A third party energy aggregation contract approved by the Manchester Township Council during a special meeting on February 28, 2017, will save residents money on their electricity bills while offering the same level of service they currently receive from JCP&L.
The Manchester Community Energy Aggregation Program will provide for a lower electric bill while retaining service from JCP&L. JCP&L will continue to service residents’ homes while the electricity will be delivered by another provider, TriEagle Energy, at a lower cost. TriEagle Energy forecasted a savings of 15.6 percent on the energy generation portion of electric bills when the program begins in June 2017. This lower rate will be locked in for 24 months, although the Township retains the right to renegotiate an even lower rate should JCP&L’s basic rate become lower than the rate offered by TriEagle Energy.
Residents can rest assured that there are no hidden catches to this program should they decide to enroll. The Township paid no expenses to implement this program, as Gabel & Associates, our designated energy aggregator, solicited bids and will administer the program. The forecasted 15.6 percent savings residents will see on the generation portion of their electric bills is inclusive of any administrative costs. Additionally, customers may continue to contact JCP&L — just as they do now — for any questions (including billing), outage reports, or other concerns.
The program works through an “opt out” system, meaning residents will be automatically enrolled unless they return a postcard or call the Township’s designated number indicating they do not want to participate. Mailings containing detailed information about the program and the opt out process are expected to be delivered in April, and residents will have 30 days to respond if they do not wish to be enrolled. During that time, public information sessions will be scheduled to address any questions residents may have. Residents with solar panels and those already enrolled in another energy program will not be included. If already on a budget billing plan, customers may remain on that plan, and those who enroll in the energy aggregation program have the option to use budget billing in the future.
“I am excited for all Manchester residents to start saving on their costs for electricity. In this economy, every penny counts, especially for our residents on a fixed income,” said Mayor Kenneth Palmer.
Taking into consideration the many residents who live in retirement villages and rely only on electricity for all of their energy needs, including for heat, the program promises to provide some relief, said Council President Sam Fusaro. He noted that, cumulatively, approximately $3.5 million will be saved among the anticipated 19,000 enrollees over the course of the contract. After the contract term, officials will assess all options before entering into another agreement.
“The Energy Aggregation contract will definitely save our residents money each month on their electric bills,” said Council President Fusaro. “In the spirit of complete transparency, the Township will be sending out information on the program soon, and will also be scheduling meetings to answer any questions our residents have about the program.”
The Council was nearing an agreement to enter into an energy aggregation contract this past summer through a cooperative with Stafford and Lacey Townships, but declined to move forward because of a contractual concern. Specifically, as a safeguard Township officials wanted the ability to terminate the program for all residents should the JCP&L rate ever become lower than the aggregation contract rate. The newly reworked contract includes such a termination provision, ensuring that residents are never locked into an unfavorable rate and will always receive the best price for their electricity. Further, the contract was reviewed and recommended by the State Board of Public Utilities.