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Warning: Solicitation to Livingston Residents Not From Township

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Livingston resident's conversation with an outside solicitation source Credits: Walter Levine
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LIVINGSTON, NJ — As many Livingston residents have recently received solicitations from various independent electric suppliers offering “clean energy” or electric service from renewable energy sources, the Township of Livingston wants residents to know that these are not coming from the township and are not related to the ongoing discussion on the township’s energy aggregation program.

“We just want to make sure that the residents know that the letters they are receiving in the mail are not the companies that the town is currently interviewing and examining to run the energy aggregation program for our town,” said Mayor Ed Meinhardt. “While there are many companies that are doing this, we have identified what we feel are the two best ones in the state. We continue to do our due diligence on this matter and hope to select a company in the very near future.”

The mayor and council are currently considering providing an aggregation of electric service using renewable energy sources (wind, solar and other clean sources) for the entire township. Several sources of supply have recently been interviewed, and the two companies Meinhardt referred to—Gabel Associates and GoodEnergy—have hosted public presentations for area residents.

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Resident Walter Levine, who was one of the many residents to receive solicitations from other suppliers, discovered and shared the following information regarding these incidents:

“One of the solicitation sources I spoke to, which has a name similar to one of the firms being interviewed, proposes 100 percent renewable, and has a dual pricing offer; a one-year commitment at a fixed rate or a three-month price (higher than the one-year) with monthly adjustment thereafter.

“Both prices are significantly higher than being proposed by the firms being interviewed by the Township or the prices currently being paid to our regular suppliers.

“Having a similar name, the solicitation made to me, implied that the firm was part of the proposed township program and should be considered and selected to be your electric source.

“This is not so, and these firms are not affiliated in any way with Livingston, but operate independently of the firms under consideration.

“By aggregating town-wide, the costs should be comparable, and will probably be lower, than those charged by our present providers (either Public Service or JCPL) supply, and will be using mostly clean energy.

“The township is considering going to 40-percent clean energy, which will make us eligible for sustainable Jersey credits, and we will be using one of the cleanest electricity sources in the state.”

The mayor and council announced on Monday that the township will notify all residents if and when a provider is selected. All residents will also be offered the opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of this program.

“These choices depend upon your current billing arrangements,” said Levine. “Most residents will automatically be included and some may be required to opt-in. Importantly, either way, opt-out or opt-in, residents will be supplied full information by the Township, including the projected costs, in advance of the program being implemented.” 

Levine advised his fellow residents not to be fooled by a name into thinking the offer is from a township-approved source.

The mayor and council also clarified that any township-approved letters to residents will have the township letterhead appear across the top.

More information about this program and its final determination will be provided as it becomes available.

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