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Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio announced today that the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders will extend their cost-saving Energy Aggregation Program, which went into effect September 2016, with participating residents expected to see continued savings through October 2019.
“Last year this Board launched an innovative PILOT program designed to ease the burden of ever-growing utility costs on our residents,” said Director Garganio, “We are proud to announce that over the term of this PILOT our residents have saved over $400,000.”
“As with any new program, there were bumps in the road as residents and the utility companies adjusted,” added Garganio. “We were able to address those issues promptly and have worked to prevent them from occurring moving forward as we extend this program and its savings for the next two years.”
“As the first year of this program came to a close it was the advice of our consultants, after analyzing the electric market and current utility company procedures, that Burlington County residents could recognize the greatest and most efficient savings through a Guaranteed Savings Plan that would establish a consistent and locked in savings of 3% for PSEG customers and 5% for Jersey Central Power and Light and Atlantic City Electric customers,” Garganio explained. “This will prevent the experience a few residents had during the initial PILOT of receiving credits in some months after utility reconciliation discounts temporarily reduced the default rate. Now, each month, the percentage of savings will be the same.”
These new rates will only be applied to those residents in participating towns who have opted to stay in the County’s Energy Aggregation Program. If a resident would like to opt out, or opt back in, to the program they may do so at any time by calling 877-292-3904 toll free.
“This adjustment to the program would allow Burlington County to once again make a ‘bulk purchase’ of energy supply, through Tri Eagle, at a rate that is guaranteed to be lower than what residents would otherwise be paying to the supplier chosen for them by their electric company,” Garganio continued. “We can then offer that lower rate to our residents in participating municipalities and the 3% savings will become effective in September 2017.”
While Tri Eagle will continue to supply the electricity, PSE&G, Atlantic City Electric and Jersey Central Power & Light will continue to handle distribution as well as customer service issues, such as power outages.
The Burlington County Bridge Commission will once again partner with the Freeholders to execute the energy aggregation program, providing technical and professional support and services.
Ten municipalities chose to participate in the initial PILOT program. Those participating municipalities included: Burlington City, Cinnaminson Township, Florence Township, Lumberton Township, Moorestown Township, Borough of Palymra, Riverside Township, Southampton Township, Woodland Township, and Wrightstown Borough.
“In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to all of our townships so that we may extend this opportunity to all Burlington County residents,” added Garganio.
“This program is part of our long standing effort to fight for lower utility costs on behalf of our residents, a fight in which we have had many successes,” Garganio noted. “Many will remember our public battle to stop New Jersey American Water from increasing water rates by 20 percent in 23 of our municipalities. We gathered more than 11,000 signatures from residents, and confronted the BPU through the mail and in person. When the smoke had cleared, their bid for a $95 million per year rate increase had been cut to less than a third of that amount.”
“As we work to extend this cost-saving energy aggregation program, we will continue to reach out to our residents to ensure that they fully understand this opportunity and to answer any questions that they may have. Residents in participating municipalities can expect to receive information from us through the mail, online, and much more,” Garganio concluded. “But the bottom line is that this is a real and exciting chance to continue to put money back where it belongs, in the pockets of hard working Burlington County residents.”