Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why Aggregation is Enticing to Some but Aggravating to Others

Most NJ homeowners have been subject to mail and phone campaigns offering alternative energy options to PSE&G. More recently, town officials have been getting similar offers, but not just for municipal energy sources. Changes in NJ regulatory laws now allow for towns to switch ALL homes to alternative systems unless they formally opt out.

 When a recent council meeting passed such a proposal with neither a discussion or dissenting votes, a few residents began their own discussion of the issue on Bloomfield's growing number of Facebook forums. While council members appeared confident the switch would resulting in a reduction of utility bills for both the town and it's individual residents,many had their doubts. No details had been presented except of the fact that they would only have a week to opt out once they were notified by mail.
According to reports in, that kind of reduction would lower the average NJ bill by about $9 a month for residential customers who buy their power from PSE&G, by $7 for JCP&L’s and $10 for those served by Rockland Electric.

In Essex County, West Orange and Montclair have jumped on the bandwagon. Montlair Deputy Mayor Bob Russo has been an advocate of community energy aggregation since he was first educated on the topic during a meeting of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors.

Many groups have questioned assurances of savings from such a switch and see a risk of possible rage increases. Among the larger towns to reject such a plan is Parsippany.

Monday's April conference meeting will be the first public presentation of the plan by Commercial Utility Consultants followed by questions and comments by residents. Because of an expected large public turnout concerning this issue -- among others -- the meeting has been moved to the larger council chambers in Town Hall. The Mayor has also announced that the final vote is being delayed until June.

UPDATE: Energy Aggregation & What it Means for You -- at Councilman Joanow's May Town Hall Meeting
Wednesday May 21 at 19:30
IHOP at 1129 Broad St. in Bloomfield, New Jersey

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