City of Urbana residents voted to improve their collective negotiating power with the approval of electricity and natural gas aggregations ballot questions on May 8. The approval allows Affordable Gas + Electric (AGE), the city’s consultant on the matter, to negotiate bulk electricity and natural gas supply rates for residents inside the city’s incorporated limits. Urbana residents join neighboring residents of Sidney, Greenville, Bellefontaine and 17 other communities that will collectively bid and negotiate for lower electricity and natural gas rates.
Jeff Haarmann, managing partner of AGE, said his firm is excited to represent the residents of Urbana and welcomed them to their overall aggregate of communities. Haarmann added that Urbana is joining the largest group of communities negotiating in bulk in the DP&L utility area.
“We have already started preliminary discussions with many electricity and natural gas suppliers who have committed to bidding on the collective group,” Haarmann said. “Approval of these aggregation programs allows us to negotiate a bulk rate for Urbana residents. Once established, residents will be able to take advantage of the newly secured rate automatically, but may also opt-out at any point, without penalty.”
AGE provided a timeline for implementation of such a program. Initially, the city council will need to approve the Plan of Operation and Governance at an upcoming council meeting. Official PUCO documents will be filed and by the end of July, the city is expected to be approved as a PUCO Certified Governmental Aggregator. Bidding will commence in August with newly secured rates to likely be on residents’ bills by October/November billing cycles.
Prior to rates going into effect, all eligible residents will be mailed letters by the winning bidder allowing them to opt-out of the bulk rate if desired. Once the opt-out period is over, all residents who did not opt-out will automatically be enrolled in the new aggregation rates. Further details will be released as the bidding process advances.
AGE manages over 120 electricity and natural gas aggregations in Ohio and Illinois. Over 85 percent of all eligible residents participate in their aggregation programs. Additionally, AGE manages 19 commercial aggregations through association and Chamber of Commerce partnerships. For more information regarding the Urbana electric and natural gas aggregations, visit www.AffordableElectricRates.com or contact Jordan Haarmann, AGE Municipal Aggregation coordinator, at 618-203-8328.
Submitted by Affordable Gas + Electric (AGE).