Point Boro OKs Energy Options Search
Residents who sell energy as a business seek chance to pitch proposals to council
The search for a townwide energy provider is on.
Acting on the notion that residents could save money on their electric bills by letting officials choose a utility to serve the whole town, the Point Pleasant Borough Council accepted a resolution to start comparison shopping for a new electric company.
By switching from JCP&L to one of the smaller energy companies now doing business in the state, residents could save an estimated 10 to 15 percent on their home electric bills according to Councilman Robert Sabosik.
The resolution to begin looking for energy agents and energy consultants towards developing a public-private partnership with a utility was unanimously approved by the four council members present at Tuesday night's meeting at Borough Hall.
Through competitive bidding, the council expects to narrow down the field of prospective energy providers to one company that can give residents the biggest bang for its buck.
With the wheels now in motion, Point Pleasant is poised to become the first Ocean County municipality to select an alternative energy provider to serve both government offices and residents, Borough Attorney Jerry Dasti said.
"The county [government] has been doing this. School boards are doing it," Dasti said. "They're saving 10 to 15 percent."
Any resident preferring to keep JCP&L or another electric provider of their choice may do so, Council President Antoinette DePaola said.
"The borough will not mandate a homeowner to use our energy provider," DePaola said. "A homeowner can opt out of the program."
However, the council need only look in its backyard to find residents who are sales representatives for two separate alternate energy providers.
Those residents are concerned that the provider ultimately selected by the council will take customers away from them.
"I understand that we're looking for a way to save money. I don't understand why the borough should be the one to do this," Constantino said.
The council ought to see if it could partner with other municipalities in its quest for better utility rates, the Maple Street resident said.
Energy sales consultants like himself might end up loosing customers in the end, he noted.
"You'll make it tougher for dealers to live here," Constantino said. "I don't feel that [dealers] should be competing with the borough."
Wayde and Toni Weisleder, who are independent consultants for Ambit Energy, advised the council that their Texas-based company not only offers savings, but invites users to work in the industry as well.
"We offer the individual the chance to save money, to work with us as a representative and to earn energy by referring others to us," Wayde Weisleder said.
"We don't want the town to take business away from us," Toni Weisleder said. "We'd like to offer our program to the residents."
Municipalities are now allowed to aggregate their residents' home energy needs and seek a townwide energy supplier through competitive bidding, thanks to state legislation that deregulated the state's utility industry.
The state law also provides for residents in a town that contracts with an alternate energy provider to remain with JCP&L, New Jersey Natural Gas or any other utility if they choose to do so.
Businesses and school districts are allowed to join in the municipal programs on their own.