Energy Aggregation Update!

The full announcement from the Township can be found here.

Two years ago, five Essex County municipalities – Glen Ridge, Maplewood, Montclair, South Orange and Verona – formed the Sustainable Essex Alliance (SEA) to promote high quality green energy and reduce the cost of electricity for our residents. The SEA’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates, estimated that in the first 12 months of the program the aggregate savings for the participating residents in Montclair was $684,000. The current contract with Direct Energy ends in December 2020. The SEA has now expanded to include Glen Rock and Livingston and has awarded a contract to Energy Harbor for Round 2. Because of unfavorable conditions in the energy market during the bidding process, there will be a brief gap in the program. During that time, energy supply will default to PSE&G for participating residents beginning in January 2021 with no action necessary. When the new contract begins in March, all residents will once again automatically transition to the new supplier.

Under the new contract with Energy Harbor, the baseline product will again provide participating residents with power supply that has nearly double the renewable energy content required of PSE&G, at a price of $.12830/kwh, which is well below the current average Basic Generation Service tariff price of PSE&G. Therefore, residents can expect to receive power supply under Round 2 of the SEA program that is greener than utility-provided power supply, and at a cost that is expected to be lower than the cost of utility-provided power supply over the contract term.

See the announcement linked above for full details.

Plastic Pollution Reduction Act

On Nov. 3, 2020 Governor Murphy signed into law the strongest plastics legislation in the country. The Plastic Pollution Reduction Act (A1978/S864) is now the law of the land.  The law includes a full ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam food service products. Large stores will be banned from providing paper bags, while small businesses will be allowed to provide paper bags for free as they always have. It is critical that we cut down on paper bag usage, as the production of paper bags causes three times the carbon emissions as the production of plastic bags. Plastic straws will be made available at restaurants and bars by request only. 

NJ Clean Communities funds will also be set aside for the first three years to help local governments with educational efforts and the purchasing of reusable bags for residents.

Thank you to the Mayor and Town Council who supported the Montclair Environmental Commission’s proposed plastic reduction ordinance over a year ago.  It will remain in place until the state law goes into effect in May 2022. Thanks to Montclair’s citizens and retailers for making it an easy transition.  We are now one step closer to a plastic-free future!

Make Sure You are Counted!

Even without a pandemic, 2020 would have been a big year. Our decennial census is happening right now and it’s critical that you are counted to ensure our community gets all the funding we deserve.

You may have also noticed 2020 is an election year! Here’s the information you need to ensure you vote is counted as well.

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