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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.

Dave Ripton February 19, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Will the propsed change allow us to continue with our monthly fixed level payment plan & haeting service contracts with our current utility?
Mike Berger February 19, 2013 at 02:04 PM
There shouldn't be any change to your existing arrangements if this plan operates like all of the other plans that individuals are currently taking advantage of though alternative energy suppliers.
Stephanie February 19, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I have a fixed rate through another supplier. Can you please post supplier rates so that Parsippany residents can comparison shop?
William Paavola February 19, 2013 at 06:43 PM
I have a fixed payment program thru PSE&G. Not really a third party. I would expect it to be less but do not want to get off of the fized payment plan. A whole lot more information will need to be provided. Might start with a deadline date. We should also consider that the vendor is not doing this for "no cost". They make money as middlemen.
Natalie Davis (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Of course, Gabel gets paid via some percentage of the electric payments made, but as the story said, that cost does not come out of the public coffers.
Natalie Davis (Editor) February 19, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Can't promise, given my schedule and being one human, but you have the ability to look up rates that suit your situation.
Parsippany Taxpayer February 19, 2013 at 07:26 PM
I signed up for Constellation Powers promo for 2 years fixed with a 6 month variable 10.4 cents in Jan 2011 of course now they want 10.69 cents versus JCP&L winter rate of 10.95 cents. Commerce Energy is currently providing 8.99 12 month or 9.25 36 month contracts. Some of these providers you need to watch out for the $50-75 early termination fee if you decide to move our of Parsippany. With the way they keep catering to over-developing and changing zoning on parcels of land you may find yourself looking to pack it in soon like those of us in Intervale. But $50-75 is a small fee compared to the hit to get out of this corrupt town :) http://www.shopforenergy.com/nj/jcpl.html In the meantime they will charge you 11.128 cents if you do nothing (see the bait and switch here???) https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/dam/customer/Customer%20Choice/Files/New%20Jersey/Price_to_Compare.pdf
Parsippany Taxpayer February 19, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I still don't think it is right for the town to hire an energy contract on my tax dollars when it is my responsibility to choose an energy generation provider. Once again the town is wasting my tax money -- go figure. First we waste the money on the studies to rezone Intervale and down by the Irish place on 46 at the taxpayers expense and now the town is paying to hire an energy consultant on behalf of homeowners that many have already made energy choices and manage their choices. Please pass these costs on to those receiving the service instead of adding them to my pork belly five figure tax bill. Also it would be beneficial to show what the town has really negotiated for the residents -- if it is more than .0899-.0925/cents a Kwh I can't see what they really accomplished that any resident couldn't accomplish on their own. Also who is going to keep the generation provider honest to keep the discount level? This local government that never seems to have the taxpayers best interest at heart? Very doubtful...
Robyn M. February 19, 2013 at 09:57 PM
I agree - why would the town hire a firm to lower individuals' bills? I already did my own shopping (free of charge - just my own time) and found a lower cost third-party provider. We need to fix an awful lot around this town, not spend money on more consultants.
patchitup1 February 20, 2013 at 03:20 AM
3 million dollars in savings in the first year! Sounds like the town is saving money. People could save $150 on their bills. Go to the town web site for more info.
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 (Editor) 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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