For Immediate Release
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – A sizable majority of Piscataway residents voted in favor of a ballot question to create a township-wide renewable energy aggregation program. The election marked the first time in state history that voters directly approved the creation of such a program.
Food & Water Watch worked with local residents from the Clean Air Piscataway campaign to collect over 1,400 petitions calling on the Township Council to create a municipal energy aggregation program that would reach the 100 percent renewable goal by the year 2035.
The council decided to leave the matter up to voters, and instead passed an ordinance to create a program with no specific renewable goals.
“This is a win for our climate, a win for clean air, and a win for cost savings for Piscataway residents,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Junior Romero. “This is the kind of community action we need to see everywhere if we are going to protect clean air and a healthy future. The people of Piscataway got organized, educated their neighbors, and won big at the ballot box. This is more than nice words on paper; it goes to show that we can take real action, with real impact, in communities all across New Jersey.”
A state law called the Government Energy Aggregation Act allows municipalities to purchase energy at discounted bulk rates, and to set guidelines about the sources of electricity. Community energy aggregation programs are in effect in communities across the state.
The effort mirrors the 100 percent renewable energy aggregation program currently underway in New Brunswick, which was the first of its kind in New Jersey. Food & Water Watch organizers were instrumental in both petition-gathering efforts, teaming up with residents to go door-to-door to generate support.