SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange has once again joined together with several other towns including Maplewood as the Sustainable Essex Alliance (SEA) to put their collective purchasing power to work to provide greener electricity to residents at competitive, if not lower, prices.
The new Municipal Energy Aggregation contract offers 40% or 100% renewable electricity. The default option is 40%; residents of South Orange must opt-out or opt-up by March 7. A public information meeting will be held Feb. 18.
Residents will have received a letter from their town in the mail in early February detailing the program options and providing contact information. A public information meeting for South Orange will be held online on February 18th at 6pm where you can learn more from town officials and Gabel Associates, the energy consultants supporting the SEA. Program details, contact information, FAQs, and public meeting sign up can also be found on the Village website at southorange.org/659/Municipal-Energy-Aggregation. A second informational meeting, sponsored by Maplewood, will be held Feb. 24.
The first contract came to an end in December 2020. Now the original SEA member towns of Glen Ridge, Maplewood, Montclair, South Orange, and Verona are joined by Glen Rock and Livingston for a new 17-month contract beginning in April 2021 with third party provider Energy Harbor. The new contract has two options: a default option that everyone will automatically receive, offering 40% renewable energy content or a 100% renewable energy option that residents must opt-up to choose. Both options derive their renewable energy content from PJM Class 1 RECs, the highest standard in the industry.
The default option is nearly double the renewable energy content presently required of PSE&G and the price of $0.12696 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is below the current average PSE&G Basic Generation Service tariff price for power supply. Actual savings will vary because the net PSE&G price-to-compare will fluctuate on a monthly basis and cannot be guaranteed, however the typical resident in South Orange and the other SEA-participating municipalities is still projected to save about $20 over the full contract. The 100% renewable electricity option, at $0.13437/kWh, is only slightly above the current BGS rate but compares very favorably to other 100% options on the market.
Residents who have an Equal Payment Plan with PSE&G can still have it with Energy Harbor. The plan will be periodically reviewed and the monthly amount adjusted to avoid a large “true up” bill at the end of the contract.
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