Government Maplewood Millburn South Orange

Energy Cooperative to Bring Reduced Energy Costs to Maplewood, South Orange, Montclair, Glen Ridge & Verona

Maplewood, South Orange, Verona, Glen Ridge and Montclair residents should see their energy costs reduced starting this summer due to a new provider deal reached by the towns through an energy consortium.

In fact, the average Maplewood household should see more than $140 in savings over the life of the 17-month contract, according to the mayor.

At its April 2 meeting, the Maplewood Township Committee approved a resolution (#66-19) “awarding a contract to a third party power supplier to provide electric generation service” to the town by Direct Energy. Maplewood is the lead agency in the cooperative (the “Sustainable Essex Alliance Energy Procurement Cooperative” or SEAEPC), but Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca said that the other towns had approved the deal earlier in the day. Millburn, which is also a part of the consortium, has not yet reached a deal with a third party provider.

Locally, DeLuca thanked Bob McCoy of the Maplewood Environmental Committee, Tracey Woods of the Maplewood Green Team, and Annette DePalma, Director of Community Development, for their work on the deal.

Robert Chillton from Gabel Associates, the consortium’s consultant on the deal, explained that, as a consortium, the towns were able to set up a bid process to seek a power supplier at a cost lower — as well as higher sustainable energy content.

“The renewable energy component is double that mandated by state,” said Chilton.

Glen Ridge, Montclair, South Orange, Glen Ridge, Montclair, Verona and Maplewood are all served by PSE&G, while Millburn is served by JCP&L. Therefore, the two groups (PSE&G and JCP&L) were bid separately. Chilton said the bid for the PSE&G group was “very good” but the JCP&L group was “only slightly below,” causing him to recommend no award for that group yet.

Chilton said that, for towns in the PSE&G group, the bid came in at up to almost 15% below the current price. Even with PSE&G prices expected to drop in the summer, Chilton said that the savings offered by the bidder would still below PSE&G prices.

The Township approved the 17-month Direct Energy contract at 11 cents per kilowatt hour recommended by Chilton. With PSE&G rate at 12.4 cents/kWh, Chilton said that customers could expect to see at least a 10% savings in energy costs.

“The 8,000 electric customers in Maplewood will save about $1 million in electric costs over the 17 months,” said DeLuca in a follow-up email. DeLuca said that this would translate to more than $140 in savings for the typical household.

DeLuca said that the Township would launch a public education campaign shortly to enroll customers. The contract starts in July.

Village Green has reached out to the Township for the name of the new provider as well as for copies of both resolutions (one recommending a provider for the PSE&G group; one recommending a continued search for a provider for the JCP&L group) and will update the story when that information is received. An electronic copy of one of the resolution regarding Millburn is appended here.

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