This past August, the New Brunswick, New Jersey, City Council unanimously voted to approve an energy aggregation program to provide residents and businesses with 100- percent renewable energy by 2035.
The 100-percent renewable ordinance began through a grassroots initiative started by New Brunswick members of the Food & Water Watch, a national environmental advocacy organization. Volunteers went door to door collecting signatures to urge the city council to create the New Brunswick Community Energy Aggregation program (NBCEA), which would purchase energy from clean, renewable sources.
The New Brunswick City Council unanimously approved the ordinance at its Aug. 15 meeting. The program calls for a phased-in use of renewable energy, beginning with 30 percent in 2020, 50 percent by 2024, and 100 percent by 2035.
As a first-of-its-kind program in New Jersey, the NBCEA means New Brunswick would attain 100 percent renewable energy 15 years ahead New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s goal. The NBCEA was created through New Jersey Government Energy Aggregation Act, a state law that allows cities and towns to create bulk purchasing agreements.
As part of the New Brunswick program, the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey will serve as a consultant. The commission has extensive experience with cooperative energy purchasing and will monitor energy trends as the city implements the new program.
“Good Energy manages the second-largest public-energy procurement cooperative in New Jersey, composed of schools and boards of education,” says Javier Barrios, Managing Partner of the New York City-based energy consultant Good Energy. “We work with about 100 organizations in New Jersey in 21 counties and have seen the increasing demand for renewable energy programs such as New Brunswick.”