Lower Electricity Rates Are Coming!
Sidney, Botkins, Bradford, Fort Loramie, and Russia Residents/Small Businesses to Benefit
Voters in Sidney, Ft. Loramie, Russia, Botkins, and Bradford recently approved electricity aggregation referendums seeking lower electricity rates for eligible residential and small business customers in their respective communities. Columbus based AEP Energy has been selected to serve the communities for the next 36 months at a fixed rate of 5.441 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh).
Affordable Gas & Electric (AGE) is the consultant for the collective group of communities and administered the bidding process. AEP Energy’s bid was selected from several suppliers who submitted bids including IGS, Dynegy and Constellation. AEP Energy’s rate represents substantial savings over current utility supply rates.
DPL’s recent price to compare was 7.4 cents/kwh. The new AEP Energy aggregation rate is approximately 27% below the comparable DPL default supply rate for February 2016. For commercial customers, the dollar savings can be even more substantial as usage tends to be much higher. Eligible commercial accounts under 700,000 kwhs who are not on competitive supply currently and remain on DPL’s default supply rate will receive the same rate as residential customers. This can represent thousands of dollars in savings to small business owners.
The aggregate rate also represents significant savings over what individuals can get by shopping on their own. A review of the Apples to Apples comparison on the Ohio’s Public Utility Commission’s website shows current competitive rates of mid 6 cents to mid 7 cents per kwh for shorter term lengths. The rate secured for the aggregate group is for a full 36 months.
“We are very excited about the rate and term we have secured for the communities,” said Jeff Haarmann, Managing Partner of AGE. “The low rate and 36 month term means eligible residents will see savings and protection from rising rates over the foreseeable future. This is exactly what aggregation is meant to do….provide an opportunity to secure lower rates and long term stability. Of course, residents are still in total control. They have the ability to opt-out if they choose not to accept the community-wide rates we have secured. Given the rate and term, we anticipate 90 plus percent of all eligible residents will participate in this rate.”
Eligible customers, including those residential and small commercial customers currently on DPL’s default service will automatically receive the new lower rate with no additional steps necessary. Residents who are on competitive supply with another supplier are eligible for the same rate and term, but will need to contact AGE or AEP Energy to switch to the aggregated rate at the conclusion of any existing contracts. Details for these residents will be forthcoming.
In March, residents will begin receiving mailers from AEP Energy on the letterhead of their respective city or village that provides the details of the enrollment time-frame. In the letter, residents will be advised that they will automatically be included in the new lower rate. There is no response or additional action that needs to be taken by residents. Notices detailing how a resident can “opt-out” of the aggregated rate will be included in the mailing.
Residents are also advised that they will receive a separate mail piece from DP&L. That piece will state that they are being switched to AEP Energy as their new electric supplier. This is a mandatory mailing from DP&L that states AEP Energy is the chosen supplier. The letter can be confusing because customers think they are being switched away from DP&L. All residents will remain DP&L customers and will continue to be billed from DP&L as well as calling DP&L for any customer service issues. The new aggregation rate applies only to the “supply” or electricity used, which is now contracted at a new lower rate.
Enrollment will likely begin with the April and May meter read dates, meaning residents should begin seeing the new lower rate for electricity supply on their June or July DP&L bills. AEP’s community-wide rates are arriving just in time for the summer air conditioning season, which will begin shortly after the new rates take effect.
“City Council began this journey in an attempt to secure lower energy rates,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst stated following the conference call in which AGE announced the rates secured through the bidding process. “We had hoped to see savings of 20-25% that could be passed on to consumers,” Barhorst stated. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could secure rates that were 35% lower – and that is what consumers would have saved over the course of the past year when our rate is compared to the comparable DPL default supply rate over that period of time.”
Russia Mayor Terry Daugherty agreed. “This is better than the rate that I was able to secure on my own,” Daugherty stated following the conference call. “Our residents and small businesses should see real savings over the course of the next three years.”
Newly elected Fort Loramie Mayor Randy Ahlers gave credit to his predecessor in office, Phil Eilerman. “I am grateful that Phil brought this opportunity to Council’s attention,” Ahlers stated. “It provides a unique opportunity for our village, but the credit belongs to those who were in office when the opportunity was brought to our attention. I also need to give credit to Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and his Council for encouraging the villages to consider this opportunity. Our residents could see combined savings of more than a million dollars over the course of the three year contract.”
“I’m pleased with the rates that AGE negotiated,” Bradford Mayor Don Stump said. “I want to thank the voters of Bradford for passing the legislation allowing the eligible residents to receive the savings on their energy bill.”
Botkins Mayor Steve Woodruff was equally enthusiastic. “The rate that AGE brought to us is fantastic, and should provide our residents and small businesses the opportunity to experience substantial savings over the course of the next three years,” Woodruff stated.
An official statement and Opt-Out notices will be forthcoming from AEP Energy.