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FOR NEW JERSEY
Bringing Clean Energy to Our Communities
A new wave of community choice programs can save money by buying renewable power
The climate crisis demands serious action at every level of society. The most urgent task is to stop spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and to do that as quickly as possible.
We can use people power to change the way we purchase power.
In order to avoid the worst effects of climate chaos, scientists have determined that we must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Getting to 100 percent renewable power by the year 2030 — or even sooner — would bring us closer to meeting those goals. We don’t need to wait for new technological breakthroughs; electricity generation is one area where we have the tools right now to make a big difference.
Clean energy is about more than climate change, though. By changing the way we buy power– specifically the sources generating that power — we can clean up air pollution, improve our health, fight climate change, and save money thanks to the power of bulk purchasing.
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What is Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)?
These programs give residents in a community the power to buy electricity in bulk – similar to going to Costco in order to save money on residents’ energy bills.
It does not affect the ownership of power plants or the electrical grid. Anyone can opt-out of the program if they choose to do so.
Thanks to the Government Energy Aggregation Act of 2003, there are already many CCA programs in communities across the state. As the number of aggregation programs has grown, many communities have decided to use them to increase the share of clean, renewable energy they are purchasing.
For more about Community Choice power, read our CCA FACT SHEET.
Why 100% Renewable?
The type of power we use has a lot to do with climate change: Electricity that comes from burning coal or gas releases harmful emissions that are warming the planet. And the power plants burning these fuels also create serious pollution problems for nearby communities.
Air pollution is a serious issue across the state. Much of New Jersey is graded an “F” for ozone pollution by the American Lung Association. Ozone pollution is especially harmful for children, older adults and those with asthma and other lung diseases. One of the main drivers of ozone pollution is the combustion of fossil fuels. By switching to clean energy — which is already in most cases cheaper than fossil fuels — we can help create a more livable world.
Will this require me to install solar panels or any new equipment in my home?
No. CCA programs do not require you to buy new equipment, install new meters, or change how you pay your electricity bill.
If I have a maintenance, billing or customer service issue under this new program, who do I contact for support?
All of those issues will still be handled by your current provider.
Won’t this wind up costing more?
No. Communities that have made the switch to bulk-buying are saving money every month.
–In New Brunswick, residents are on track to save about $100 per year on their electricity bills. West Orange has saved a total of $3 million with energy aggregation and is on track to achieve 100 percent renewable this year.
-Livingston is projected to save over $1 million during its next 16-month contract; households in the 100 percent renewable program will save over $150 per year over that time frame.
-In 2018, six towns in Essex County (Maplewood, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Millburn, Verona, and South Orange) formed a community choice plan serving over 50,000 homes. Maplewood estimates that it will save residents more than $1 million over the course of a 17-month contract.
-Glen Rock launched a 100 percent renewable energy program in 2019, which should cut carbon pollution in the town by 15 percent. The borough also hopes to find ways to build new renewable projects in the area, which would give residents the chance to buy locally-sourced clean energy.
-In 2019, voters in Piscataway chose to join the clean energy wave, turning out to strongly support the creation of a new clean energy aggregation plan. This was the first time in state history that voters directly approved the creation of such a program.
Click here to read more about the towns in New Jersey that are already implementing 100% clean energy aggregation and saving money for their residents.
Community choice energy is a win for the environment, a win for a cleaner tomorrow, and a win for your pocketbook.
Are you ready to bring renewable energy to your community? Let’s get started. (LINK TK)
Are you ready to bring renewable energy to your community?