The New Jersey Sustainable Energy Joint Meeting (“The NJSEM”) is a joint meeting of municipalities working with municipalities to aggregate their individual energy requirements together for improved purchasing power. The NJSEM was formed as a Joint Meeting which “means the joint operation of any public services, public improvements, works, facilities, or other undertaking by contracting local units pursuant to a joint contract under section 14 of P.L.2007, c.63 (C.40A:65-14). ”
As a joint meeting, the NJSEM is a “public body corporate and politic,” a government entity and governed accordingly. The NJSEM is an energy buying group of municipalities and municipal agencies. It is townships governed by an elected Statewide Executive Board, a committee of 7 members and 7 alternates, all local Business Administrators and Local Officials. Energy procurements of electricity supply and natural gas supply are conducted in full compliance with state laws, NJDCA/DLGS regulations and purchasing guidelines.
One of the largest operating costs (and certainly one of the most unpredictable) facing New Jersey public entities today is that of natural gas, electricity and other forms of energy which have been on a steady course of increase over the past few years.
In addition to rising energy costs, municipal energy users are concurrently facing:
- Social and regulatory pressure to reduce dependence on foreign oil;
- Pressure to increase the use of energy generated by renewable sources, and;
- Mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
The New Jersey Municipal Environmental Joint Insurance Fund desired to establish a Sustainable Energy Meeting (SEM) that would serve its members as a knowledge-based energy purchasing group designed to help New Jersey public entities initially reduce their energy costs and ultimately meet their social and regulatory obligations.