South Brunswick will move forward with energy aggregation plan

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Residents in South Brunswick will soon have the ability to opt in to a community energy aggregation plan.

Officials discussed moving toward clean, renewable energy during the Nov. 10 Township Council meeting.

“It’s a popular and successful strategy to combatting the climate crisis,” Charles Kratovil, representing Food & Water Watch, said during the virtual meeting. “It will make South Brunswick a leader when it comes to clean energy and clean air.”

The council discussed choosing the option of a government private energy program that auto-enrolls residents (but who can opt out) and allows for non-residents to opt in.

It would also put the onus on local distribution companies, such as JCP&L and PSE&G, to notice its customers.

The township would be responsible for reimbursing the companies for the incremental costs, but Director of Law Don Sears said he did not know the cost.

If approved, the township would move into public bidding, award the bid, transmit a copy of the agreement to the Board of Public Utilities and the ratepayer advocate, notice residents, and then give a list of customers to the service providers, Sears said.

New Brunswick has had the program in place for years, and East Brunswick voters presumably approved the measure during the Nov. 3 general election as a ballot question. Plainsboro and Edison slightly modified the template ordinance, but are enrolled in the program. Glen Rock has 70% participation from its residents.

The council will have to designate township staff and structure the program so that the supplier is given a schedule for incremental increases through 2030, moving toward 100% renewable energy.

“It seems like an exciting project, just takes a little bit to get it up and running,” Sears said.

Since the council decided to move forward, Sears will work on creating an ordinance.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com