Energy Aggregation Moving Closer in Beach Haven

Feb 21, 2018

Beach Haven borough has taken the next step for joining an energy aggregation program by introducing an ordinance last week to authorize the move in which the municipality would purchase electricity in bulk from a competitive supplier on behalf of the residents in the community.

During a presentation, Stacia Scaduto of Commercial Utilities Consultants Inc. said homeowners could save between 10 and 18 percent on a portion of their bills from Atlantic City Electric. She said customer participation would be voluntary.

“The municipality will provide customers an opportunity to opt out of participating in a municipal aggregation program,” she said. “Customers who do not opt out will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program, but may opt out at any time after that if they would feel more comfortable staying with Atlantic City Electric.”

Scaduto said ACE would continue to provide electric transmission and distribution service to participating customers.

“The local utility will continue to handle the account, addressing any outages and maintaining service,” she said. “The only change is the billing and cost of the energy provided, which would be provided by another company.”

Scaduto said Commercial Utilities has worked with approximately 50 New Jersey communities in developing aggregation programs. She said the program could be up and running in Beach Haven early in the summer.

Mayor Nancy Taggart Davis said Scaduto’s company would solicit bids for hiring the new energy provider.

“They will go out and find the best rate,” she said. “By law, it would have to be lower than what Atlantic Electric is charging. This looks like a no-brainer, and hopefully we can do what is best for the people of Beach Haven.”

During public comment, local developer William Burris questioned the need for aggregation, saying ACE’s rates are already reasonable.

“If it’s not broke, why fix it?” he said.

Another resident, Gary Moon, said he would rather have an opt-in system, saying it looks “like government getting too involved.”

Scaduto said an opt-in system would be more difficult to manage.

“The utility would have to go on a big marketing campaign, which would be pretty expensive,” she said.

A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for the next meeting, on Monday, March 12, at 7 p.m.

— Eric Englund

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