EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Township Council did not approve a citizen-led ordinance to create a new aggregation program that would deliver 100 percent clean, renewable electricity by the year 2030. The council’s move means that the question will be decided by voters in the November election.
The ordinance calls for the creation of an energy aggregation program, which allows municipalities to purchase energy at discounted bulk rates, and to set guidelines about the sources of electricity used by township residents. A state law called the Government Energy Aggregation Act enables municipalities to set up these bulk purchasing arrangements.
Food & Water Watch has played a key role in creating similar programs in New Brunswick and Piscataway. Thanks to the discounts afforded by bulk purchasing, communities with energy aggregation programs aren’t just going green, they’re also saving residents money on their monthly utility bills.
“I’m disappointed that the Township didn’t pass our clean energy ordinance but am confident that the people of East Brunswick will vote favorably on this win-win proposal to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels while simultaneously saving money on our energy bills,” said East Brunswick resident Kathy Scarbrough, who has played an active role in the local campaign.
The residents of East Brunswick were able to present this to the council thanks to the Faulkner Act, which gives residents of some municipalities the power to directly petition local governments to consider a specific ordinance. Once presented with an ordinance, a governing body can either pass the ordinance as presented, or put the question before voters.
After the Piscataway council declined to support the energy aggregation ordinance, residents overwhelmingly voted in favor to create the program last November.
“Creating a clean energy aggregation program is a simple, effective step that municipalities can take right now to clean up air pollution and take real action to confront the climate crisis,” said Food & Water Watch clean energy canvass director Charlie Kratovil. “After building support for this program over the course of this year, we are confident that East Brunswick residents will vote to create a strong clean energy program.”
Food & Water Watch is working in 15 municipalities to enact 100% renewable energy aggregation programs, including Edison, East Brunswick, South Brunswick, and Collingswood.