Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) of New Jersey announced plans to invest in more efficient electric delivery equipment, a move expected to reduce energy use and cut carbon emissions by 60,000 tons by the year 2020.

Energy efficiency is a cost-effective carbon reduction method, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for new generation. PSE&G plans to use more energy-efficient primary and secondary wires for new overhead installations, install more energy-efficient transformers atop utility poles when new or replacement units are needed and expedite the replacement of aging transformer banks with state-of-the-art units in some of its electrical substations.

Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G, said the utility will make these investments throughout its service territory, an area that stretches from Bergen County to Camden County. It will involve the annual installation of about 891,000 feet of new or replacement wires and the replacement of 16 aging transformer banks in substations statewide.

The cumulative impact of these changes through the year 2020 is expected to be a reduction of 100 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and approximately 60,000 tons of CO2. The electricity that will be saved is enough to power an average home for 14,000 years, and the carbon reduction is equivalent to taking 14,000 cars off the road.

This is the latest in a series of steps the company has recently announced, aimed at helping New Jersey achieve the goals put forth in the state’s Energy Master Plan. The goals include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and reducing the state’s energy demand by 20 percent by 2020. PSE&G recently detailed an initiative to spur investment in solar energy as well as plans to transform its vehicle fleet to one that is cleaner and greener.

In addition, The U.S. Department of Energy currently is considering mandating higher efficiency standards for transformers. The recommended standards would begin with an initial increase in efficiency in 2009 and require even higher efficiencies starting in 2013. Therefore, PSE&G currently is installing energy-efficient transformers intended for the 2009 proposal and is on track to invest as early as next year in the units that are being proposed for 2013.     EC