As 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.
Mayor 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.
The 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 & Gas.
“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.”
During 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 to attend the information session, Hamilton Township will be providing the information online at HamiltonNJ.com/Energy which will include:
- Program Power Point Presentation
- Video of the Presentation
- A Frequently Asked Questions Guide for the Program
- Information How Any Resident Can Opt-Out of this Program
The 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.
Residents would continue to receive monthly bills from PSE&G and would still contact PSE&G regarding service problems (power outages).
This cost savings program would not extend to residents usage of gas for energy, but could potentially be pursued in the future.
Residents 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.
Already, 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 program benefits include:
- State requirements that energy supply costs must be equal to or less than utility prices
- Hamilton will only enter into a contract if the prices achieved are below regular Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) retail rates
- Bids will only be accepted from third party power suppliers licensed with the State of New Jersey
- Residents will be free to opt out of the Hamilton’s energy aggregation at any time, with no exit fees or penalties assessed
- During the contract (likely to last between 12 to 24 months) residents’ energy supply rates will be fixed and guaranteed
- Following the end of the initial contract, a new bid would be issued, allowing residents yet another opportunity to opt-out should they choose
- 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