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Frequently Asked Questions

Pay for Performance


What constitutes program eligibility?

Pay for Performance is available to existing buildings with a peak electric demand in excess of 200 kW in any of the preceding twelve months (100kW for select multifamily buildings) and to new construction buildings with 50,000 square feet or more of planned conditioned space.

Could gas consumption (therms) be combined with the kW to reach the minimum demand requirements?

No, only the electric demand can be used in determining eligibility.

Is Pay for Performance available for both public and private customers?

The program is available to all commercial, industrial, and institutional customers with a peak demand in excess of 200 kW in any of the preceding twelve months (100 kW for select multifamily buildings), or 50,000 square feet or more of planned conditioned space, who contribute to the societal benefits charge (i.e. customers of at least one of New Jersey's investor owned utility companies).


To whom are the incentives paid?

Incentives are paid to the participant (customer) but can be assigned to the Partner.

Can the incentive payments be assigned to partners?

Yes, but only if the Participant indicates this on the Incentive Request forms.

Under certain programs, the partner must be paid and documentation must be provided prior to the participant receiving an incentive payment. Will Pay for Performance work this way?

The partner must ensure the contract structure with the participant covers this item.

Are the incentives adjustable or fixed per project?

There will be three incentives. Incentive #1 is based on the size of the facility and Incentives #2 and #3 are based on the level of savings in kWh and/or therms. View the Existing Building or New Construction incentive Structure within the Applications for details.

What if actual post-retrofit savings are higher than estimated?

Incentive Payment #2 represents 50% of the total performance incentive, based on estimated savings predicted by the simulation results. Savings in excess of (or less than) the estimate will result in a re-calculation of the total performance incentive. This will be “trued-up” with Incentive Payment #3.

The payment per kWh and therm saved is for what period?

Incentive payments #2 and #3 are based on annual electric kWh and natural gas savings, as applicable (not to exceed 50% of total project cost). Incentive #2 is based on estimated annual savings and incentive #3 is based on realized savings in the post-retrofit period.

What incentives can be expected for a multi-building (campus type) situation where there are only two meters?

The entire campus must be treated as one project, unless sub-metering has been established. The 15% savings will be achieved on a campus-wide level and one set of incentives will be paid out. Incentive Caps apply.

How much of a reduction in kWh (or therms) is required to receive an incentive?

A minimum of 15% source energy reduction is required for existing buildings, which can be achieved through a combination of electric, gas and other fuel source reductions, but incentives will only be paid for electric and natural gas savings. For new construction, a minimum 5% energy cost or source energy savings for commercial and industrial buildings and 15% for multifamily buildings compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2013 is required.

What are the 15% savings based on?

For existing buildings, the 15% savings represents source energy savings (estimated Btu site energy savings converted to Btu source energy) and can include electric, natural gas and other fuels (i.e. fuel oil, steam, chilled water, etc.). For new construction, the percent savings represents energy cost or source energy savings compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2013 compliant design.

Can fuel oil reduction be included as savings?

Fuel oil (and other fuels) may be included in the savings to meet the 15% source reduction requirement, however no incentives are provided for these fuel types under this program unless there is a fuel conversion to natural gas.

Do other available incentives jeopardize Pay for Performance incentives?

Incentives will not be paid from multiple Clean Energy Programs for the same energy efficiency measures, additionally projects may not apply for this program and other Clean Energy Programs at the same time. Local Government Energy Audit participants will have their first Pay for Performance incentive reduced by 50% to acknowledge the value of the audit if the audit was completed within the past 3 years.

What is the average amount in incentives expected for a typical project?

The average incentive per project is roughly 40% of the total project cost, or $350,000.

Do interruptible gas clients qualify for incentives for therms saved?

Yes, as long as the interruptible gas client has an active account for gas service and pays the Societal Benefits Charge they are eligible for incentives from the program.

Energy Reduction Plan

What if the 15% source savings cannot be met after the audit is performed?

The program will not provide Incentive #1 if the savings cannot be met or the installation of measures does not move forward. The partner must inform the participant and should make certain that their contract covers this situation. Identified measures may be eligible for NJ SmartStart Buildings incentives.

What is the reason behind the 15% savings not being allowed from a single energy conservation measure?

Pay for Performance is designed to be comprehensive in nature, thus savings are anticipated to be provided by multiple energy conservation measures. If savings are anticipated to be derived from a single measure (such as lighting), the participant should be referred to the prescriptive or custom tracks offered as part of the NJ SmartStart Buildings Program.

Can solar PV panels and other renewable projects contribute to the 15% savings?

No. Renewable measures that generate power cannot be included in the 15% savings. Solar water heaters and thermal storage are OK.

Once I complete my energy reduction plan am I required to continue with the rest of the program?

You are not required to continue with the program, but you will not receive Incentive #1. Incentive #1 is distributed contingent on the installation of the energy efficient measures outlined in your energy reduction plan.

Is it a requirement that all energy conservation measures evaluated must be implemented?

The decision on implementation of energy conservation measures (ECMs) is to be determined by the participant with input from the partner. It is not a requirement that all ECMs be implemented as long as the ones selected yield the minimum 15% savings. The ERP requires a list of recommended ECMs (with associated savings), and listing of non-recommended ECMs with an explanation as to why these are not included. Any change in the list of ECMs to be installed after ERP approval requires approval from the program manager.

Can energy savings from operation & maintenance items be included (e.g. if economizers are not working)?

Retro-commissioning itself is not considered an energy efficiency measure, although improvements identified through the retro-commissioning process may qualify as measures.

What about electric demand reduction measures (e.g. thermal storage)?

Pay for Performance is designed for, and provides incentives for, energy reduction measures. Electric demand reduction measures may benefit the participant and can be included in the ERP, however no incentive is specifically associated with demand savings.

Is the use of Portfolio Manager required?
Yes. The data entered into Portfolio Manager provides pre- and post-benchmarking for the project, including the actual source energy reduction.

What effect would a change in operating hours have on the project?

If a substantial change in operating hours occurs during the construction and/or post-retrofit period, this change would be accounted for by documenting the changes and adjusting the hours of operation in the baseline model through a baseline adjustment. In some cases, a change to the baseline simulation model may also be required. Contact program manager.

Since the program is designed around utility billing history, how will the Partner get this when in many cases this goes to corporate management offices?

Participant and Partners will need to make arrangements to obtain the utility history.

Will utility release forms be available?

Yes, utility release forms can be obtained by contacting the Program Manager.

Is it a requirement to meter each piece of equipment?

Any existing equipment or recommended measure that cannot be incorporated into the simulated building model will require pre and post metering. Have your partner refer to the program guidelines.

Can ASHRAE 90.1-2007 be used as the baseline for new construction projects?

No. ASHRAE 90.1-2013 was adopted in New Jersey in September 2015. All projects participating in the new construction component of Pay for Performance are required to use the 2013 version of the code when calculating energy savings. For existing building, recommended measures must be at least as efficient as required by code or the program guidelines, whichever is more stringent. For new construction, recommended measures must be better than required by code.

What can be included in total project cost?

Partner fees, equipment and installation costs, design fees, construction management, measurement and verification / commissioning fees are included.

What if another energy conservation measure is found during the construction phase?

This would be considered a scope change and may require re-submittal of the ERP. The performance incentives would be recalculated to include the additional estimated energy savings. Contact program manager.

Can the participant choose a different partner after the energy reduction plan has been submitted and approved?

The participant can choose to change partners. Partners should make certain that their contract covers this situation so they are paid for their services. Should the participant choose not continue in the Pay for Performance Program, the funds associated with Incentive #1 must be returned by the participant.


Some participants such as school districts may not be able to commit to the Pay for Performance process, due to New Jersey laws that require such entities to go out to bid.

Pay for Performance must comply with any state and local procurement laws, but will work with partners and participants in these particular situations on how best to proceed. Keep in mind that partner services are considered “professional services” and may be subject to alternative procurement requirements. If the physical installation of recommended energy efficiency measures is bid to a different company from the partner company, make sure that the partner remains involved to ensure installation is done per the energy reduction plan and to develop the post-construction benchmarking report.

What types of bid and/or construction documents are required?

The partner role is to perform services as necessary to ensure that the measures are bid, designed, and installed as presented and modeled in the ERP. Submission of these documents is not required.

If a participant requires a multiple bid process and must select the low bidder, which is not the partner, is the applicant still entitled to Incentives #2 and #3?

The participant can only receive Incentives #2 and #3 if an approved partner remains with the project in some capacity. Partners should be aware of the procurement requirements of the participant to guard against this.

Post-Construction Benchmarking

What happens if the building becomes vacant, or if there is a shift in operation due to economic issues, after the baseline is developed?

This must be accounted for through a baseline adjustment.

What happens if the 15% source energy reduction target is not met after the post-construction benchmarking?

If the minimum 15% savings is not met using 12 months of post-construction billing history, an additional 12 months (in two 6 month increments) will be allowed to accomplish this goal. If savings are below the 15% minimum but at or above 5% the project will still be eligible for an incentive, although at a reduced rate. So long as the savings are at or above 5%, the minimum incentive paid is $10,000 or committed value, whichever is less, assuming all required data and documentation is submitted. If savings are less than the 5% there would be no Incentive #3 paid. Incentives #1 and #2 are not required to be returned to the Program. The scaling down of incentives does not apply to high energy-intensity users, which are required to demonstrate at least 4% energy savings.

Certain programs allow payment in shorter time period if performance criteria are met (i.e. 6 months worth of billing history), will New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program consider this?

No. Incentive #3 will be calculated based on 12 months of post-construction utility bills.

Building Simulation

Can tax incentives associated with EPACT be applied to a Pay for Performance project?

Yes. Information on EPACT tax incentives can be found at

Do the simulation guidelines require modeling of the actual utility rate tariff?


Can you provide tariff inputs for simulation?
Due to the number of approved simulation programs and wide variation in regulated tariffs and 3rd party energy provider contracts, the program manager cannot provide tariff inputs.

What is the purpose of calibrating the baseline model?

Calibration of the baseline model with actual utility bills is required to ensure that the model accurately represents energy use at the facility. This will result in higher accuracy of estimated savings.

Suppose weather conditions are an anomaly in the post-retrofit year?

Portfolio Manager and program tools normalizes for weather.

Is there a method for ranking the energy conservation measures?

It is up to the partner and participant to determine the ranking of the measures. Reference program guidelines for additional information.

What is the basis of the site to source conversion?

Site to source conversions are based on EPA’s Portfolio Manager software.

The simulation software reports energy use in terms of site energy, will we need to convert it to source energy units?

The conversion is done automatically in Portfolio Manager and in the ERP tables provided.

Are Incentives #2 and #3 based on site or source energy?

Incentives for the existing buildings component are calculated based on site energy, in standard units (kWh or therms). New construction is calculated based on square footage.

If a building is being brought up to code (e.g. more ventilation, etc.), will there be any allowance for this in the modeling?

The model must incorporate recommended measures as they will actually affect the building. Energy increases may count against the 15% savings, although allowances for baseline adjustments are possible. Refer to the partner and program guidelines.

High Energy Intensity Customers - Industrial, Manufacturing, Water Treatment, Datacenters

What if achieving 15% savings in my building is impossible?

There is an exception to the 15% energy reduction requirement for the Existing Buildings component of Pay for Performance. A custom savings threshold may be offered to customers whose annual energy consumption is heavily weighted to manufacturing and process loads. This approach will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and must be pre-approved by program representatives. In order to be considered for a custom savings threshold (i.e., other than a 15% reduction in total building source energy consumption), the project must involve:

  • A manufacturing facility, including such industries as plastics and packaging, chemicals, petrochemicals, metals, paper and pulp, transportation, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, mining and mineral processing, general manufacturing, equipment manufacturers, datacenters, and hospitals.
  • Manufacturing and/or process-related loads, including data center consumption, consume 50% or more of total facility energy consumption. For hospitals, 50% of more of the gross floor area must be used for general medical and surgical services and 50% or more of the licensed beds must provide acute care services.

Energy target for projects meeting the above criteria will be 4% of total building source energy consumption.

Industrial/Manufacturing buildings may participate in Pay for Performance. The entire building must be considered, including all process equipment, and minimum savings must be achieved through multiple measures. If the project scope is limited to one specific improvement (e.g. conveyor belt controls), and/or the minimum energy savings is not feasible, the project should apply for incentives under the Prescriptive and Custom Measures component of NJ SmartStart Buildings.

Water/Waste-Water Treatment sites, landfill sites, and similar open-plan facilities may participate in Pay for Performance. The entire site must be treated as one project, all buildings and process equipment must be considered, and minimum savings must be achieved through multiple measures. Incentive #1 will be based on total site square footage, which will include the total square feet of all buildings and process equipment bound by property lines. Aerial photos or site-plans demonstrating the total square footage must be submitted with the Application.  If the project scope is limited to one specific improvement (e.g. VFDs on pumps), and/or the minimum energy savings is not feasible, the project should apply for incentives under the Prescriptive and Custom Measures component of NJ SmartStart Buildings.

Datacenters may participate in Pay for Performance. The entire building, datacenter included, must be treated as one project, and minimum savings must be achieved through multiple measures. The project should apply for incentives under the Prescriptive and Custom Measures component of NJ SmartStart Buildings if:

  1. The project scope is limited to one specific improvement (e.g. HVAC controls), and/or the minimum energy savings is not feasible, or
  2. The datacenter is a stand-alone facility (i.e. is not part of a larger office building, or other complex, or
  3. The datacenter is part of a larger building, but improvements are limited to the datacenter.

Multifamily Buildings

Should I enroll my multifamily building in the Home Performance Program or Pay for Performance Program?

Download the multifamily flow chart to determine whether your multifamily building fits into the Residential program or the Commercial programs. If you believe your project has fallen into the wrong category please contact program representatives at 866-NJSMART.

What if my multifamily building consists of multiple garden-style buildings?

Garden style apartment complexes usually consist of multiple low-rise apartments, cooperatives, condominiums and/or townhouses surrounded by landscaped grounds.
These types of complexes will be treated as one project under Pay for Performance. In other words, if there are 10 garden-style buildings that are part of one multifamily community, all 10 will be aggregated into one Pay for Performance application. Exceptions to this rule may be considered by the Program Manager on a case-by-case basis where financial constraints prevent the entire complex from participating at once, or where parts of the complex are determined to be better suited for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. The 100kW participation threshold will be met through this aggregation (including common area and in-unit billing). The 15% savings requirement (as well as all other program requirements) will be achieved in aggregate, as well. 


Will Pay for Performance have a portal?

A partner portal is available for approved partners. Request portal information from the Program Manager at

What is the estimated timeframe for receiving incentive money?

Between 45 and 60 days from incentive authorization.

Can an ENERGY STAR rating be achieved through Pay for Performance?

Yes, the measures installed under Pay for Performance could result in the building being eligible for the ENERGY STAR Label if the facility scores a 75 or higher. Please refer to the ENERGY STAR rules and requirements.

Can the partner seek work through the program or must they wait to be contacted by a potential participant?

Partners are encouraged to seek participants and bring them into the program.

When should I apply for SmartStart rather than Pay for Performance (P4P)?

If you have the option of pursuing either P4P or SmartStart, consider TWO things:

1)   Scope of Work – SmartStart has a very specific equipment list for which it provides incentives, although the Custom Measure path is fairly open to a wide range of technologies. Through the SmartStart program a project can consist of as little as one measure or several measures. The P4P Program is open to a wide range of energy efficiency upgrades, but scopes of work must be comprehensive involving multiple measures that meet minimum performance requirements.

2)   Budget - P4P is time intensive, which translates to a bigger investment. There really needs to be considerable savings involved to make P4P worthwhile - especially for smaller facilities.

Here are some cases where SmartStart would be a better option:
1)   The project consists of minimal upgrades, or a single upgrade OR
2)   You have a “tight” budget OR
3)   You have a “short” deadline.

Here are some cases where Pay for Performance would be better:
1)   The scope of work involves comprehensive lighting, HVAC, and envelope improvements OR
2)   You have complex technologies in the building OR
3)   You have time and budget to commit to investigating all potential energy opportunities in the facility.

When in doubt, a Pay for Performance partner may perform a no-cost energy assessment and evaluate the results. If the results are not meeting your needs, then SmartStart may be a better route. Keep in mind that many Pay for Performance partners are also knowledgeable in SmartStart.


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