Sustainable Essex Alliance Energy Program

turns out I opted out.  so there goes my vacation fund.


Apollo_T said:
justhow much direct personal experience do you have with residential prrograms like this?

I don't.  But I believe in what our Town leaders are trying to do with this and if it doesn't work I can opt out at any time.  


We did this in West Orange a couple years ago. I don't think there was a clean energy aspect to that deal, but it was similarly a guarantee of slightly less expensive service. An easy win, but honestly the constant WHO IS THIS OTHER COMPANY ON MY PSE&G BILL WHY AM I BEING RIPPED OFF WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE TOWNSHIP SWITCHED ME WITHOUT MY CONSENT posts on the various West Orange forums probably cost more in town-wide eye-rolling eye strain and Facebook post responding time than we ended up actually saving. 


The Maplewood TC could have done significantly more PR upfront to avoid some (not all) of this confusion and chatter.  


yahooyahoo said:
The Maplewood TC could have done significantly more PR upfront to avoid some (not all) of this confusion and chatter.  

 I think that statement can be made about every government body that does anything anywhere.  


I didn't opt out. My bill for July was 50 bux less as the adjusted my equal payment plan for the rest of the year. My balancing month is December historically... 


FYI, I opted in for the third party and just got my first bill.  Last year my equal payment plan was 61 a month.  In July, before the third party went into effect, I got a new equal payment plan that would be 30 a month (I live alone in a condo in Maplewood now).  When I got the bill, it was for 65.71.  I called PSEG and asked why if I got a new equal payment plan for 30 a month was my bill for 65.71.  They told me that my equal payment was 30 a month but the new third party would add to it.  I quit the third party.


Oldstone said:

FYI, I opted in for the third party and just got my first bill.  Last year my equal payment plan was 61 a month.  In July, before the third party went into effect, I got a new equal payment plan that would be 30 a month (I live alone in a condo in Maplewood now).  When I got the bill, it was for 65.71.  I called PSEG and asked why if I got a new equal payment plan for 30 a month was my bill for 65.71.  They told me that my equal payment was 30 a month but the new third party would add to it.  I quit the third party.

PSE&G has already set its equal payment plan at $30 regardless of whether you have a third party supplier or not.  This is not a "third party supplier" problem but a PSE&G problem.  Your equal payment plan will be adjusted again in 6 months.  PSE&G will end up owing you a credit the next time they adjust your equal payment plan.


yahooyahoo said:

PSE&G has already set its equal payment plan at $30 regardless of whether you have a third party supplier or not.  This is not a "third party supplier" problem but a PSE&G problem.  Your equal payment plan will be adjusted again in 6 months.  PSE&G will end up owing you a credit the next time they adjust your equal payment plan.

 I'm glad you told me that.  Now I understand more fully.


Robert_Casotto said:

turns out I opted out.  so there goes my vacation fund.

 Can't you still opt in?


joan_crystal said:

Robert_Casotto said:

turns out I opted out.  so there goes my vacation fund.

 Can't you still opt in?

 He's being facetious. He deliberately opted out.


We got a message from PSE&G that our Direct Energy service is ending. Is this something the township did (contract over?) or did we miss something we need to do?


TIA for any explanation people may have.


The program is ending because the group could not get a new contract at a good rate.  


FilmCarp said:

The program is ending because the group could not get a new contract at a good rate.  

 It was announced at a township committee meeting that a new contract was approved.  It is expected to start up in a few months after the existing contract ends.


joan_crystal said:

FilmCarp said:

The program is ending because the group could not get a new contract at a good rate.  

 It was announced at a township committee meeting that a new contract was approved.  It is expected to start up in a few months after the existing contract ends.

 Recently? I got the same message that the program was ending as well. 


the_18th_letter said:

 Recently? I got the same message that the program was ending as well. 

I can only comment on what I heard at the TC meetings.  The current plan is ending because the contract was for a specific period of time.  That is the message you likely received.  

According to discussion at a TC meeting, the township put out a request for proposals to continue the service at the point where the current contract ended and none of the bids they received matched PSE&G's rate.  Therefore, it was still correct to state that that the program would not be resumed with a new provider or the existing provider.  That may also be what you hard.

At a later TC meeting, it was stated that the town as lead agency then put it out a second time, this time with a start date beginning in the warmer months and received a bid that worked.  Therefore, the program will start up again after a break of a few months.  

I have no details as to what this new plan would entail. I have not seen anything on the town website regarding what was discussed nor received any email blast on the subject.  I assume, unless things change, that we will hear more as we get closer to the new start date.


Thanks for the info ... I thought it was likely the contract ended but wasn't sure. We will keep our eyes out for the new plan.


joan_crystal said:

I can only comment on what I heard at the TC meetings.  The current plan is ending because the contract was for a specific period of time.  That is the message you likely received.  

According to discussion at a TC meeting, the township put out a request for proposals to continue the service at the point where the current contract ended and none of the bids they received matched PSE&G's rate.  Therefore, it was still correct to state that that the program would not be resumed with a new provider or the existing provider.  That may also be what you hard.

At a later TC meeting, it was stated that the town as lead agency then put it out a second time, this time with a start date beginning in the warmer months and received a bid that worked.  Therefore, the program will start up again after a break of a few months.  

I have no details as to what this new plan would entail. I have not seen anything on the town website regarding what was discussed nor received any email blast on the subject.  I assume, unless things change, that we will hear more as we get closer to the new start date.

 In general I'm happy about this, but I foresee a disaster.  So many people have been ignorant of the process and don't know how to read their bill.  There was so much complaining about the way it was handled.  To now go back to PSEG for a bit, let people restart their balanced billing, and then interrupt it again will be an absolute S**t storm.  


FilmCarp said:

 In general I'm happy about this, but I foresee a disaster.  So many people have been ignorant of the process and don't know how to read their bill.  There was so much complaining about the way it was handled.  To now go back to PSEG for a bit, let people restart their balanced billing, and then interrupt it again will be an absolute S**t storm.  

 I hope you are wrong.  Hopefully, the town learned from out last experience and this time things will proceed much more smoothly.


joan_crystal said:

FilmCarp said:

 In general I'm happy about this, but I foresee a disaster.  So many people have been ignorant of the process and don't know how to read their bill.  There was so much complaining about the way it was handled.  To now go back to PSEG for a bit, let people restart their balanced billing, and then interrupt it again will be an absolute S**t storm.  

 I hope you are wrong.  Hopefully, the town learned from out last experience and this time things will proceed much more smoothly.

 It's not the towns that are the problem. It's the residents.  Seriously, people don't know how to read their bills, and don't understand that using more electricity costs more.  It is going to hit the fan.  It could be avoided if people had the option to opt in.  


FilmCarp said:

 It's not the towns that are the problem. It's the residents.  Seriously, people don't know how to read their bills, and don't understand that using more electricity costs more.  It is going to hit the fan.  It could be avoided if people had the option to opt in.  

Too few persons would opt in to make this feasible.  That is why this was proposed as an opt out program.  The problem was partly how the town and the contractor overseeing the program explained things the last time.  The equal payment plan was especially difficult for many to understand.  So was the opt out feature.  Lots of residents didn't understand why they had been included in a program they did not sign up for or agree to.  An info session on how to read your PSE&G bill might also have been helpful. That is a good suggestion.


yeah.  I have spent a lot of time over the last year explaining this stuff to people on soma lounge.  Including today.  So, all the educational outreach has missed a considerable portion of the population.  It's going to be a mess.


Me too.  However, I am more optimistic that having been through this once, it will be a smoother process this time.


FilmCarp said:

joan_crystal said:

FilmCarp said:

 In general I'm happy about this, but I foresee a disaster.  So many people have been ignorant of the process and don't know how to read their bill.  There was so much complaining about the way it was handled.  To now go back to PSEG for a bit, let people restart their balanced billing, and then interrupt it again will be an absolute S**t storm.  

 I hope you are wrong.  Hopefully, the town learned from out last experience and this time things will proceed much more smoothly.

 It's not the towns that are the problem. It's the residents.  Seriously, people don't know how to read their bills, and don't understand that using more electricity costs more.  It is going to hit the fan.  It could be avoided if people had the option to opt in.  

 OMG This.  Right as always Dan. 


If we opted out the first time will the township opt us back in since it seems to be another program and not a continuation of the old program? 


the_18th_letter said:

If we opted out the first time will the township opt us back in since it seems to be another program and not a continuation of the old program? 

 My guess is that you will be opted in all over again


FilmCarp said:

joan_crystal said:

FilmCarp said:

 In general I'm happy about this, but I foresee a disaster.  So many people have been ignorant of the process and don't know how to read their bill.  There was so much complaining about the way it was handled.  To now go back to PSEG for a bit, let people restart their balanced billing, and then interrupt it again will be an absolute S**t storm.  

 I hope you are wrong.  Hopefully, the town learned from out last experience and this time things will proceed much more smoothly.

 It's not the towns that are the problem. It's the residents.  Seriously, people don't know how to read their bills, and don't understand that using more electricity costs more.  It is going to hit the fan.  It could be avoided if people had the option to opt in.  


I agree it will be a sh#t show.  The program will end and everyone will go back to PSE&G as their supplier and bills will be confusing at balances are adjusted, etc.  Then everyone will be opted back in after a few months and bills will change again.

I also agree that, in general, the residents don't take the time to understand their utility bills which results in confusion and false conclusions when things change.


I'm back on next door trying to explain to people how to read their bill.  They are still convinced that they were ripped off, even though they were not.  I repeat that the idea was a sound one, but it did not account for the ignorance of the end users.


The PSE&G letter announcing the end of the program arrived yesterday.  It is poorly worded.  If you read it quickly, it looks as if you now have to select a new third party energy provider rather than being automatically switched back to PSE&G.  This of course is not the case. Be prepared for lots of new confusion cropping up on social media. 



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