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In Your Opinion: Support Environmental Initiatives

By Mayor Phil Kramer.

By coincidence two environmentally friendly energy programs were rolled out at the same time. Both come to you when the predictions of climatologists of more severe weather accompanying the warming of the planet appear to be coming true. 

One is Community Solar, which was announced by a letter with my signature. It is a program which provides a 21% savings on your electric bill at no cost, without you having to put solar panels on your roof. I know it sounds too good to be true, but this time it is true. Learn more at NJEversolar.com

The other environmentally friendly program is the referendum on the election ballot this November. It involves energy aggregation. The idea behind energy aggregation is to gather a large number of electricity customers together to act as a single bargaining unit, thus having more clout when dealing with an electrical energy supplier. This can be used to get a lower price for electricity and to have a larger portion of the energy you use from renewable resources like solar and wind.  I wanted to take a moment to explain this question and encourage every voter to read the information and vote on the Ballot Question. 

Here is what the ballot says about the referendum from the interpretive statement: 

“A yes vote on this question would prompt the Township to establish a Community Energy Aggregation program that would allow the Township to leverage residential households in town to contract with an energy supplier to save at least 5% on electricity that is produced with a minimum of 10% more renewable energy than required by the state.  Once adopted, State law requires all residential customers to automatically be enrolled in this less expensive and cleaner electricity, but residents will have the option to “opt out” if they choose before the program begins, or at any time with 30 days notice.”

Separate and apart, if approved, residents could choose a 100 percent clean renewable electricity product by opting “in and up” which may or may not have any comparative savings. 

In other words, if a majority of voters vote yes to approve this ballot question then: 

  1. A homeowner need do nothing to enroll. 
  2. If the opportunity in the electrical market arises the town will enter into a contract that guarantees at least a 5% savings at the start of the contract and 10% more of the energy would be renewable than the state requires. 
  3. The homeowner can opt out before the program starts or at any time with 30 days notice. 
  4. The homeowner would receive only one bill. 
  5. PSEG would still oversee the distribution so if a storm brings down the power lines the same people as always will be there to fix it. 
  6. In addition, strong supporters of environmental protection, such as myself, could ask that 100% of their electricity be clean and renewable. That option would likely cost more than if they were to stay with PSEG, and is entirely optional. 

    I strongly endorse both projects as a way to save money and to help save spaceship earth. 

    On the Ballot Question please Vote YES when you vote by mail, early in person starting Saturday, October 29th at the Community Center, 505 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ, or on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th from 6am to 8pm. 

    You can learn more about energy aggregation here: https://nj.gov/njpowerswitch/gea/  

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