WEST ORANGE RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY ENERGY AGGREGATION PROGRAM
Through the West Orange Community Energy Aggregation (WOCEA) program, Talen Energy is pleased to offer West Orange residential customers the low price of $0.11483 per kWh for the power supply portion of their electric bills, starting with the September 2016 meter read through the December 2017 meter read. You will still receive one bill through the local utility company and all delivery and distribution services remain the same.
A program announcement was mailed to thousands of eligible Township residents at the beginning of July 2016. If you received this mailing and did not opt-out of the program during the 30-day opt-out period which ended on July 31st, you have been enrolled in the program for service with Talen Energy beginning in September.
If you are a West Orange resident, you do not need to take any action to take advantage of this special program for your home.
Some Frequently Asked Questions are below. If you are not sure if you have already been enrolled in the program, or for additional questions, email us at CustomerCare@talenenergy.com or call Talen Energy Customer Care at 888-289-7693.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Community Energy Aggregation?
Community Energy Aggregation is a program permitted under New Jersey State law that allows municipalities to pool together residents and conduct a bid for power supply from third-party suppliers, with the aim of obtaining a power supply price that is cheaper than the supply price charged by the electric utility. The program is conducted under the oversight of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the Division of Rate Counsel and the Department of Community Affairs.
Who has West Orange Township selected as the Round 2 WOCEA program supplier?
Talen Energy was selected by the Township as the qualified supplier with the lowest bid price in a public, competitive bid. Talen Energy is an electric power supplier licensed by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
When does the program with Talen Energy begin?
Service will begin with the September 2016 meter read date and will continue through the December 2017 meter read date.
How does the WOCEA program contract price compare to the PSE&G tariff price for electricity supply?
The price of $0.11483 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is approximately 10.5% below the average PSE&G tariff price for power supply of $0.1282 per kWh. Based on this price differential, the average Township resident would save an estimated $135 over the full contract term (about $9 per month).
Does the price vary as energy market conditions change?
No. This is a non-variable price that does not change with market conditions. Unlike some third-party supply contracts, the price is locked in through a contract with the Township, and will not fluctuate after an initial ‘teaser’ period. Prices can be adjusted only to reflect a Change in Law affecting power prices that will also impact the PSE&G power supply tariff price, such that the percent of savings is expected to remain. You will be notified in advance of any such change, and will maintain your ability to opt out.
If I participate in the program, how does this affect my utility bill?
Your PSE&G bill includes separate charges for delivery service and for power supply service (i.e., Basic Generation Service). By participating in the program, PSE&G will still read your meter, and you will still receive a single bill from PSE&G. Your bill will continue to include the PSE&G delivery charges, but the utility Basic Generation Service charges for power supply will be replaced by the lower charges offered by the Township’s chosen supplier, Talen Energy.
Is participation mandatory?
Participation is never mandatory. Residents who do not currently have a third-party supply contract (i.e., take power supply service from PSE&G under the utility’s Basic Generation Service tariff) are included in the initial eligibility pool. However, residents can opt out of the WOCEA program by mail, phone or email using the information in the Program Summary. If you opt out within the 30-day opt-out period (before July 31, 2016), you will not be enrolled in the program at all. Even after enrollment you can opt out any time, effective with the next meter read cycle, and there are no penalties or fees to do so. To opt-out of the program simply email us at CustomerCare@talenenergy.com or call Talen Energy Customer Care at 888-289-7693.
Will I receive any other notifications?
Yes. If you do not opt out of the program, several weeks after receipt of this Information Package you will receive a notification letter from PSE&G indicating that Talen Energy has enrolled your account for third-party supply and informing you of the date you will be switched to Talen Energy. This is just an added notification; no further action is required in order to participate.
Will I ever be requested to provide information to a door-to-door solicitor for enrollment in this program?
No. This program does not include any door-to-door solicitation. Talen Energy has the necessary information already, subject to strict confidentiality. If you are solicited by someone, please do not provide them with your information – alert the Township, the Township’s energy consultant, Gabel Associates or Talen Energy immediately.
Who do I call if there is a power outage?
Even if you participate in the program, PSE&G will still provide delivery service, and will still be responsible for service reliability and restoration. If the lights go out, you would still call PSE&G at 1-800-436-PSEG. Under this program, nothing changes about your service and reliability.
Will I still be able to receive budget billing (Equal Payment Plan)?
Yes. If you currently have a budget billing plan with PSE&G, the selected supplier is required to provide you with an equal payment plan for your power supply charges. PSE&G will continue to bill a levelized amount each month for delivery service, and Talen Energy will also bill a levelized amount each month (through the PSE&G bill) for power supply. Because the selected supplier’s contract price for power supply is lower than the PSE&G price for power supply, your total monthly budget amount (sum of monthly PSE&G delivery service budget amount and Talen Energy budget amount for power supply) should be reduced. You may experience a “true-up” on your bill from PSE&G prior to enrollment and then again at the end of the program.
What happens at the end of the WOCEA Round 2 with the supplier?
There is no automatic rollover. If the Township decides to continue the program, it will conduct a new competitive bid for a new contract, and you will be advised of the new contract. If the Township discontinues the program, you will simply be returned to PSE&G power supply at the PSE&G tariff price.
Will the LIHEAP and Lifeline benefit programs for low income residents still apply if I participate in the WOCEA Round 2?
LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is federally funded program, administered by the Dept. of Community Affairs, to assist low income households with paying their heating bills (whether electric, gas, oil, etc.). There should be no impact of participation in the WOCEA program on customers’ eligibility. Lifeline or Universal Service programs are state-funded through State taxes and societal benefits charges, again with eligibility based upon a number of factors tied to income. Bill credits of up to $225 are provided to assist eligible customers with electric and gas utility bills. The WOCEA will provide consolidated billing through the utility; as such the bill credits would be unaffected.
What if I have a solar system or net metering?
Customers with net metering typically produce excess energy in some months exceeding their monthly electric consumption. In such cases, the monthly utility bill is usually very low. For these customers, the savings attributable to the WOCEA program would be very minimal. It is for this reason that the Township has elected to remove solar customers from the WOCEA Round 2 supply contract. Talen Energy will not reimburse customers for their excess generation. However, if you believe based upon a review of your past bills that your solar system is NOT producing excess energy that is being ‘banked’ on your PSE&G bill, you may consider opting-in to the WOCEA program. You are encouraged to contact Talen Energy or PSE&G for further information.
How do I obtain more information?
Program details are provided in the Program Summary included with your notification package. For additional questions, email Talen Energy at CustomerCare@talenenergy.com.
This program is limited to the West Orange Community Energy Aggregation Program and is not an offer or agreement to serve any other residential customers in New Jersey. Service is provided by Talen Energy Marketing, LLC.