The Supply Charges section of residents' electric bills would hopefully shrink 10 percent, if the township can successfully find an energy aggregator to negotiate with.
Toms River Township Council agreed to go out to bid for energy aggregation after approving an ordinance at its September meeting.
Aggregation creation is strictly regulated by the state’s Board of Public Utilities and the ordinance is only the first of many steps in the process, in which the energy aggregator is buying in bulk the energy off the power grid that residents might use, leading to a reduction in the Supply Charges section of utility bills.
Township Administrator Paul Shives the concept of energy aggregation doesn't change the utility company of JCP&L, but it would change who is buying the energy that JCP&L then distributes to residents.
“JCP&L is responsible for distribution for electrical service but they or other purchasers essentially buy it off the grid," Shives said. "We're hoping bids will come back showing other purchasers, energy aggregators, can buy it off the grid for less."
Shives said seven or so other towns in Ocean County have considered energy aggregation: Barnegat, Brick, Point Pleasant Beach, Stafford.
“Residents can opt in or out,” Shives said. “It’s all volunteer.”
The ordinance allows Toms River to seeks bids for energy aggregation.
“The concept is new to New Jersey but not new to the Northeast. Massachusetts has been doing it for some time,” Shives said.
Township officials are hoping to pass along a savings of ten percent or more to ratepayers.
“If we find there is no savings over what they are paying today, then there is no program,” Shives said.
If they find enough savings, township officials hope to have the program in place for January 1.
Patch reporter Steve Moran contributed to this report.