Plumsted signs electricity deal with new supplier

PLUMSTED – Municipal officials have opted to continue offering an energy aggregation program to help residents save money on their electricity bill.

Township Committee members recently voted to approve a new power supply contract with Tri-Eagle Energy as part of the Plumsted Community Energy Aggregation (PCEA) program.

Plumsted Municipal Utilities Authority Executive Director Peter Ylvisaker said the agreement will help residents save about 14 percent over the pact’s 21-month term.

“This [agreement] will result in a total average savings of about $290 per customer,” Ylvisaker said in a press release. “Aggregate savings for township residents is estimated at about $800,000.”

According to a memorandum provided by the PMUA, Tri-Eagle Energy was one of three energy providers to submit a bid to become Plumsted’s electricity supplier.

Energy aggregation is a process through which a municipality purchases energy (electricity) in bulk from an energy provider. The bulk purchase of energy is expected to produce lower costs for residential and business customers.

The purchased electricity is still distributed by JCP&L and no additional equipment or alterations to existing power connections is required.

Since the beginning of the program in 2013, Ylvisaker said, Plumsted has largely benefited from energy aggregation.

“By December 2017 the PCEA program will have saved residents an estimated $1.9 million in power supply costs,” he said.

Residential electricity customers are automatically enrolled when a municipality initiates an energy aggregation program, but they maintain the right to opt out at any time. A business operator is not automatically enrolled in the program and must opt in.

The new agreement is the third of its kind for the PCEA program, with officials opting to change providers each time.

Although Plumsted’s current agreement with Verde Energy will end in November, the new contract with Tri-Eagle Energy will not start until March. Ylvisaker said the gap was due to the promise of lower energy costs.

“The township received a significantly better bid price for a March 2016 start date as compared to a November 2015 start date,” he said.

When the existing contract ends, customers who are enrolled in the PCEA program will have their power supply service temporarily returned to JCP&L. During those four months, residents can expect to see energy bills that reflect the prevailing market rate.

Ylvisaker said customers can expect to receive a letter from JCP&L informing them about the temporary change in their electricity provider. Since the PCEA program already uses JCP&L power lines to distribute electricity, customers should not experience any interruption in service.

In addition, all residents can expect to receive a letter from Tri-Eagle Energy describing the energy aggregation program. They will also receive an opt-out card. Residents who want to opt out will have 30 days to submit the card.

Residential and business customers who are already enrolled in the PCEA will not have to take any additional action.

Mayor Jack Trotta expressed his satisfaction with the PCEA and said, “I am pleased that the award of a third contract will contribute to a tradition of electric savings that residents of Plumsted have grown to enjoy.”