In an effort to lower the city’s energy bills and be environmentally conscious the city of Asbury Park voted to join the Renewable General Energy Aggregation, or R-GEA, with Red Bank as the lead agency.
The program is part of Sustainable Jersey and will allow the city to purchase 40 percent of sustainable energy.
With Red Bank as the lead agency they will have the ability to bid for and purchase sustainable energy at reduced costs for all towns who are part of the group.
According to City Director of Planning and Redevelopment, Michele Alonso, documentation for the program has been reviewed by City Attorney Frederick Raffetto and the state Board of Public Utilities.
An energy consultant has also reviewed the paperwork.
Residents will be given the opportunity to opt out of the program if they prefer to remain with JCP&L.
Alonso said the contract will lock in a rate for 18 months. Residents will still be billed by JCP&L and the power company will continue to maintain the lines and repair storm damage.
“There will be nothing different for residents,” Alonso said.
“The first step is to accept Red Bank as the lead…they would do all the work on the bid process,” Alonso said.
She said if the rates come in too high the city can drop out of the program.
If the bid is accepted she said there will be a consultant who will oversee the program.
“They will hold our hands through the entire process,” she said.
The more towns that opt in to the program the more savings there will be for all towns involved.
Alonso said she has been looking at the Sustainable Essex Alliance as a guide for Asbury Park’s participation.