The Township Council took the first step to potentially entering into an energy aggregation partnership at Tuesday night’s meeting.
After hearing a presentation by the township’s utility consultant Scott MacFadden, of Birdsall Services Group, and Mark Cappadona, of Colonial Power Group, the council voted unanimously on the first reading of an ordinance to proceed on a possible aggregation agreement to purchase and distribute electricity within the township.
According to MacFadden and Mayor John Spodofora this does not bind the township to any agreement and is only the first step in a long process regulated and overseen by state’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
During their presentation MacFadden and Cappadona said if the township were to become an aggregator it could save the average Stafford resident “at least 10 percent” on the cost of their electricity.
In addition, as the aggregator the township could expect to gain non-tax related revenue. Also, the company managing the aggregation would handle all paperwork and administration of the program with no cost to the township, said MacFadden.
The concept is much like the ones currently being offered by many companies already out there, except in this case it would be an “opt-out,” not “opt-in” scenario, said MacFadden.
If the township decided to move forward, after all BPU conditions were met, including using a company selected through an open bid process to manage the aggregation, all township households currently with Atlantic Electric would be informed they were being enrolled in the program.
They would then have the option to opt-out to remain with Atlantic Electric or stay with their current aggregator or find another aggregator on their own, said Cappadona.
In their presentation the men estimated that there are about 10,000 households in Stafford currently eligible for the plan. Also, the township through their aggregation company could offer the program to businesses and other commercial interests, they added.
If a resident already has another aggregator plan they will not be contacted by the township, unless they choose to switch, added MacFadden.
Such is the case with Councilmen Steve Fessler, who said he now pays $0.09 per kilowatt hour with his aggregator, while Atlantic Electric is charging $0.12 per hour. That’s getting the same electricity for two-thirds the price, said Fessler, who was assured by Cappadona that the $0.09 rate is feasible with this concept.
“It’s a win-win-win,” Cappadona said, meaning the consumer wins, the township wins and, yes the aggregation management company makes something as well, he added.
The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the July 10 meeting.
In other business, the council approved an ordinance requiring all commercial properties that use solar energy and have panels on their roofs to post “identifying emblems” on their property for fire fighters and emergency service teams.
“The panels hold an electrical charge, and our firefighters need to be aware they are there,” said Spodofora.
For residential homeowners the posting is voluntary, said Administrator James Moran.
The meeting began with a presentation from Boy Scout Troop 191 to the mayor and council for their assistance with their annual car wash fund raiser.
Mayor Spodofora then gave the key to the city to World War II veteran Anthony T. Castelli for his being awarded the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government for his war time service. The legion medal is a sign of France’s “infinite gratitude and appreciation” for his contribution to the United States’ “decisive role in their liberation.”
Castelli then proudly showed the mayor and all in attendance the medal before heading out with a host of family members for a celebration of the event.