Review finds BPU’s Brattle report ignores every major cost-impact area imaginable

(Trenton, NJ) – Affordable Energy for New Jersey (AENJ), the state’s leading independent grassroots coalition that advocates for actionable, fact-driven energy policy released an official analysis of the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) misleading ‘Ratepayer Impact Study’ produced for the board by the Brattle Group.

“Nearly 1,000 days or almost three years have gone by before the BPU was gracious enough to provide an analysis that clarified nothing for residents and utility customers,” AENJ Executive Director Ron Morano explained. “The BPU had to actively try to produce a report that fails in such a colossal fashion as the Brattle Group report does. NJ taxpayers deserve better and that is why we have asked our resident energy economist to review this report.”

The independent Peer Review provided by Dr. Jonathan Lesser, Ph.D, found that the Brattle EMP report suffered from numerous flaws starting with its general methodology.

“This report suffers from severe flaws,” explained Dr. Lesser. “One crucial flaw is that the report doesn’t include a ‘status quo’ model to compare all other scenarios against. Instead, the Brattle Report calculates customer rates for the three achievement pathways best described as – what if we are good? – what if we are great? – what if we are the greatest? It completely ignores any chance of failing to meet the current state mandates.  Instead, it models meeting the EMP goals and state mandates, and meeting the 2050 goals by 2035. 

AENJ’s independent review goes on to point out other significant flaws in the Brattle report, including:

  • The Report ignores all direct consumer costs, such as the costs of installing new heating and hot water equipment, upgrading electric service to handle all of the mandated electric equipment, and installing electric vehicle chargers.
  • The Report only calculates ratepayer impacts for a single year, 2030, even though the EMP sets goals for 2050.
  • The Report provides no actual data or models that can be reviewed and checked independently for accuracy.
  • The Report ignores all of the additional costs associated with the need for greater generation reserves to account for the intermittency of the wind and solar generation the state already has mandated and the EMP calls for.
  • The Report presents a  flawed cost comparison for Internal Combustion vs Electric Vehicles, overstating the operating costs of the former and understating them for the latter.

Affordable Energy for New Jersey been the state’s leading voice for energy policy transparency. Working with Dr. Lesser, the organization has authored several reports that look at the total cost of the Energy Master Plan and the economic impacts of the state’s proposal to eliminate natural gas and other fuel sources.

A full copy of the Independent Peer Review can be found here.

# # #