Hamilton to Hold Public Information Session
on Electricity Cost Savings Program on September 29th
Hamilton looks to reduce electricity costs for residents, the Township will
hold a public information session to help explain the details of the proposed
costs savings program.
Kelly Yaede has announced that a public information session on Hamilton’s
proposed energy aggregation program will take place on Thursday, September 29, 2016, at the Hamilton Township Public Library (in the Lower Level Meeting Room) beginning
at 6:30 PM.
program aims to reduce electricity costs for consumers through bulk-purchasing
electricity from a third-party supplier through a program that is regulated by the
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and will only proceed if it provides a
lower electricity price than the current provider, Public Service Electric
“I want our residents to fully understand how this program
works, so they can be comfortable in participating and will enjoy the savings
that the bulk-purchasing of electricity can provide,” says Hamilton
Township Mayor Kelly Yaede. “The reason I proposed this initiative for
our community is so we can reduce electricity costs for our residents.”
the public information session, Hamilton’s energy aggregation consultant, Gabel
Associates, will provide attendees a formal presentation to help explain the
program followed by an interactive question and answer period.
For residents unable
the information session, Hamilton Township will be providing the information
online at HamiltonNJ.com/Energy which
cost of electricity service is broken into two components: delivery service and
power supply. All Hamilton residents
receive delivery service from Public Service Electric & Gas
(PSE&G). Under ‘retail choice’ the
power supply component can be obtained from PSE&G or any third party
supplier. Per state law governing this
energy aggregation program, Hamilton residents who receive their power supply
from PSE&G would be automatically included in the costs savings program
unless they choose to opt-out. But
because the program only applies to power supply, the delivery or distribution
of energy would remain, as it is today, through PSE&G.
would continue to receive monthly bills from PSE&G and would still contact
PSE&G regarding service problems (power outages).
cost savings program would not extend to residents usage of gas for energy, but
could potentially be pursued in the future.
who currently receive electricity from a third-party provider would need to
opt-in to this cost savings program, should they decide to do so.
Hamilton’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates, has helped residents in twelve
towns across New Jersey (Plumsted, Monroe, Montgomery, West Orange,
Lambertville, West Amwell, Colts Neck, Raritan, Flemington, Eatontown, Old
Bridge and Toms River – the state’s 8th largest town in population) enjoy
savings of between 8 ½ and 19 percent in the supply portion of their energy
bills through energy aggregation, with awarded contracts producing aggregate
residential savings in excess of $35 million in these communities. Many other NJ towns have pursued energy
aggregation as well. Hamilton Township
already uses third-party supplied energy that powers its municipal buildings,
which produces an $180,000 annual savings for taxpayers.
Some of the regulatory safeguards designed to protect residents and other Hamilton Community Energy Aggregation (HCEA) program benefits include:
* State law requires that when the bid is conducted and contract awarded energy supply costs must be equal to or less than utility supply prices.
* Hamilton will only enter into a contract if the prices achieved are below the average price to compare for Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) retail rates.
* Bids will only be accepted from third-party energy suppliers licensed with the State of New Jersey.
* Residents will be free to Opt-Out of the HCEA at any time, with no exit fees or penalties assessed.
* During the contract (likely to last between 12 to 24 months) residents’ non-variable energy supply rates cannot be adjusted based upon fluctuating market conditions. The supplier is locking-in energy prices.
* Following the end of the initial contract, a new bid would be issued, allowing residents yet another opportunity to opt-out or opt-in should they choose; there are no ‘automatic rollover’ provisions.
* The contract terms will require that the awarded supplier maintain budget billing for those residents currently on equal payment plans with PSE&G.
* Additionally, the program should have no effect upon existing income-eligible assistance program recipients, who may benefit from LIHEAP, Lifeline or Universal Service programs.