Let’s do our part to build a
FOR NEW JERSEY
What percentage of the energy will be renewable?
Our model ordinance (click here for more details) starts at 50 percent renewable and reaches 100 percent by 2030. Some towns are reaching the 100 percent goal earlier.
Why the 100% renewable energy goal?
In order to avoid the worst effects of climate chaos, we must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Getting to 100 percent renewable power by the year 2030 would bring us closer to meeting that goal. Electricity generation is one area where we have the tools right now to make a big difference – we just have to choose to make the switch.
Is this going to cost more than my current electricity provider?
Ratepayers in CCAs are seeing immediate savings on their electric bills. You can read about these savings in our report here.
Is this for electricity only, or is gas included?
These programs are only for electricity service.
Is the program mandatory?
No. Residents can opt-out at any time. Towns will mail everyone a letter about the program, giving the option to opt-out before the program starts and explaining that residents can opt-out at any time.
Will this raise my taxes?
No, there are no taxes linked to this program. Typically, a town works with an energy consultant to select a renewable energy provider. Because a town does not usually create a new agency or hire additional staff, it has a minimal impact on a municipal budget. What we are seeing is lower energy bills and access to more clean energy.
Do I have to install solar panels, smart meters, or other new equipment at my house?
Nope! CCA operates using existing service lines. You won’t need to install anything in your home, and there are no new service fees. All that changes is the electricity generation: instead of using electricity that’s generated from gas or coal plants, you will have the option to switch to safer, cleaner sources like wind and solar.
What is the length of the typical CCA contract?
The length of the contract depends on the bid and contract accepted by the community. Typical contracts are for 18 months – 2 years. Towns will start negotiating the next contract about 6 months before the current contract expires.
Are we protected from price increases?
Communities are able to sign contracts with fixed costs to protect ratepayers from price spikes, unlike some third-party electricity contracts that leave ratepayers open to price spikes from fluctuations in fossil fuel cost.
What about communities with two electric utilities, such as PG&E and JCP&L?
Yes. Having more than one electricity provider simply requires cooperation between the program administrators and two utilities instead of one.
Is there any government regulation involved?
The Board of Public Utilities has oversight over energy aggregation.
Do rights pass through to new homeowners?
Everyone will have the right to opt-in or opt-out of the program, regardless of when they move in or out of the municipality.
Are businesses and schools included in the program?
The community can structure CCAs so that nonresidential customers can opt into the program.
Can multiple towns create CCA programs together?
Yes. Communities can have a joint CCA or towns that can pass an ordinance allowing their residents to join a county CCA.
Do participants with solar panels benefit?
Yes. Solar panels don’t usually supply all of a home’s electricity, so this program will cover whatever energy is not generated by a homeowner’s own installation. With a CCA program, a customer with solar panels benefits from the savings of bulk energy purchasing.
Will participating in the CCA program affect my LIHEAP or Lifeline benefits?
No. LIHEAP is a federally-funded program to assist low-income households with heating bills, and Lifeline is a state-funded, income-based utility assistance program. Participating in a CCA program will not impact your eligibility for either of these assistance programs.