Both Brick Township’s Mayor and Council President took time this week to discuss a planned program to aggregate services for electrical energy consumers in town, which will ultimately lead to those residents receiving a marked cost savings on their energy bills.
Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis referenced the passage of a 2003 law allowing municipalities to aggregate services rendered to electrical energy customers, and noted Brick has roughly 26,000 residential dwellings that are billed for energy costs.
“Obviously, with 26,000 homes, you’re going to get a better price for electricity than just as one person,” said the mayor. The mayor added that those customers designated to be involved with the aggregation plan may voluntarily opt out at any time, if they so choose.
Acropolis pointed to Colonial Power Group as the group the township is considering to utilize for the aggregation arrangement. Colonial put in the most affordable bid for the plan, which seeks to generate over $200,000 in revenue for Brick Township each month, or a total cost savings of nearly $2.5 million per year.
“They recently made a presentation to the Business and Finance Committee, and we expect to see a presentation from them to the public at a council meeting in September,” Acropolis said.
Acropolis gave his preliminary approval of the aggregation concept with one specific caveat: that the projected annual savings of nearly $2.5 million are only earmarked for property tax relief, and not for use in the general fund come budget time.
“The only way I’ll agree to this is if that money goes to relief for the taxpayers,” said Acropolis.
Council President John Ducey also explained that the energy company will tentatively make a public presentation on the concept at the first township council meeting in September.
“We’d rather have the energy company come in and have their professionals explain the plan directly to the residents, rather than hearing about it from the council,” said Ducey.
Based on what he has learned of the planned arrangement thus far, Ducey appears to be in favor of the cost aggregation.
“It seems like a great idea. It makes money for the town, and relieves the taxpayers by making their energy bills lower,” said Ducey.
The council president added that after the energy company’s presentation is delivered, the council would then have a first reading for an ordinance on the aggregation program. Ducey explained that reading may occur at the same meeting in September when the presentation is given, or at the very next one following the presentation.