TRENTON – Gov. Phil Murphy announced the creation of a new working group that will study ways to reduce carbon emissions from buildings in New Jersey.

Murphy announced the Clean Buildings Working Group at the state’s clean energy conference being held in Atlantic City.

The group will be a collaboration between the Governor’s Office of Climate Action and the Green Economy and the state Board of Public Utilities.

The state is attempting to reduce carbon emissions blamed for climate change by 80% by 2050 compared with 2006 levels. It is also committed to generating 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

“Accomplishing our aggressive but achievable emissions reduction targets requires a comprehensive approach to climate action, one that unites the State, labor, industry, and communities in pursuit of a common goal,” Murphy said. “Public and private entities must work not only together, but hand in hand with the communities they serve, to explore every possible avenue for climate mitigation.”

The state’s energy master plan says the building sector accounts for a combined 62% of the state’s total end-use energy consumption. It calls for the state to focus initially on electrification of new construction and oil- and propane-fueled buildings, plus incentivize appliances such as electrified heat pumps and hot water heaters, though acknowledges it will take a few decades for significant changes to occur.

Murphy’s office said the working group will focus on energy efficiency improvements and emissions reduction upgrades in buildings, critical repairs for low-to-moderate income housing and expanding opportunities for green buildings job growth.

The group will include representatives from five Cabinet-level agencies in the state – the BPU, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Community Affairs, Economic Development Authority and Department of the Treasury – and the following members:

Heather Deese, Dandelion Energy

Donnell Baird, BlocPower

Mike Psihoules, Fujitsu

Amy Cradic, New Jersey Natural

Jared Rodriguez, Advisor, LeFrak Builders

AJ Sabath, Building Trades

Charles Wowkanech, NJ AFL-CIO

Debra Coyle, Work Environment Council

Steven Gardner, Laborers

Ian Leonard, IBEW

Kevin Kenney, Operating Engineers Local 68

Eric Miller, Natural Resources Defense Council

Jason Kliwinski, New Jersey Green Building Center

Michael Kornitas, Rutgers Center for Green Building

Dale Bryk, Senior Fellow of Energy and Environment, Regional Planning Association

Nicole Miller, Principal of MnM Consulting and steering committee member of the New Jersey Progressive Equitable Energy Coalition

Melissa Miles, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance

Andre Thomas, Training Manager, Isles NJ

Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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