Verona’s effort to help residents buy more environmentally friendly electricity has come to an end: The township posted on its website and social media on Wednesday that the Sustainable Essex Alliance (SEA) contract with Energy Harbor has expired and SEA has not been able to find a suitably priced replacement.
In 2019, Verona announced that it had joined with five other Essex County towns (Maplewood, South Orange, Livingston, Glen Ridge, and Montclair) and Bergen County’s Glen Rock to offer residents a way to get more of their electricity from renewable energy than they could get from PSE&G. The initial contract expired in December 2020, but Sustainable Essex got a new contract that promised that all of the electricity would come from renewable sources.
“Hoping for a third consecutive contract, the SEA tested the market in May of 2022 by requesting proposals from third party suppliers for a new energy supply contract,” the town posted. “The prices received were all significantly higher than PSE&G’s utility rates and we concluded that near term, residents are better served by PSE&G.” The town said that it will continue to monitor the energy market and hopes to request new proposals in the future.
Some Verona residents have already received a letter or email from PSEG notifying them that the utility will once again be their power provider, but the clumsily worded announcement could be mistaken for a scam: PSE&G refers to the change as an “Electric Supplier Drop Notification.” Under the terms of the Sustainable Essex contracts, electricity supply reverts to PSE&G if the program was ended. There is no switching cost to residents, who continue to receive their regular electric bill.
Verona officials said that residents are now likely to get mail or phone solicitations for individual energy contracts from other alternative suppliers. “These are NOT affiliated with the Township or the SEA,” the town posted.