LACEY – Residents will see a 13 percent reduction in the cost of their electricity, although the cost of delivering that electricity will be unchanged.
Electricity and the wires to conduct it are two separate things. The wires, and the personnel who maintain them, are all run by Jersey Central Power and Light. Currently, Lacey also gets its electricity from JCP&L. That is about to change. Electricity is produced by many different companies and all flow into the same grid. Therefore, it does not matter whether your electricity comes from JCP&L or another company.
Thus, several towns banded together to form an energy aggregate in order to determine what company had the best deal for the cost of electricity. Stafford Township took the lead on this project, and hired a consultant to find the best deal. Several other municipalities joined to increase their buying power and maybe get a better group rate. In essence, the electricity from different companies feeds into a central grid, and towns can make them bid against each other for the best possible deal.
The result of this aggregate is a better deal from a company called South Jersey Energy. It is a 20-month contract between Lacey and South Jersey Energy, and it will last from April 1, 2017, until Dec. 31, 2018. The price offered is $0.08655 per kilowatt hour.
“It is a real example of how government can work with businesses to provide a palpable improvement to residents,” Mayor Peter Curatolo said. He added that 13 percent is a significant difference in people’s monthly budgets.
There will be a public information meeting about the electrical aggregation in Lacey at 7 p.m. on February 16 at the town hall.
The delivery of electricity will remain unchanged. So, while people will still pay the owner of the wires, JCP&L, for transmitting the electricity, the actual electricity will be purchased from South Jersey Energy.
James Moran, Stafford’s business administrator, had previously stated that Stafford would reject their version of the contract. Stafford deals with a different electrical delivery provider, Atlantic Electric. Because of the differences in tariffs between the two companies, their residents would only see a 10 percent discount in electricity. He said that there is a better offer out there and did not want to get locked down into a long-term contract when the town can do better. Stafford will rebid in the spring to find that better offer.