Stepping Up Princeton’s Renewable Energy!

We are thrilled to share some good news during this challenging time.

Beginning in June, Princeton residents will receive electricity supply that is cheaper and has more renewable content than the supply offered by PSE&G. The program aligns with our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with our energy sources, a top priority strategy of the Princeton Climate Action Plan.

Since last fall, the Municipality of Princeton, with support from Sustainable Princeton, has been working with energy consultant Gabel Associates to develop the Princeton Community Renewable Energy (PCRE) program. Information about the program is being mailed this week to Princeton residents and more information is available on the municipality’s website.

Through this program, all Princeton homes will receive a cost savings of 1-2% on their utility bills and renewable energy content will be increased to 50% for all residents. This renewable volume is more than double the standard 24% provided by PSE&G. The program also offers residents the option to increase to 100% renewable electricity for a slight premium, translating to roughly $4 per month. For residents that want the cost savings and 50% renewable plan, no action is required, as program participation is automatic for Princeton households. Only those that want to opt-up to 100% or opt-out of the program need to take action. The PCRE program pricing will be in place for 18-months. Once the program expires, the municipality will either seek a new supply bid or residential power supply will return to that provided by PSE&G.

There will be a virtual Public Information Session for the community on 4/22 at 7 p.m., however here are a few program points that we want to highlight:

Opting up to 100%: We strongly encourage you to consider increasing to 100% renewable content if you are financially able to do so. The more residents that opt-up to 100%, the greater impact we will have on our collective greenhouse gas footprint. If you opt-up to 100%, your cost will be $0.013653 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) vs. $0.013053 per kWh. To opt-up, you must call (833) 961-0753 prior to May 6, 2020.

What makes the PCRE supply renewable? The 50% renewable energy content residents will receive consists of the renewable energy PSE&G is required to supply based on New Jersey’ Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) plus an additional 26% of RPS-compliant PJM Class I Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The voluntary 100% opt-up product consists of an additional 76% RPS-compliant PJM Class I RECs. By making this move, we are showing our demand for renewable energy and pushing our region to actively invest in more renewable energy. We are also helping improve regional air quality and the creation of green jobs. 

Other third-party suppliers: If you are currently receiving your electricity supply from a third-party supplier then you will not receive the municipal notification letter. However, you are still welcome to proactively opt-in to this program. We suggest you first learn about any fees or penalties you may incur from dropping your current supplier. Otherwise, call (833) 961-0753 before May 6 to opt-in to the municipal program. This shows your demand for local investment and development in renewable energy. If you have any questions about “green” third-party suppliers, feel free to contact us.

Homes with solar panels: If your home has solar panels, you would not have received the municipal mailing about this program because it will probably not benefit you to participate. For homeowners that are able to “bank” energy generated by their solar panels, the savings attributable to the PCRE program would on average be very minimal and could put in jeopardy the excess solar production. If you would like to explore the specifics of your situation, you should call (833) 961-0753 prior to May 6, 2020.

Concern about power outages: PSE&G will continue to maintain the wires to your home so participation in this program will not alter your energy delivery. If there is a power outage due to a fallen tree or weather event, you will still call PSE&G and they will respond in the same way they do currently. A fee for this delivery service will continue to be charged on your utility bill just as it always has.

Opting Out: Participation in this program is not mandatory. We hope the cost savings and increased renewable content are benefits residents will value, but, for those not interested, opting out is easy. Just call (833) 961-0753 at any time to be removed from the PCRE program.

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