NJ Introduces Legislation To Establish Statewide Healthy Building Standard

Posted March 20, 2024

The Healthy and Affordable Construction for Tomorrow Act would increase the adoption of healthier efficient electric equipment like heat pumps in new buildings to stabilizing energy bills, improve air quality.

Trenton, NJ — Senator Raj Mukherji this week introduced the Healthy and Affordable Construction for Tomorrow Act, which would create a statewide healthy building standard ensuring all new homes in New Jersey use the latest clean, highly efficient technology such as heat pumps. 

“We can build better, more efficient homes that rely on quality construction codes and use the latest highly efficient electric equipment at a lower cost than outdated practices that rely on fossil fuels,” said Barbara Blumenthal, ReThink Energy NJ. “The Healthy and Affordable Construction for Tomorrow Act is an essential step to ensuring our homes are built to the highest standards to keep residents safe and energy bills low.”

According to a 2022 analysis from the New Buildings Institute, building a single-family home in the New Jersey-New York region with the latest highly efficient electric equipment like heat pumps costs $7,500-$8,200 less than building a home with fossil fuels. This analysis, which looks at the cost of building homes in New York becomes even more promising in the rest of New Jersey, home to a lower climate zone. 

“Modeling for the New Jersey Energy Master Plan has demonstrated that the most affordable future for the state starts with efficient all-electric buildings,” said Mark Kresowik with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “It is time for the New Jersey legislature to lower costs for New Jersey families and businesses by passing the Healthy and Affordable Construction for Tomorrow Act.”

Fossil fuel HVAC equipment such as gas furnaces in New Jersey homes and buildings are a key driver of air pollution that harms public health. By ensuring new homes require the latest zero-emissions technology, New Jersey can make a massive dent in this health-harming air pollution while working to reduce the 27% of statewide emissions that come from buildings. This legislation would also help fulfill Gov. Phil Murphy’s pledge to accelerate the adoption of heat pumps to reach 65% of all HVAC sales by 2030. 

“Accelerating the adoption of clean air HVAC technologies like heat pumps can help eliminate a massive source of air pollution that is exacerbating asthma and other respiratory illnesses across the state. It can also take us one step closer to our climate goals as we move toward 100% clean electricity by 2035,” said Anjuli Ramos-Busot, NJ State Director for the Sierra Club. “The New Jersey state legislature must take advantage of every tool in the toolbox to help achieve these goals by passing this legislation this session.”



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