Hamilton Township Municipal Building

Just three months after exiting an agreement for energy aggregation, Hamilton Township officials have decided to jump into another one.

The township has accepted a bid from Constellation NewEnergy, which will allow the company to provide electricity to Hamiltonians at a bulk-buy price. The new program will begin in June and run until September 2020. Township council approved the proposal during its March 5 meeting.

Energy aggregation allows local governments to bundle electricity accounts—such as the ones belonging to residents—in order to seek bids for cheaper energy rates. Electricity is then sold to this group of accounts together, at a bulk rate lower than one an individual customer could receive. Normally, customers of utilities like PSE&G receive electricity at a fixed rate.

A statement from the township said Constellation NewEnergy will offer a price about 12 percent lower than PSE&G’s electricity supply price, and more than six percent below the projected PSE&G price during the 15 months of the contract. The township estimates the average resident would save $90 during the 15-month contract, with a township-wide savings of $3 million.

The total savings would diminish should some residents exercise the option to opt-out of the energy aggregation agreement. Those who opt-out would continue receiving electricity from PSE&G directly.

This will be the second round of energy aggregation in Hamilton. In late 2016, the township entered into an agreement with South Jersey Energy, which township officials said would generate more than $8.5 million in savings for township residents. The actual savings of the 21-month deal wound up being less, a total of just more than $1 million.

In November 2018, with the South Jersey Energy deal ending, the township conducted a public bid for new aggregation proposals. The township said the offers it received were higher than the price offered by South Jersey Energy, and officials decided to return to PSE&G instead.

Residents using South Jersey Energy then were switched back to PSE&G in December 2018. Under the new energy aggregation contract, participating residents will be switched to Constellation NewEnergy in June. The only change is who is providing the electricity; customers continue to receive their bill from PSE&G regardless of whether they participate in the energy aggregation program or not.

Constellation NewEnergy is a subsidiary of energy giant Exelon. Its other companies include Philadelphia Electric Company, Baltimore Electric and Gas, and Potomac Electric Power Company.

For more information on Hamilton’s energy aggregation program, go online to hamiltonnj.com/energy.