file photo by Boyd Loving
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, As responsible stewards of our tax dollars Mayor Susan Knudsen and Deputy Mayor Sedon, along with the Village Council, are looking at every penny spent by the municipality. Taking this approach we felt that the Village should examine its current energy bills to see if the energy sharing program we are in actually saves money verses using the local provider PSE&G for power and gas.
The Special Projects Task Force, reconstituted and renamed from the previous Financial Advisory Committee, has completed its first task focusing on this area and presented to the Village Council at its March 28 public work session.
The Village is a participant in the NJ Sustainable Energy Joint Meeting (SEM) program, which bundles towns to solicit bids from many energy providers in an attempt to achieve lower energy costs together, than a single town might be able to get on its own.
The task force went through two years of electric and gas bills for Village Hall as a representative sample of the program. This particular building was used because it represents 20 percent of the Village’s annual energy consumption and is serviced by a single meter.
Surprisingly, the results showed that the Village spent an additional 8.8 percent for gas over what it would have paid by using PSE&G and an additional 6.2 percent for electric. This equates to $6,669 throughout the two-year study period from 2016 to 2017. Extrapolated throughout the Village this is a significant amount.
In addition to the actual dollar amount there is more staff time required to reconcile the bills for the many different, and often changing energy providers.
Using this valuable study the council can make more informed decisions as to who we use to provide energy resulting in taxpayer savings going forwar