Manchester To Take Lead In Electricity Co-op

Manchester Town Hall (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

  MANCHESTER – The township will assume the mantle in its next energy aggregation contract, officials said.

  The Manchester Township Council approved making the township the lead agency called the Manchester Energy Aggregation Procurement Cooperative in order to go out to bid for competitive power supply with another municipality.

  Business Administrator Donna Markulic explained that when municipalities enter into cost-saving cooperatives, one must be designation the lead. In this case, since Manchester is the larger municipality, it made sense for it to take the lead.

  Plumsted Township, which has had its own energy aggregation program, will join Manchester’s energy aggregation cooperative. That township council has already adopted a resolution authorizing Manchester to act as lead agency.

(File Photo)

  “This new co-op with Plumsted, we will ensure they have a say in the RFP process and we respect their concerns,” Markulic said.

  The more homes that participate in the program, the more competitive electricity rates become. Markulic said Plumsted may add about 5,000 homes to the approximately 10,000 in Manchester that participate in the current program.

  Manchester adopted an ordinance back in 2013 to create a government energy aggregation program. It allows for municipalities as a whole to go out to competitive bid for energy services, usually from a third-party energy company.

  “When we first wanted to go out for energy aggregation we joined a co-op with Stafford and Lacey. We ended up pulling out of that because Stafford was deemed the lead agency and would not make the changes we wanted to see in the Request for Proposal,” Markulic told The Manchester Times. “The changes provided more protection against rate increases for our residents. Stafford felt it was not a necessary inclusion and denied our request. So we left and went out on our own.”

  Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is the primary electricity provider in this region. While under the program they are still responsible for delivering the electricity, a third-party company would supply the electricity.

  In 2017, Manchester entered into an agreement with TriEagle Energy, a company headquartered in Texas. The township entered into a two-year contract with TriEagle, which provided energy at a 20-percent lower rate than JCP&L’s rates back then.

  That contract expires in June 2019.

  Markulic said the average savings was $10 a month for those in the program.

  “We [will then] go out for RFPs and see if we get a price per kilowatt that is lower than JCP&L’s basic generation rate. If we do get a lower rate, we will lock it in and sign new contract with this new energy provider,” Markulic explained.

  Residents who have already opted out of the program previously will not have to opt out again.

  Those details will be made available once a new contract is signed.