By Scott Halasz firstname.lastname@example.org
July 25, 2014
XENIA — Some Greene County residents will be asked in the November election if they want energy aggregation.
At Thursday’s county commission meeting, commissioners voted to place aggregation on the ballot, giving residents in unincorporated areas the chance to let the county negotiate for lower electric rates.
Aggregation is the process in which energy is sold to consumers who have joined together as a group to buy a product — in this case, electricity. If approved, Palmer Energy Company in Toledo will represent Greene and other members of the County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio in seeking lower rates.
Current Dayton Power & Light rates are approximately $.09 per kilowatt hour, according to Acting County Administrator Brandon Huddleson. Aggregation could lower that by as much as 40 percent.
“This is a very good thing,” he said. “It’s a potential cost savings (opportunity).”
The county uses aggregation for all of its buildings. One contract is for $.051 per kilowatt hour and a second is $.0478.
“When we did our first contract … that saved us $1.2 million over two years,” Huddleson said. “We’ve since negotiated again … it was over $200,000 that was saved the second time around.”
Residents already have the option of using a third-party delivery source, but when a county does it as a whole — and joins with other counties — the savings can be greater, according to Palmer Energy officials.
If voters approve it, the county will automatically switch over all eligible residents once an acceptable rate is obtained. Those wishing to opt out, must do so in writing. Those already using a third-party source are eligible to switch, but residents should make sure they know what cancellation fees may exist, Huddleson said.
Incorporated cities would not be included in any aggregation brokered by the county. They would be responsible for placing it on the ballot themselves, if they wish, but could join in with the counties to get a lower price. Xenia city voters passed an energy aggregation issue last November. Beavercreek, Fairborn, Bellbrook and Yellow Springs passed issues in 2003.