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Company Pitches Energy Aggregation to Brick Council

Plan would save residents money, representative says

An energy aggregation plan would save Brick residents $180 per year on their electric bills, a representative from Colonial Power Group told Brick officials this week.

Brian Murphy, of Colonial, gave a presentation to township council members, pledging electricity rates for township residents would go down if the township entered into what is known as a Community Choice Aggregation agreement with the company.

Under such an agreement, the township would give a company permission to be the energy supplier for all of the township's households. Each electrical customer would still receive a bill from Jersey Central Power and Light, call JCP&L regarding outages or problems and, in most respects, never notice a change. But one line on the monthly bill – the supplier of energy – would change from JCP&L's "Basic Generation Service" to another company.

Murphy said JCP&L's basic generation service draws its energy from investors in the power market, usually large companies such as Citigroup, Conoco and JP Morgan. Instead of accepting JCP&L's rate, a community aggregation program, by law, would give customers a lower rate.

Such aggregation agreements stem from a decision made in 1999 to deregulate New Jersey's electricity market. The problem, Murphy said, was that rules on how to handle the new market weren't written until 2008 and revised until earlier this year. As a consequence, "the market never really developed," he said.

About 14 percent of households statewide, most likely about 4,700 in Brick, take advantage of the program. If the township signed an aggregation agreement, those few households would keep their current supplier.

Residents would also have the opportunity to "opt out" of the aggregation agreement and keep JCP&L as supplier. But otherwise, most customers would save money without noticing any changes, he said.

Councilwoman Susan Lydecker asked Murphy is customers who use so-called "equal payment plans" – paying an estimated, flat rate for electricity each month rather than a monthly rate determined by a meter reading – could be accommodated under the aggregation agreement.

Murphy said such plans are not available in New Jersey, though they are in other states.

But overall, he said, customers would be guaranteed to save money.

"The township can't engage a rate that is higher than what the customers are paying now," said Murphy.

There was little discussion on the matter at a council meeting this week. In order to take advantage of the plan, under state law, the council would have to pass an ordinance allowing energy aggregation, go out to public bid to find the best rates, then notify residents.

BW September 28, 2012 at 03:37 PM
@Art I had one call at 8:45 the other night. The guy wanted to speak to the person who handles my bill. I told him I live in subsidized housing and he would have to contact Obummer about my electric bill. He said oh sorry we cant do that. I said so then stop calling DUH! (No I dont but it is fun to play games with them) Another one I do is pretend not to speaK English. It is so funny the calling yelling anyone here speak German. I did file a complaint with the FTC but they use computer generated numbers through google voice so you can trace them.
JHill September 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I switched also and am going to save about 150 bucks a year. Art & BW-Don't EVER pick up the phone when they call because now they know that there is a potential customer that will "pick up" the phone. They sell that info to other telemarketers and you'll be getting a lot more calls going forward. It is like like writing back to a spammer "stop emailing me" Now they know they have an active email address so they will pour on the spam.
none of yobusiness September 28, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Art I heard your buddy Dan had his hand out when this electric company came to town. Care to comment?
Joseph Woolston Brick September 29, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Some info for you guys. When you get a robo call and it says "to be removed from our calling list press 3" (or what ever digit they tell you to press). Do not do it, you are confirming that the number dialed is a valid number and you will get on many calling lists. Watch your caller ID, if you see an area code 500, don't answer, it's a number being spoofed from caller ID number generator, there is no area code 500, it was used at one time for a special service that has been discontinued and 500 is not a valid prefix anymore. These 500 numbers are being generated in the Middle East area, the caller will have a thick accent, sometimes an Arabic accent or Indian accent, they will try to sell you anything and everything or claim you have won a prize and they need your social or credit card numbers, do not give that info out and again you have confirmed a working USA number by answering a 500 number. I know some people when they get a robo call will press 1 to talk to a live person to bitch them out, do not do this, again you are confirming an active number. The best thing to do is hang up not saying a word.
Joseph Woolston Brick September 29, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Now to get back to the subject of this post which is about saving cash and utilities. I finally had it with Comcast nickel and diming me so I put up an antenna and last year I saved $1,787.40 and I now provide myself with free TV. I don't miss cable at all. Then I realized everyone was calling me on my cell, my home phone was barely ringing 6 times a month so....I got rid of my Verizon landline which produced a savings of $627.96 a year for a combined saving of $2,415.36 and I don't miss my landline at all. Now I'm thinking of trying to get off the electric grid entirely, solar cell technology is rapidly improving, with the money I'm saving from cable and telephone I can put that money towards solar on my house. There is a new solar cell that has a very high output rate even in low sun. they have just started production for consumer use, it will be expensive at first but the savings later will be extensive. I have two neighbors that do have solar cells on their houses, both actually produce enough electric to sell back to the company, it's a small amount, but they actually don't have an electric bill at all. That's the ticket for me right there. I love the fact that I can be self sufficient with free TV and in the future free electricity. Forget about the "green" factor, the only thing I care about is the green staying in my wallet.

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