Mayor Mark A. Smith announced that the City of Bayonne will be rolling out a program called municipal aggregation that will cut residents’ electric bills. Mayor Smith said, “Recent changes in state law allow the municipality to negotiate on behalf of all energy customers in Bayonne and to receive a reduced bulk rate for electric bills. At its June meeting, the City Council passed my proposal to enable the City of Bayonne to start energy competition through aggregation. We are excited about beginning this new, cost-saving program that will help our entire community.”
Under the provisions of the aggregation ordinance, the City of Bayonne will utilize what is known as a reverse energy auction. The process involves seeking bids from utility suppliers to compete with our current supplier, Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G). In the words of the ordinance that the Council adopted, the aggregation program “will increase competition for the provision of electric power and natural gas to residential and non-residential users, thereby increasing the likelihood of lower electric rates and natural gas rates for these users without causing any interruption in service.”
A series of legal steps in late October and early November will lead up to the reverse energy auction. On October 25, all licensed New Jersey energy suppliers were sent bid documents by Commercial Utility Consultants (CUC), the firm that is administering the process for Bayonne and several other New Jersey communities. On November 8, qualified participating bidders will receive a notification accepting their qualifications. Finally, on November 12, an online auction will take place for the aggregation of the Bayonne energy market. CUC will administer that auction. Bidders can offer fixed utility rates for twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four months. The City of Bayonne will have the option to accept or reject the lowest bid. If the City were to select a new provider after the auction, individual consumers would retain the option not to participate and to choose any alternatives they desire. In the event of a bid acceptance by the City of Bayonne, the discounted rates offered by the designated bidder would take effect in approximately thirty days, lowering energy bills.
Mayor Smith concluded, “The aggregation program will deliver better utility rates for Bayonne consumers by harnessing the entire community’s purchasing power. Our goal is to save Bayonne families and businesses a substantial amount of money on their monthly energy bills. In these difficult economic times, the City of Bayonne welcomes this opportunity to help improve the finances of everyone in the community.”