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Energy Savings Plan Wins Council OK

Government program, mayor says, could save town residents more than $3 million, however if you want out, you'll have to take action.

At its business meeting last Tuesday, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council without fanfare approved a measure to change the way electricity will be supplied to most residents.

The council approved Mayor James Barberio's proposal for Parsippany to become part of a government energy aggregation program through which electricity for the town is purchased at lower rates at energy auctions.

Under this plan, residents could save more than $150 per year on their individual electricity bills, according to Gabel and Associates, a Highland Park-based energy, environmental and public utility consulting firm the town has hired to take the actions necessary to implement the plan.

According to the mayor's office, Gabel and Associates' services come at no cost to the township.

For the town as a whole, savings reportedly could exceed $3 million.

Energy aggregation is fast becoming popular among municipalities throughout the state, including Plumstead Township. According to a statement from the mayor's office, residents there saved an average of 10 percent off their overall electricity bills. 

And though energy might come from another source, it still arrives using Jersey Central Power and Light-owned and maintained transmission lines and equipment. JCP&L customers therefore would still use the utility as its point of contact for service.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this opportunity to our residents to reduce their monthly electricity bills," the statement quoted Barberio. "Based on current estimates, the GEA program could save over $3 million across the township in the first year alone.”

Parsippany residents who already purchase electricity through third-party suppliers are not required to take part in the program. And in fact, while all customers not using third-party suppliers will be enrolled in the GEA program automatically, no resident is forced to participate—if a customer does not wish to be part of the energy aggregation effort, she or he can opt-out of the program at any time via phone or an online form. 

The mayor's office noted that per state law, the aggregation program will only be offered if there is a savings to Parsippany residents.

Robert Simpson February 20, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Why is Mayor Barbero pulling the wool over our eyes? Reality Checker is correct. My electric bill average usage is 385 KWH. A 1/4 cent saving per KWH would save me 99 cents per month. I am happy with JCP&L. Barberio cannot change my supplier without my permission.
eric hauge February 20, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Oh boy, more savings! Are these gonna be the same kind of savings that we've ALL seen on our water and sewer bills?
VietNam Vet February 21, 2013 at 06:20 AM
If this happens then who do you call when you have a power outage, JCP&L or the new company who then farms it out again. I have a friend who did this with his phone to get around the high costs with Verizon, he went to a company from PA. and when something happens they farm the service back to Verizon, who takes their time to get to the repair, usually a few days to a couple of weeks.
Natalie Davis February 21, 2013 at 08:18 AM
As the story noted, you would call JCP&L, which still owns the transmission lines, which it leases to the third-party suppliers.
Robert Simpson February 22, 2013 at 10:11 PM
The third party suppliers do not produce any electricity. They bid on electricity from the producers the same way that JCP&L does, then they take some profit and sell it to the consumers.

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