Ralph Izzo

Chief executive, Public Service Enterprise Group, Newark

An excerpt from Washington Post Live’s recent Smart Energy conference.

I fell in love with customer-communication technology, real-time price signals and fantastic sensory capability in 1998. I have only now come to realize that what I really wish my customers would do would be to use more caulking.

It’s not unusual for me to face a decision on a billion-dollar plant, and if the numbers are right, I’ll say yes. And the definition of “are right” is that, on a discounted basis, it pays itself back in under 30 years.

We have customers that will say no to an energy-efficiency investment because it doesn’t pay itself back in two or three years. The problem here is that the investor is really a consumer, and the consumer doesn’t want to make that investment.