Cleared in committee: ID emblems on buildings with solar energy systems

TRENTON –  The Senate Environment Committee released bills today dealing with firefighter safety at buildings with solar panels, addressing long-term needs in the Energy Master Plan, and more.

S507/A266: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Anthony Bucco, (R-25), Denville, requires that an identifying emblem be placed at a building if a solar energy system is attached to the roof of that building.  It was released 4-0.

The bill has been amended to exclude one- or two-family residences, and the Department of Community Affairs will have authority over design and placement of the emblems.

In addition, this bill requires that all existing and newly constructed buildings that have solar panels be equipped with a notice of whether there is an external shut-off switch. 

The purpose is to protect the safety of firefighters. 

Current law requires identifying emblems with truss construction display the letter “F” to signify a floor with truss construction; “R” to signify a roof with truss construction; or “F/R” to signify both a floor and roof with truss construction. 

The Assembly version passed unanimously in June 2012.

S2758/A2887: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Whelan, (D-2), Atlantic City, would require the state’s Energy Master Plan to specifically address long-term capacity and infrastructure planning. It passed 4-0. 

The bill also would require that the Energy Master Plan include specific benchmarks to measure the state’s progress toward achieving its long-term energy objectives.

Transmission constraints and the need to purchase out-of-state electricity has resulted in capacity prices which are much higher for New Jersey than other states within the PJM Interconnection grid. 

The Assembly version passed in March 71-0-6.

S2709/A2953: This bill, sponsored by Sen. Nellie Pou, (D-34), Paterson, would provide persons who are disabled with a discount on fishing license fees.  It passed 4-0.

The general fee for a resident’s fishing license is $21.50; however, persons older than 70, blind people, active members of the National Guard, and disabled veterans are exempted from this fee. 

A discounted fee of $11.50 is provided to persons between the ages of 65 and 70.  This bill would extend the discounted fee of $11.50 to disabled persons as well. 

The Assembly version passed unanimously in March. Cleared in committee: ID emblems on buildings with solar energy systems