MAD RIVER TOWNSHIP – Mad River Township residents and small businesses that are presently participating in the township electric aggregation program will soon be paying a lower rate for their monthly electric service.
Mad River Township trustees unanimously approved a new, three-year contract during the township meeting March 6 with First Energy Solutions at an electric supply rate of 5.39 cents per statement for those who are a part of the aggregate pool.
Joe Garrett, aggregation specialist with Trebel LLC, told township trustees that recent declines in the wholesale electric energy marketplace have allowed competitive electricity suppliers to lower their prices and pass on those savings to local consumers.
According to Garrett, Trebel LLC. solicited bids from four retail electricity suppliers certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and found that First Energy Solutions offered the lowest rate among the four. IGS Energy’s bid rate was 5.58 cents per kilowatt hour, and Constellation Energy offered a rate of 5.59 cents per kilowatt hour. Capital Energy came in with the highest rate of 5.62 cents per kilowatt hour.
Garrett pointed out that First Energy Solutions’ estimated average rates for 12 months, 24 months and 36 months were lower compared to Ohio Edison’s estimated average rates for the company’s customers who are not participating in an aggregation program. At the time of the quote, First Energy Solutions’ estimated rate per kilowatt hour was 5.65 for 12 months, 5.63 for 24 months, and 5.39 for 36 months. Ohio Edison’s estimated average rate per kilowatt hour was 5.80 for 12 months, 5.73 for 24 months and 5.45 for 36 months.
“The 36-month contract with First Energy Solutions simply offers the best rate for the township,” Garrett said.
He also noted that the township’s current contract with IGS, at an aggregated rate of 6.83 cents per kilowatt hour, would be ending with the May billing period. The estimated start date with First Energy Solutions will commence with the first meter reading in June.
“I am glad to see First Energy Solutions competing in the marketplace because the company is offering the lowest rate and best terms at this time,” said Garrett. “It is a good time to get locked in at this rate because those rates will probably climb during the summer months.”
However, Mad River Township Trustee President Kathy Estep pointed out that Ohio Edison customers who are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) or a monthly payment plan (level billing) are not eligible to participate in the aggregated program.
The township trustees passed an ordinance to adopt both the electric and natural gas aggregation programs after township voters approved governmental energy aggregation in November 2014. The same year, trustees contracted Trebel LLC., a Columbus-based energy consulting company, to shop energy retail suppliers, negotiate offers, and create the best plan for township consumers. Trebel LLC provides this consulting service to the township at no cost to the consumers or taxpayers.
Under governmental aggregation, the Mad River Township Trustees negotiate an electric supply contract with an eligible utility provider on behalf of the electric consumers residing in the township, including the Village of Enon. Each consumer is automatically included in the opt-out aggregation program unless the individual decides not to participate. This approach provides a larger customer base from the start and may increase the group’s bargaining power for lower prices. Garrett noted that consumers would still have an opportunity to opt out of the aggregated pool at any time without paying a fee or penalty. Those township residents and small businesses that currently have a plan with a different energy supplier can also opt in without any types of fees or penalties.
Under this aggregation plan, consumers will still receive one single billing each month from Ohio Edison, which will continue to maintain the electric power wires, transformers, and other equipment. They will also continue to contact Ohio Edison regarding any power outage or other issues or concerns having to do with their electric service.
“The township trustees will continue to work towards providing the best rates for electricity and natural gas to our residents and businesses,” Estep said.
Eligible residents and business, as well as current Ohio Edison customers will receive a letter explaining the terms of the contract, along with an optional opt-out form, within the next few weeks, according to Estep.
For more information about the aggregate program, contact Trebel, LLC. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 877- 861-2772.
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News.