New Jersey SmartStart Buildings - New Construction and Retrofits

June 09, 2023


New Jersey SmartStart Buildings is a program sponsored by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. New Jersey SmartStart Buildings receives its funding through New Jersey's Societal Benefits Charge (SBC). The incentive offering is comprised of a combination of prescriptive equipment rebates and incentives for custom improvements that provide energy savings. 


The incentives provided through this program are available to non-residential retail electric and/or gas service customers of the participating New Jersey utilities: Atlantic City Electric, FirstEnergy/Jersey Central Power & Light, New Jersey Natural Gas, Elizabethtown Gas, Public Service Electric and Gas, Rockland Electric Company, and South Jersey Gas.

Projects located in areas where electricity is provided by a municipal utility are eligible for only those portions of the program that address the energy efficiency of natural gas equipment if it is provided by a participating gas utility.

Energy efficient measures must be installed in buildings located within a New Jersey Utilities’ service territory and designated on the customer’s application. The customer must ultimately own the equipment, through an up-front purchase. Equipment procured by the customer via another program offered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program or the New Jersey Utilities, as applicable, are not eligible for incentives through this program. Customers who have not contributed to the SBC of the applicable New Jersey Utility are not eligible for incentives offered from the program.

Program Description

New Jersey SmartStart Buildings® is a statewide energy efficiency program available to qualified commercial, industrial, institutional, governmental, or agricultural customers planning to construct, expand, renovate, remodel a facility. Incentives are available for New Construction prescriptive measures

and are incentives where dollar amounts are fixed for specific categories of equipment. The prescriptive applications are labeled by technology, such as lighting and HVAC, and defined as equipment most recommended for energy-efficient projects with well-established energy savings.

Custom Incentives are offered for non-standard equipment, complex systems, and specialized technologies that are not addressed through prescriptive offerings. Customers are provided a discrete, flexible application process with the ability to submit one or multiple applications for any size project. The transparency of incentives aids customers in making informed decisions while assisting energy efficiency professionals to better solicit a prospective project.

Routinely, the Program adds, removes, or modifies prescriptive incentives for various energy efficiency equipment based on national and local market trends, the development of new technologies, and changes in efficiency baselines. Note that on March 1, 2020, the State of New Jersey adopted the ASHRAE 90.1- 2016 energy code for all commercial and industrial building

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: New Jersey
Incentive Type: Rebate Program
Web Site:
Administrator: New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, Office of Clean Energy
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Lighting
  • Chillers
  • Heat pumps
  • Compressed air
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Food Service Equipment
  • HVAC
Incentive Amount: Varies widely by equipment type, size and efficiency.
Maximum Incentive: Incentives are available up to $500,000 per electric account and $500,000 per natural gas account per fiscal year. A customer is defined as a utility account. If an entity brings more than one project through NJCEP in any given FY, it will be held to an Entity Cap of $4,000,000 (Entity Cap) for that FY. All projects are subject to an incentive cap equal to the applicant’s cost for the project (material and labor).

Custom Measures: limited to lesser of $0.16/kWh or $1.60/therm saved annually or ; 50% of incremental project total costs; or buy-down to a 1-year payback period based on incremental project cost and energy savings
Equipment Requirements: Vary by measure, most measures must follow the ASHRAE 90.1-2016 energy code.


Name: ASHRAE 90.1-2016


Name: New Jersey Clean Energy Program - Commercial & Industrial Program Manager
Organization: c/o TRC Energy Services
Phone: (866) 657-6278

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.