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Meeting To Discuss Energy Aggregation Program

EATONTOWN: A public information session on the Eatontown Community Energy Aggregation program is tonight, November 17 at 6 p.m. in the Eatontown Municipal Building.

Promising to save money to residents' power bills, the ECEA is a community energy aggregation program where a town purchases energy in bulk, with the idea that a bulk purchase will save money over individual contracts for each customer.

"Community Energy Aggregation is a program that allows the municipality to negotiate a 'bulk purchase' of energy supply on behalf of its residents, at prices lower than the average utility price," announced the town in its press release for the meeting. "New Jersey regulations allow municipalities to take this approach to procure savings on your behalf. The borough has engaged the services of Gabel Associates, at no cost to the taxpayer, to implement the Eatontown's Community Energy Aggregation Program aimed to save you and our community money."

The borough negotiates the rate, and would only enter a bulk power supply agreement if the price to the consumer is less than the regular retail price through the utility, Jersey Central Power & Light. JCP&L would still provide the power, and bill the customer, but the ECEA would negotiate the rate.

The program is optional: "Once a supplier is selected and the contract price is established, all residents will receive information about the program and be given the opportunity to opt out." There would be no exit fees or penalties assessed.

The program was not without comment in Eatontown and elsewhere, as township decide whether to create energy aggregation programs of their own. Questions about whether a lower price could be secured, and whether it would increase over time, were among the concerns previously.

Eatontown has a Frequently Asked Questions page (www.eatontownnj.com/boro) to explain further, and the November 17 meeting is a public one to also go over the program with residents.

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