BROOKVILLE — City manager Sonja Keaton is reminding citizens they are being asked to establish an electric and natural gas aggregation in the city.
In order to establish the programs, voters must approve two ordinances – one for electric aggregation and one for natural gas aggregation.
The two ordinances will appear on the May 2 special election ballot.
The electric aggregation question is Issue 13 while the natural gas aggregation question is Issue 14 on the ballot.
Voters are asked to vote either yes or no on the two issues.
Keaton said the two programs are being considered in an effort to establish better electric and natural gas rates for residents and small businesses.
The city is partnering with the Miami Valley Communications Council on establishing electric and natural gas aggregations.
Other cities in the program include, Centerville, Clayton, Englewood, Fairborn, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, West Carrollton, Eaton and Union.
MVCC is working with Palmer Energy, of Toledo, in securing the best possible electric and natural gas rates.
“By bringing citizens together, the aggregation gains group buying power and typically can negotiate a better price with the supplier than each aggregation group member could have negotiated individually, Keaton said.
Amy Hoffman, customer service manager for Palmer Energy indicated her company “will go out and price your load with the others to multiple suppliers to get a competitive rate.”
“We are looking at residents and small businesses who are still receiving electrical service from AES. They are the ones who would be eligible. We don’t take people who already have contracts with other suppliers,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman noted the aggregate program is an opt-out program and therefore is a ballot issue.
“What that means is by passing the two issues the program will be in place and Palmer Energy will take care of things behind the scenes such as getting the group certified through the PUCO (Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) and making sure everything is done accurately and then it’s just an option which is all that is in place at that point,” Hoffman said.
“What is nice about aggregation is everyone who is in it has the same rate. It’s a collective purchasing power, so the whole idea is to get a better price than the utility company,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said anyone can leave the aggregation program at any time.
“There’s no early termination fees,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman indicated the contract will be for one, two or three years depending on what the MVCC and the cities decide.
Keaton noted that residents who join the community’s electric and/or natural gas aggregation programs will still receive service from electrical supplier AES and natural gas supplier CenterPoint Energy.
“AES will still be responsible for the delivery of electricity to your home or business. They own the wires and poles that deliver power to you; therefore, they will continue to read your meter and restore power after an outage,” Keaton said.
“CenterPoint Energy will still be responsible for the delivery of natural gas supply to your home or business,” Keaton said.
“CenterPoint Energy still maintains the pipeline system that delivers power to you and will continue to read your meter and take care of repairs and gas leaks,” Keaton continued.
Hoffman said once it has been certified and the public hearings are held, Palmer Energy will obtain rates from suppliers.
“We will present the results to the MVCC and the board of directors of the program,” Hoffman said.
“The law director or prosecutor will then review the contract to make sure everyone is comfortable with the supply agreements of the program and the contract will be signed,” Hoffman said.
Keaton said eligible residents do not need to do anything to join the program.
Keaton noted anyone who does not want to participate in the program can easily opt out by returning a form, which will be mailed to all eligible members.
Hoffman said it would be wise for residents to approve and join the aggregate program.
“Right now in this economy and in this market it doesn’t make sense not to do it,”Hoffman said.
Reach Terry Baver at [email protected]