJG and ETG will further solidify our commitment to the state’s climate priorities with the filing we expect to submit to the NJBPU in September 2020 to expand our energy efficiency investments for South Jersey Gas and its sister utility, Elizabethtown Gas, to advance New Jersey’s clean energy goals in a manner that will benefit our customers, the environment  and grow New Jersey’s green economy.

Sustainable Jersey

Waste Minimization and Recycling Program

SJI minimizes its waste production through source reduction, effective purchasing, chemical substitution, good housekeeping, and recycling when possible. SJI is proud of our recycling of asphalt, concrete, used oil, inefficient lighting lamps and blasts, contaminated soils, wood waste and more. In 2019, SJI recycled 798 tons of business-related pipeline construction and division / office location debris, which was 69% of total waste information available at the time of the report.  SJI manages necessary waste disposal responsibly and we schedule frequent disposal pick-ups with waste disposal contractors. 

SJI oversees Spill Prevention, Air Pollution Prevention, and Site Remediation programs and participates in EPA’s WaterWise. EPA’s WasteWise encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce select industrial wastes. WasteWise is part of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts, which promote the use and reuse of materials more productively over their entire life cycles. 

Water Disclosure

SJI has already implemented water use reduction methods through low flow or waterless restroom facilities and filtered water stations that helped reduce the waste from discarded plastic water bottles.  Based on SJI’s current operations, water is not considered a material issue, which is the same for our utilities. Our goal at SJI is to maintain compliance with all environmental regulations and minimize any water impacts as a result of our operations. 


Emissions Reduced during Natural Gas Blowdown Events

SJG and ETG have recently implemented blowdown gas recovery initiatives by shortening line segments to be blown down using pressure control fittings and/or routing gas to a lower pressure system to reduce system pressure prior to maintenance.  As summarized below, SJI attained 64% reduction from distribution and transmission pipeline blowdown events in 2019 (Jan 1 – Dec 31) during the initial phase of implementing this best management practice.

2019 Emissions Reduced during Natural Gas Blowdown Events SJI SJG ETG
Natural Gas Volume Released during Blowdown, cf 779,310 672,767 106,542
Natural Gas Volume Saved, cf 1,402,476 1,348,181 54,295
CO2e Emissions Reduced, metric tons/yr 640 615 25
Percent CO2e Emissions Reduced, metric tons/yr 64% 67% 34%

SJI anticipates continued success with this blowdown emissions reduction initiative in 2020 and beyond.