Who are Hopewell Township's consultants on Energy Aggregation?
Commercial Utility Consultant (CUC) and Concord Energy Service (together referred to as “Concord Energy”) are Hopewell Township's consultants on energy aggregation.
Concord Energy would be responsible for
negotiating the contract for electric rates on behalf of Township residents.
Against what public numbers would the Township residents measure their savings?
There would be a monthly “price to compare” listed on everyone’s electric bill. This price represents the rate that a resident would have paid if they stayed with the Basic Generation Service rate with PSE&G or JCP&L. Savings can be calculated by comparing this number with the supply charge under the energy aggregation contract.
Under State law, the Township would enter into an agreement only if it resulted in a lower energy rate compared to PSE&G or JCP&L over the term of the contract. Community energy aggregation auctions are only allowed to accept a bid if it is lower than the current PSE&G or JCP&L rate.
Will this program cost the Township money?
The Township will see no administrative costs associated with energy aggregation. Concord Energy who would run the auction, will be paid from the energy supplier who wins the auction. Their fee ($0.002/kWh or less) is worked into the bid.
What other municipalities have tried energy aggregation?
There are many municipalities in New Jersey who participate in energy aggregation.
Other towns and cities that have worked with Concord Energy, our consultants, include the Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative(which includes the towns of Clinton, Califon, and Bethlehem, as well as Washington, Mendham and Chester Townships), Hoboken, Atlantic City, Beach Haven, the Monmouth Ocean Area Energy Cooperative (which includes Farmingdale, Point Pleasant Beach, Lake Como, Ocean Township, and Manasquan), Sayreville, and Pennsauken plus other large town cooperatives in Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties.
The cities and towns that have worked with Concord Energy have delivered a total savings to residents of $6.5 million.
Pennington Borough has also recently passed an energy aggregation ordinance, and several towns along the route of the proposed PennEast pipeline have joined the Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative including Lambertville, Kingwood, Delaware, Frenchtown, Stockton, and Alexandria.
What is the Township Committee doing in order to increase awareness of energy aggregation?
As of February 18, 2020, there have been four public information sessions on energy aggregation: one each at the Union Fire House, Township Municipal Building, the Watershed Institute and Stony Brook Elementary School. We also had two meetings specifically for our senior communities at Four Seasons and Wellington Manor and pre-vetted the program with the Hopewell Township Environmental Commission and the Hopewell Valley Green Team.
In addition, a letter was sent to every household in December explaining the program. If the Township Committee decides to move forward, Concord Energy (at their expense) will send more information to every household explaining the process and giving multiple ways to opt out if desired.
Can energy aggregation offer more renewable energy options than state suppliers?
State law establishes a specific base level of renewable energy that has to be included in electricity. In 2020, at least 23% must be renewable energy and in 2021 that number rises to 29%. PSE&G and JCP&L were grandfathered and at this time do not have to meet that percentage.
Under energy aggregation, we could instruct our consultant to try to obtain a greater percentage of renewable energy for Township residents and still deliver a rate that is the same or lower than that offered by PSE&G and JCP&L.The Township could also choose to offer residents the option to choose a greater percentage of renewable energy—up to 100%, with the percentage to be determined at the time of the auction. Residents would have to opt in to an option that provides a significantly higher level of renewable energy.
Where would Township residents be able to see a comparison between what would be paid to JCPL/PSE&G vs. the new supplier under aggregation?
Your electric bill includes a “price to compare” every month. Under state law, the Township can only move forward with an energy aggregation program if the result of our auction is less than the PSE&G and JCP&L rate at the time of the auction.
Why do residents have to opt-out of the program? Why can't it be opt-in?
State law requires an Energy Aggregation program to be an opt-out program. The Township has to follow state law on this point. The opt-out process would be simple and could be done through a phone call, email, or postcard. Opting out can take place at any time, and any resident who opts out can later opt back in to the program.