The idea of energy aggregation has been kicked around in several Ocean County towns for the last year or so.  From Barnegat and Brick to Stafford and Plumstead.  Now, Toms River is taking steps that may help lower your electric bill through a special program.

Meeting in Toms River about energy aggregation (Tom Mongelli, Townsquare Media NJ)

The community energy aggregation would funnel electric power to homes through Township-directed bulk-rate buys.  Highland Park based Gabel Associates has been brought in to handle the bid process.  They recently did work for Plumstead and had seven suppliers go out to bid.  Why was the number so low?  Executive Vice President Robert Chilton says "there's a lot of red tape to deal with and not all third-party providers are up on all of the legalities.  Some have limited resources while others find it to be more of a hassle than anything."

All of the residents would be included, unless they already picked a third party supplier or choose to opt out.

There was a hearing held in Toms River on Tuesday night during the regularly scheduled council meeting.  Some residents were outspoken about it, claiming it is the government's way of getting involved in something they never did before.  Chilton says "actually, the status quo is more government control.  Think of it this way, the utility gets approval from a state agency and you are all locked in.  This plan is localized and better.  We are excited about the possibilities."

The concept of energy aggregation doesn't change the utility company of JCP&L, but it would change who is buying the energy that the utility distributes to residents.