Borough Of Pemberton (a resident's perspective)

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Pemberton Borough Electric Department
2/15/2014 BTBuzalski
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2012.01.22 Gene Kingman
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Referenced Documents

GeoPeak Proposal
Sunpower Solar Lease
PBEC Original Agreement
PBEC Revised Agreement
2013 Power Monitoring
2015.03 Power Monitoring
2015.or Power Monitoring
 
NJ Clean Energy Document
Pemberton Borough Code 90

Legal Position

My Story

Buzalski vs GeoPeak Electric

GeoPeak Energy
 

geopeak commits Fraud

 

Years ago, long before PSE&G or the Atlantic City Electric Company, the Borough of Pemberton had it's own electric plant that supplied electricity to the local businesses and residents.  It eventually became clear that it would be far more economical for the Borough to purchase power from the larger generators on the open market.  Now, as part of the Public Power Association of New Jersey, the electric department purchases the power and maintains their own distribution system. 

Also, as part of their service to the community, Pemberton Borough installed and maintained their own water system and invested in wells to provide that resource for the community.

That all sounds like a good thing and at the time it was a cost effective solution their problems. 

Property taxes have generally been low in South Jersey because the population was pretty much rural and there was not a lot of overhead.  However as the towns started to grow and more services were demanded by the residents, costs began to escalate.

Pemberton Borough had a large parcel of land available for development.  The powers that be thought that bringing in an adult community would be a wonderful source of revenue and an attractive addition to Pemberton Borough.  And indeed, Hearthstone at Woodfield was developed and new residents flooded into the it.  Taxes were kept low, even lowered as the community expanded. 

Then services started getting more expensive.  More services were demanded.  The community began to be burdened by the costs for services that were continually increasing.  About that time the Republican administration of the State, Chris Cristy and his pals, decided to restrict property taxes with a 2% per year cap.  Pemberton Borough's costs were increasing faster than could be managed with the 2% cap. 

As Pemberton Borough began to look for other sources of revenue, they started charging for services that had previously been free.  They also discovered that with the growth came a large increase in profit from the Electric and Water that they were providing. 

Because of some bad decisions, Pemberton Borough's cost of electricity spiraled out of control.   The costs had to be passed on to the residents.  The Borough was no longer competitive with the surrounding utilities but the profit they were taking from the utility and pouring into the general fund was the  only thing that kept them afloat. 

At this time, Pemberton Borough has been purchasing power through the PPANJ for 11 per kilowatt hour.  They were selling it for 22. They recently negotiated a reduction in cost so electricity will cost them about   what they were paying.  So far there has been no evidence of a decrease in the price to the residents.  Will they be willing to give up any of the profit they will appreciate?