For Immediate Release
COLLINGSWOOD, NJ - The Collingswood Board of Commissioners voted tonight in favor of an ordinance that will put the borough on a path to offer 100% renewable electricity to all residents by the end of the decade.
The ordinance, which was advanced by local residents who worked with Food & Water Watch and Collingswood Progressive Democrats, set guidelines about the sources of electricity used by township residents. It amends an energy aggregation ordinance passed by the Board of Commissioners earlier this year, which allowed for the creation of a new program allowing the municipality to purchase energy on behalf of residents at discounted bulk rates, but did not mandate that the energy be generated from clean, renewable energy sources.
"Collingswood has a great reputation for being an environmentally conscious town in South Jersey. We need to be leaders in pushing for 100 percent renewable energy in the next decade,” said Wayne Rossi, a petition sponsor and Collingswood resident. “This is not just for our town - it's a model for others. Together we can make a real difference in the climate emergency that we are facing. We owe this to our children and our children's children."
A state law called the Walsh Act gives residents of some municipalities the power to directly petition local governments to consider a specific ordinance. Once presented with that ordinance, a governing body can either pass it as presented, or put the question to voters to decide.
Residents of Collingswood came together in this campaign because they understand the urgent need to take real action to clean up air pollution and confront the climate crisis,” said Food & Water Watch organizer Jocelyn Sawyer. “This is a huge win for grassroots democracy in South Jersey, and a sign that this clean energy movement is growing in New Jersey.”
“A Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program is a feasible and impactful way for our town as a whole, all together, to move away from fossil fuel dependence towards a renewable energy future,” said Kate Delany, an organizer with Collingswood Progressive Democrats. “Collingswood is a place that supports local change that contributes to the greater good. We are also attuned to equity and environmental justice and want a green future that doesn’t leave anyone behind. Renters and homeowners alike can benefit from CCA. We want to contribute to growing the green economy and our participation in a CCA can assist in that in South Jersey. Now that Collingswood will be the first South Jersey CCA,we’re confident other municipalities will want to follow."
Food & Water Watch is working in 15 municipalities to enact similar 100% renewable energy programs. The group played a key role in creating programs in New Brunswick and Piscataway, saving residents’ on their utility bills while expanding the use of clean, renewable energy. This summer, the campaign won a major victory in Edison, where the township’s council approved an ordinance that puts the fifth-largest township in New Jersey on the path to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.