Feeling confused about the Princeton Community Renewable Energy (PCRE) program and other energy provider options? We can help.
Let’s start by saying that we strongly encourage Princeton residents to opt-up to 100% in the PCRE program if they are able. (Opting up is estimated to add an average of $4.50/month.) To opt-up, call (833) 961-0753 before Wednesday, May 6.
Here’s more background about the program and why this is a good idea.
The PCRE program, like other renewable energy supply providers, operates through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Similar to stock certificates, RECs are the industry-accepted means to assign a financial value to the environmental benefits of renewable energy production. For every 1 Mwh of renewable energy that is generated, a REC is created for a one-time purchase in the market.
In the case of the PCRE program, every time a Princeton resident turns on the light, their energy usage is contributing towards the purchase of RECs generated within our local electrical grid to match 50% of their energy use. Residents that opt up to 100%, will trigger a purchase to match 100% of their use. These REC purchases accelerate the development of renewable energy supply in our region, stimulate a green economy locally, and support regional air quality improvements.
Regardless of who provides your energy, the actual electrons used by your home are the same as your neighbors, and PSE&G will continue to deliver this electricity and maintain your power lines. Your bill will continue to show a PSE&G delivery fee paid and you will not experience any change in service.
To evaluate the PCRE program against other supply programs, consider these factors:
- Energy Supply Cost: The price for the PCRE program is fixed for the 18-month term at $0.13053/kWh for the 50% renewable energy content option or $0.13653/kWh for the 100% renewable energy option. These rates are not variable and there is no teaser rate. These techniques are often common among third-party suppliers.
- Investing in Regional Renewables: The PCRE program purchases RECs generated within our local electrical grid (termed PJM) and accelerates the installation of renewable energy in our region. Other programs often purchase wind RECS generated in the middle of the country but the PCRE program is designed to benefit the local environment and economy.
- Transparency: To ensure residents are informed, an informational mailing, a program summary, and a robust FAQ are available on the Municipality’s web page. The informational mailing is also available on the municipality’s site in Spanish and Mandarin.
- No Spam: Residents will not receive any phone calls or emails regarding the PCRE program. PSE&G will be sending one additional letter, as required by state law, notifying you of the contract changes.
- Early termination fees: The PCRE program has no early termination fee. Participants can opt-out at any time.
Again, the PCRE program is a great step forward for Princeton’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.