Community Choice Aggregation
New Jersey towns can offer cleaner energy that's more affordable for everyone.
Community choice aggregation allows municipalities or counties to bulk purchase electricity on behalf of their residents, while the local utility continues to provide billing and maintaining power lines through the existing service network. Anyone can choose to opt out of a CCA program if they wish to continue receiving electricity from their current provider of a different third-party provider.
Originally, CCAs were developed to reduce and stabilize electricity rates through bulk purchasing. Recently, CCA has been used all across the country as a tool to meet desire for renewable energy options and reducing reliance on climate-altering fossil fuels.
Communities using CCA programs are giving their residents a real opportunity to receive cleaner energy and lower electricity bills. This innovative program is quickly increasing access to clean, renewable energy for residents all over the state.
Millburn Township, is considering a Community Energy Aggregation (CEA) Program for its residential community. The CEA Program is designed to offer you and your neighbors reduced rates on your electric bill over the term of the CEA contract. Additionally, a main focus for the group is to find lower rates for more renewable energy sources than those currently provided through JCP&L.
CEA is a system to aggregate the buying power of individual customers within a municipality to secure reduced rate energy supply contracts on a community-wide basis, and allow consumers not wishing to participate an option to opt out prior to enrollment. All current services such as delivery, meter readings, billing, payments, emergency services, etc., DO NOT CHANGE. Actually, not much changes other than a smaller monthly bill. This program is very different than individual 3rd party supply contracts and offers consumer protections that aren’t typically available outside this program.
The key benefit to the Energy Aggregation Program is that the program offers residents a reduced rate versus JCP&L’s current price to compare on the supply portion of your electric bill. A large portion of those savings will find their way back into the local economy, benefiting the entire community!
Other benefits of joining Include:
- Potential for higher percentage renewable energy
- Participating residents will still receive one bill per month from JCP&L
- The rate offered is a flat rate that will be the same from month to month.
- Budget billing will be offered to any current budget bill plan customer.
- There are no fees to be a part of the program.
- You will continue to call JCP&L for service-related questions and outages.
You may recall that in 2018 the Township of Millburn joined the Sustainable Essex Alliance Energy Procurement Cooperative (SEAEPC) with 5 other Essex County municipalities. Unfortunately, the program for residents of Millburn never got off the ground. While waiting for energy rates to go down, township officials explored additional opportunities available to the residents of Millburn, and in doing so spoke with the energy agents for the Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative (HAEC), about the benefits of joining the HAEC which includes the enhanced bargaining power of a larger aggregate in JCP&L’s service territory, consumer protections, program transparency, and enhanced renewable energy content.
Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative's Government Energy Aggregation Program
The Township of Millburn has taken steps to join the Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative’s Government Energy Aggregation Program for the township’s residential account holders with JCP&L. The primary goals of the program are to provide annual savings and rate stability for participating consumers, while including a higher percentage of green renewable energy, making our municipality a leader in carbon footprint reduction in the state.
The HAEC was established in 2019 by three municipalities in Hunterdon County: the Borough of Califon (Lead Agency), the Town of Clinton, and Bethlehem Township. Since 2019, the cooperative grew to include 14 additional municipalities within JCP&L and PSE&G service territories that span six counties:
- Essex County: the Township of Millburn
- Hunterdon County: Alexandria Township, Delaware Township, the Borough of Flemington, Frenchtown Borough, the Borough of High Bridge, Kingwood Township, and the City of Lambertville
- Mercer County: Hopewell Township
- Middlesex County: the City of New Brunswick
- Morris County: Chester Township, Mendham Township, Washington Township
- Somerset County: the Borough of Peapack & Gladstone
In keeping with the primary goals of the Township of Millburn, the HAEC’s GEA program provides annual savings and rate stability for participating residents, while including a higher percentage of green renewable energy. The HAEC consists of over 30,000 residential customers of JCP&L and 20,000 residential customers of PSE&G and would therefore give the Township of Millburn’s approximately 7,000 JCP&L customers increased bargaining power in the GEA market, thereby increasing the likelihood that the electric supply auction will result in savings on the electricity supply for Millburn’s residents. As such, on June 15, 2021, the Township of Millburn’s Township Committee adopted Resolution 21-187 to join the HAEC, and preparations for an electricity supply auction on September 22, 2021, have begun.
By joining the HAEC, residents of Millburn Township will have access to the program’s online savings tool which provides each participating resident with their monthly usage total, comparison of charges through the program versus JCP&L’s Basic Generation Service price, and usage trends. This new feature provides residents with additional transparency about the GEA program which the township believes will be helpful to participants. Residents will also have the ability to opt-in and opt-out of the program online and will now be able to switch between the different renewable energy options available through the program online as well. More information about how to access these new online features will be provided to residents once the Hunterdon Area Energy Cooperative awards a contract to an energy supplier for the residents of Millburn.
In an effort to keep residents informed of the Township’s progress in offering a GEA program, residents can visit the HAEC GEA Program webpage at www.njaggregation.us/HAEC. Please visit the web page for program updates, including the results of the energy auction being held on September 22, 2021. Residents can also call the energy consultants for the HAEC at 866-688-5197 for program updates.