Aggregation vote passed at BOCC meeting


XENIA — The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) gave its approval Thursday for an adoption of a plan of operation and governance for the Greene County Natural Gas Aggregation Program.

According to BOCC records, on Nov. 8, 2022, a majority of voters in the Village of Bowersville, Village of Clifton, and the unincorporated areas of Greene County approved a referendum that authorized the formation of an “opt-out” governmental aggregation in compliance with Section 4929.26 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) regarding the governmental aggregation of natural gas rate payers.

These communities decided to utilize their aggregation authority jointly through Greene County. Greene County hopes that utilizing its aggregation authority will provide individual residential and small commercial consumers benefits such as price reductions that these consumers are typically unable to obtain since they lack the bargaining power, expertise, and the “economies of scale enjoyed by larger consumers.”

Amy Hoffman, energy consultant with Toledo-based Palmer Energy, drove from Toledo to discuss energy supplier questions at two separate public hearings on a natural gas aggregation plan of operation and governance. The county anticipates selection of a provider prior to or shortly after receiving approval from the PUCO as governmental aggregator.

Upon provider selection, an opt-out notice for the county’s program will be sent to all eligible natural gas customers setting forth the rates, terms, and conditions of the program. This notice will provide potential aggregation participants at least 21 days to return an opt-out or similar notice.

Ohio law allows for communities — such as townships, cities, villages, and counties — to form aggregated buying groups to purchase natural gas suppliers on behalf of their citizens. The governmental aggregator chooses the natural gas supplier for all of the customer members in its group.

On election day, communities will have the issue of natural gas aggregation on the ballot. By voting for natural gas aggregation, residents will allow their locally elected officials to purchase natural gas supply at a discounted rate for their community.

Residents can stay with their current natural gas utility which will continue to supply their natural gas as it always has or they can shop for an alternative generation supplier.With the assistance of a PUCO certified consultant, a community can seek bids from certified retail natural gas service providers. A qualified bidder is selected to supply the aggregation.

As list of competitive natural gas suppliers certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and their current prices is available by calling 1-800-686-7826.

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