Residents to see energy supplier change twice in coming months

GLEN RIDGE, NJ — PSE&G will become Glen Ridge’s primary energy company beginning in January 2021, as the Sustainable Essex Alliance aggregate program expires at the end of December; but a second round of the aggregation program will begin in March 2021 with Energy Harbor. In March 2019, Glen Ridge joined the SEA along with Maplewood, Montclair, South Orange and Verona to supply cheaper and greener electricity to residents of the towns. According to a press release on Glen Ridge’s website on Nov. 11, SEA energy consultant Gabel Associates estimated that Glen Ridge residents would save $192,000 over the first 12 months of the program during round one.

“The current contract with Direct Energy ends in December 2020, so during summer 2020 SEA began the process of soliciting new bids for Round 2 of the cooperative energy program,” the release read. “SEA also added Glen Rock and Livingston to its membership, bringing the total Round 2 towns to seven and increasing the number of households by about 10,000.”

SEA received price proposals for the next 12 to 24 months on Sept. 15 from four energy firms, but none met the criteria relative to PSE&G rates.

“SEA’s goal of providing cheaper rates and greener energy than PSE&G could not be met with the proposed prices received; therefore, the SEA rejected all four bids received,” the release read. “Due to the lead time involved, the SEA’s rejection of all bids received on Sept. 15 meant that a new contract could not be in place by the time the current contract with Direct Energy expires in December 2020. Accordingly, all residents currently participating in SEA Round 1 program will be temporarily transitioned back to electric supply with PSE&G.”

New bids were accepted on Nov. 4 and were better than the ones received in September. Energy Harbor, the lowest bidder, received the contract that will go into effect in March 2021. It will last 18 months.

“Under the new contract with Energy Harbor, the baseline product will again provide participating residents with power supply that has nearly double the renewable energy content required of PSE&G, at a price of $.12830/kwh, which is well below the current average Basic Generation Service tariff price of PSE&G,” the release said. “Therefore, residents can expect to receive power supply under Round 2 of the SEA program that is greener than utility-provided power supply, and at a cost that is expected to be lower than the cost of utility-provided power supply over the contract term.”

Glen Ridge residents will have their power supply automatically switched back to PSE&G after December and there will be no charge for the change. It will be in effect only until March 2021. As with the first round of the program, residents can choose to opt out of SEA.

“In early January 2021, all eligible residents will receive a mailing providing the details of the Round 2 contract with Energy Harbor. This will signify the beginning of the 30-day opt-out period,” the release read. “As with the Round 1 program, the mailer will include information on how to opt out of the SEA program, via phone, internet or return of postage-paid opt-out card, if you choose for any reason to remain with PSE&G supply and not to participate in the SEA program. If you wish to be in the SEA program, no action needs to be taken.”