DENVILLE, NJ --The Denville Township Council unanimously introduced an ordinance to join the Morris Area Energy Cooperative (MAEC) during its March 16 meeting. MAEC includes many other municipalities in Morris County.
“At a work session in October of 2020, representatives from Concorde Energy ([which] administer[s] the Morris Area Energy Cooperative) made a comprehensive presentation to the township council at a public meeting regarding the program,” said Business Administrator Steve Ward.
“Also present at the meeting were mayors from several other Morris County municipalities providing all positive feedback regarding their experience with the program.”
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on April 20, during which a representative from Concorde Energy will be present to answer questions from the public. If approved, letters will be sent to Denville residential customers explaining the MAEC program and providing instructions on how to opt-out, if they do not wish to participate.
“Basically, JCP&L will continue to maintain the power lines, poles and continue to do 100 percent of the billing,” said Ward.
“However, currently JCP&L purchases electricity from a producer, then sells it to its residential customers. By joining the Morris Area Energy Cooperative, Denville and the other member municipalities will seek bids from an electric producer and basically cut out the middleman in JCP&L. The program is no risk to the residents as the contract provides that if at any time the JCP&L rate is lower than the energy aggregate rate, all residential customers will be automatically switched back to JCP&L.”
“Furthermore, the contracts under the energy aggregation program are fixed rate contracts. Therefore, it avoids the risk experienced by many who sign up for variable rate contracts who can benefit from low commodity rates but experience steep increases when commodity costs expectedly increase, such as what occurred in Texas last month to some variable rate energy customers. Therefore, our residents will be protected from any energy market commodity price swings.”
Based upon the average energy usage in Denville, Ward said the savings over the last couple of years for the average household would have been approximately $9.00 per month.
The township had once explored joining this program in 2015 when the MAEC was first formed. Yet, the township wanted to wait to see what experience the other participating districts had with the program and to identify any potential pitfalls. In the end, it was decided that the experience from other towns has been positive, and there are no pitfalls, according to Ward.
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