The Senate Community & Urban Affairs Committee has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth) to streamline the local approval process to make it easier for residents to install automatic standby power generators on their homes.
The legislation follows a number of long-term power outages in recent years that have impacted New Jersey residents leading to an increased demand from homeowners for the installation of emergency power sources.
“We’re more dependent on electricity than ever before, but Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and recent blizzards and storms have reminded us that the infrastructure that brings power to our homes isn’t unbreakable,” said Kyrillos. “In light of recent events, more homeowners are looking to install permanent standby generators, but some have found the local approval process to be unnecessarily complex.”
After Sandy & recent storms, more homeowners trying to install standby generators. Many encounter too much red tape. https://t.co/Po2MWcif9y
— Senator Joe Kyrillos (@joekyrillos) March 7, 2016
The legislation, S-204, would classify the installation of an automatic standby generator on single and two-family residential properties as a permitted use that does not require a variance from a local planning or zoning board.
The bill requires the installation of a standby generator to comply with local setback requirements and the State Uniform Construction Code and manufacturer clearance specifications. In instances where a generator cannot be sited to meet local setback requirements, the bill requires the approval of the municipal zoning officer subject to five foot side and rear yard setback requirements, and directs that the zoning officer may not unreasonably withhold approval.
Finally, the measure requires the use of an automatic standby generator to comply with any laws and ordinances regulating noise levels, except during a state of emergency declared by the President of the Unites States or the Governor of the State of New Jersey.
“Following Sandy, when some lost power for a week or more, homeowners with generators were able to help their neighbors with charging phones, doing laundry and keeping food cold,” added Kyrillos. “We should make it easier for more families to be prepared, and we can do that by cutting the government red tape that’s getting in the way.”