Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) plans to reduce its annual carbon emissions by more than 81,000 tons by replacing 1,300 vehicles with hybrids and making changes in other areas of its corporate fleet. Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated electric and gas delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.
During the next decade, the utility will invest in hybrid cars and light trucks, hybrid bucket truck prototypes, electric-drives and alternative fuels in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. PSE&G will begin its vehicle replacement program this year.
As part of the program PSE&G will become one of the first utilities in the nation using hybrid aerial lifts (bucket trucks). PSE&G has already purchased two and is scheduled to receive them later this year.
While the utility tests the new hybrid lifts for safety and durability, it will be expediting the installation of electric drive units in its 450 traditional aerial lifts. Electric drives allow utility workers to operate the lift, or the bucket, on battery power rather than keeping the engine running. A three-hour reduction in engine idle time per truck per day over the next decade will result in 6.5 million gallons of fuel savings and 73,000 tons of CO2 reduction.
Ralph LaRossa, president and chief operating officer of PSE&G, said the program represents a continuing effort by the company to help the state achieve a goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, which will require a 20% reduction equal to approximately 46 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). Last month, PSE&G announced plans to invest $100 million in up-front capital to spur investment in solar energy in New Jersey.
Action cannot be focused solely on energy, if we are to make progress in combating climate change. The fact is that transportation is New Jersey’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, estimated to account for about half of all emissions. Focusing on transportation must be part of the strategy. To that end, we are transforming our fleet to one that is cleaner and greener—one that will allow us to make immediate gains in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.—Ralph LaRossa
PSE&G began fueling the diesel-powered vehicles in its fleet with B20 biodiesel in 2003.