CHAMPAIGN COUNTY ELECTRIC AND NATURAL GAS AGGREGATION PROGRAMS
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR RESIDENTS
Q. What is Aggregation?
A. An aggregation program is authorized by Ohio law and is an easy and effective way for a large group of consumers to save money on their electric or natural gas bills.
Ohio Law allows political subdivisions – counties, municipalities and townships – to form aggregated buying groups to purchase electricity or natural gas on behalf of their citizens. By bringing citizens together, the aggregation gains group buying power and typically can negotiate a better price with the utility supplier than each aggregation group member could have negotiated individually. The aggregator chooses the electric generation or natural gas supplier for all of the customer-members in its group.
Q. Is voter approval required to offer and Aggregation Program?
A. Yes – The Champaign County Commissioners have placed two issues on the November 2, 2021 Election Day ballot – one seeking approval of an electric aggregation program and the other seeking approval for a natural gas aggregation program. By voting FOR these issues, you will allow your county commissioners to offer programs to purchase electricity and natural gas at a discounted rate for the unincorporated areas of Champaign County.
Q. How do residents join the Aggregation Programs?
A. All eligible residents and small businesses in the unincorporated areas of Champaign County whose electric bills come from AES Ohio (DP&L) or natural gas bills come from Columbia Gas of Ohio or CenterPoint Energy of Ohio will be enrolled and will begin receiving the discounted pricing under the programs. Residents do not need to do anything to join the programs. However, anyone who does not want to participate in the program may opt out either at the beginning of the program or at any later time without paying any costs or penalties for leaving the program.
Q. What is a small business that qualifies to be a part of an aggregation program?
A. Small businesses that qualify are those which consume less than 700,000 kilowatts of electricity or 5,000 CCF of natural gas on an annual basis.
Q. What does opt out mean?
A. Since all eligible residents are automatically enrolled in the electric or natural gas aggregation programs, those residents who do not want to participate are given the opportunity to opt out. First, all residents will receive a letter from the chosen supplier (the letter will also include a message from the Champaign County Commissioners) which will contain the price and term for the program. To opt out of the program the resident simply detaches and returns the form at the bottom of this letter within the 21 day opt out period noted in the letter. If for some reason they would like to opt out after 21 days, the citizen can still opt out by contacting the supplier. RESIDENTS MAY LEAVE THE PROGRAM AT ANY TIME WITHOUT ANY COSTS OR PENALTIES – EVEN AFTER THE DUE DATE ON THE OPT-OUT FORM.
Q. If I join the Champaign County Electric or Natural Gas Aggregation program, who will deliver my electricity or natural gas, read my meter, and respond to emergencies, such as power outages or service disruptions?
A. Your local electric utility AES Ohio (DP&L) or natural gas utility Columbia Gas of Ohio or Vectren will be responsible for the delivery of electric power or natural gas to your house or business. They will continue to read your meter and YOU WILL STILL RECEIVE YOUR BILL FROM AES OR COLUMBIA GAS OF OHIO EACH MONTH. The only thing that will change is in the electric generation or natural gas supply portion of your bill where you will see the supplier that is servicing the program and what the price is per kilowatt hour of electricity or CCF (100s of cubic feet) units of natural gas.
Q. What are my energy supply choices if I decide to opt out?
A. You can stay with AES Ohio (DP&L), Columbia Gas of Ohio or CenterPoint Energy of Ohio which will continue to supply your electric or natural gas it always has, or you can shop for an alternative supplier.
Q. Who will be assisting the Champaign County Commissioners with the Aggregation Programs?
A. The Champaign County Commissioners are members of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) Energy Program. The program is managed by Palmer Energy, an independent consultant to the CCAO who by contract is prohibited from having any relationship with any supplier, marketer or broker in the energy industry. Palmer Energy has been certified for over 20 years by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio as a competitive electric and natural gas service provider (CRES and CRNGS).