Want to opt-out or opt-up now?
You can do so on the PCEA website.
Piscataway residents received a letter in April 2020 about the Piscataway community energy aggregation (PCEA) program that was created by Piscataway voters as a result of a referendum during the November 2019 election. The letters came in an envelope that looks like this:
Please know that neither the Mayor nor the Township Council placed this referendum on the ballot. Rather, Food & Water Watch, an international progressive organization, and its local supporters circulated petitions to do so. Under state law, once enough signatures were gathered, the only options were to enact the measure or let voters decide. The latter was chosen.
As a result of the referendum’s passage, the Township was required to contract with a state-certified, eligible third-party energy supply company to provide a minimum level of renewable energy content for residents.
Before the November 2019 referendum, a Food & Water Watch New Jersey organizer was quoted in My Central Jersey as follows:
“‘With Piscataway Township bulk-purchasing electricity, residents and businesses will save money on their monthly bills. Families in New Brunswick and West Orange are already seeing savings of nearly $100 per year,' Romero said. If approved, he said he expects Piscataway residents will realize comparable savings.”
This did not turn out to be correct. In reality with monthly utility reconciliation charges, the PCEA rate has sometimes been slightly higher than that of PSE&G’s published rate.
One local PCEA supporter chided Township officials for being concerned about costs by saying “…because that’s all I ever hear here is how much and how much and how much,” at a September 2019 meeting. At that same meeting the supporter said, “We can expect somewhere between 12 and 15 percent of folks to opt out. Might be a little more, might be a little less, but it’s not going to be 70 percent based on all the experience, all the energy aggregation in the country and in New Jersey in the last 16 years.” This also did not turn out to be true. As of May 2021, nearly two-thirds of all households in the Township have opted out of PCEA.
Piscataway residents have three options:
- Do nothing and have been automatically enrolled in the energy aggregation program for which you will pay for 31% of your energy content to come from renewable sources.
- Opt-out of the energy aggregation program by returning the opt-out reply card included in the letter or opting out on the PCEA website and continue to pay for energy at standard PSE&G rates. To have never participated in PCEA, residents needed to have opted out by May 11, 2020. Residents may still opt-out but will have been enrolled in PCEA for a certain amount of time and will pay for their energy under PCEA rates for that time.
- Opt-up on the PCEA website to having either 50% or 100% of your energy content come from renewable sources.
There are no penalties to opt out of the program. Those who stay in the program may leave at any time without any early termination fees or penalties.
For those enrolled in the energy aggregation program, the minimum percentage of renewable energy will increase over time such as 50% in 2024 and 100% in 2035.
Those residents already enrolled with a third-party energy supplier not connected to the PCEA are not eligible for the program and did not receive the opt-out letter.
For more information, please go to the PCEA website at https://piscatawaycea.com.