Community Choice in the Garden State came into being in 1999 as part of the electricity deregulation movement. It was followed by a more specific Government Energy Aggregation Act in 2003, but an opt-in requirement and cost cap stymied the growth of GEAs. Subsequent legislation removed these barriers and the first GEA programs launched in 2012.
New Jersey’s experiment with an opt-in aggregation demonstrated that CCAs really need to be designed as opt-out programs in order to succeed. Only with the automatic enrollment of all customers, except those who opt out, can a CCA reach the critical mass necessary to attract suppliers and succeed as a business.
New aggregation programs are initiated by majority vote of the municipality’s elected body and must be approved by the Board of Public Utilities.
New Jersey now allows the automatic enrollment of residential customers, but it still requires commercial and municipal accounts to opt-in during a specified period.
In 2012 Plumstead Township was the first community to initiate GEA in New Jersey. Other early adopters were Toms River, Montgomery and Monroe Townships. Each of those communities continues to offer GEA to its residents.
As of January, 2017, this list shows the 53 municipalities, by service territory, listed in the state of New Jersey with Government Energy Aggregation Plans.
New Jersey’s GEA statute prohibits aggregation if the rate charged to customers isn’t lower than the current default rate charged by the local distribution utility. There is an exception to this if the program includes a higher percentage of green energy than is required by the current New Jersey renewable portfolio standard.
ACES – Alliance for Competitive Energy Services (Purchases electricity and natural gas for 430 NJ school districts. It is the largest GEA in the state.)
CCA-Enabling Legislation: AB 2165
2003 Aggregation Statute (PDF, 10 pages)
Board of Public Utilities (BPU) (Regulates public utilities)
Commercial Utility Consultants (Consultancy that advises NJ communities on creating GEAs.)
Gabel Associates (Consultancy that advises NJ communities on creating GEAs)
Good Energy (Consultancy that advises NJ communities on creating GEAs)
Government Energy Aggregation Summary (PDF, 3 pages, undated)
New Jersey Energy Master Plan (First issued in 2011, the plan has been in the process of being updated from mid-2015 to the present.)
Sustainable Jersey (A program of the NJ League of Municipalities that encourages cities and towns to become more sustainable.)
TriEagle Energy (Retail electricity supplier)