Opt-out onus should not be on residents

New Jersey passed an energy aggregation law in 2004 that gave municipalities and counties the ability to contract with third-party suppliers that will enter an electric auction in an effort to get lower electric rates for all residents.

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is still regulated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and they set the rate JCP&L customers pay.

Howell contracted with Commercial Utility Consultants, a third-party company. The next auction is April 8, and if Howell likes the rate, they will pass an ordinance and then every resident will automatically be put in this program.

Residents must opt out within 30 days if they don’t want the program or if they want to stay with JCP&L as their electric supplier.

At the March Township Council meeting, a resident asked what the savings could be and was told it could be 0.01 cent per kilowatt hour. This resident was upset that he is being forced into this.

It is my opinion that this law is unconstitutional because it allows municipalities to put their residents in this third-party energy program whether it is wanted or not, and the only way out is to opt out within the allotted time.

This program may cause people to be placed in financial jeopardy. I have heard that once you are in this energy program and want to opt out, you may have to pay back any savings you received.

This law is unconstitutional and allows local municipalities to automatically put you in the program until you opt out. We do not live in a dictatorship. We live in the United States of America — a free country.

Barbara Dixel