Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration is proposing to change the city’s electricity provider to save $108,500 over a two-year period, according to estimates provided to the City Council.
Under the plan, the city will no longer buy electricity from PSEG. Another firm will service the city’s 302 electric accounts, according to municipal officials.
Business administrator Vaughn McKoy provided a projection sheet that showed the city will save $54,261 or 7-percent on the annual $804,796 electricity bill.
The council has to approve a resolution to join the Passaic County Energy Cooperative to contract with Concord Engineering.
“Basically, what they do is, they pool together their resources to save on energy cost,” said McKoy speaking of the cooperative. “We talked to the county about it. We think it makes sense since we’re in a cost savings mode. It’s a two-year contract. If we don’t like it, we can get out in 24 months.”
Council members asked a series of questions about the proposal earlier in the month.
Michael Jackson, 1st Ward councilman, said the municipal government dismissed his proposal, which involved football star Ray Lewis, to save on electricity cost by powering street lights with solar power.
McKoy said the proposal does not include street lights. He said this proposal covers municipal buildings.
“Can I get a list of those properties?” asked Luis Velez, 5th Ward councilman. “I want to make sure nobody’s house is being paid.”
The one-page projection sheet states the accounts include six fire department accounts. It did not specify the other accounts.
“I think this is a step in the right direction. We’re looking for cost cutting measures,” added Al Abdelaziz, 6th Ward councilman. “Did we shop this out to get a better deal?”
Administration officials did not provide a clear response.
William McKoy, 3rd Ward councilman, pointed out this is not a new proposal. Sayegh unsuccessfully pushed a similar proposal five years ago.
At the time, Sayegh wanted to switch the electricity provider for all residents. He argued residents will save money. After the council questioned the proposal it emerged there was no county cooperative, but that one was in the process of being set up.
A second firm emerged at the time, arguing the city could save much more if it solicited proposals.
The council tabled the measure five years ago.
“I’d love to see who are the other towns participating in the co-op,” remarked councilman McKoy. He wanted to know rates other towns in the cooperative are paying.
The business administrator said the cooperative includes counties of Passaic, Hudson, Essex, and Sussex. He said Passaic County is the lead agency.
Council members will be able to ask questions to Concord Engineering officials at the next workshop meeting in December.