Green

Livingston Council Hears From Third Energy Aggregation Consultant

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LIVINGSTON, NJ — Gabel Associates, an energy advisor out of Highland Park, NJ, was the third company to present a case to the Livingston Township Council as to why Livingston should authorize it as the township’s consultant for establishing an energy aggregation program.

An ordinance was adopted in September to authorize the establishment of a Livingston Energy Aggregation Program, which allows the township to consider energy aggregation as a means of cost savings. Having heard proposals from three companies over the last few months—the last being Gabel Associates on Monday—the council looks forward to hosting a question-and-answer session with Gabel Associates during the next public council meeting on Jan. 22.

“The council is doing proper due diligence to make sure that the company that we select will be the best for the residents and also educate the residents properly,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “That’s the reason why the council is really taking its time.”

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Meinhardt said the council did not necessarily learn anything new on Monday, but that he and his fellow council members are interested to see how the representatives Gabel Associates interacts with township residents on Jan. 22 after hosting a similar session with consultants from GoodEnergy in December.

Steven Gabel, president of Gabel Associates, led the initial discussion with the mayor and council on Monday during their first conference meeting of the year and explained why Gabel Associates is the better choice.

“I think the fact that we’re active with Sustainable New Jersey and actually do renewable and energy efficiency work in New Jersey; the fact that we understand the power markets; the fact that we trade renewable energy certificates (RECs) ourselves and understand that market; the fact that we’re directly involved at the board of public utilities (BPU) and at the legislature as these rules move around and change; and the fact that we’ve done 23 of these all make a big difference,” said Gabel. “One thing I’d say is…our feedings are highly, highly competitive and I’d be happy to go into that in more detail for you [at a follow-up meeting].”

The representatives of Gabel Associates also said that the customer-support element of their program is also a crucial aspect that differentiates Gabel Associates from other companies. They said representatives are on hand nearly 24/7 to answer residents’ calls regarding billing, savings and any other questions or concerns they might have.

Councilman Al Anthony noted that the Township of West Orange currently uses Gabel Associates, and the he knows from West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi that the program has been successful. According to Anthony, Parisi said that Gabel Associates is also extremely reasonable and responsive.

Gabel said his goal is to “green up” the energy supply in Livingston and add more renewable content to the mix.

“This is about aggregating residential customers to help them save money,” said Gabel. “In addition, I know there’s some interest in having an enhanced, renewable product so that the residents of Livingston can not only save money on their electric bill, but can help move the environment movement in New Jersey and the country by buying into more of their energy mix being composed of renewable supply sources.”

The company has been through this process with 23 different entities, including 16 municipalities. In addition to West Orange, Gabel Associates has also worked in PSE&G territories such as Hamilton, Plainsboro and Montgomery as well as JCP&L territories such as Monroe, Toms River, Old Bridge and more.

Similarly to GoodEnergy’s proposal, Gabel Associates would also offer an “opt-out” program, which Gabel said is a positive aspect of the program despite skepticism from some residents. In addition to discussing these and other resident concerns at the Jan. 22 council meeting, the representatives offered to go further into pricing once they better understand the township’s goals for this program.

To learn more about the company, click HERE.

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