Huber Heights to hold informational meetings on Issue 1 – Energy Aggregation


By Darrell Wacker - dwacker@civitasmedia.com



HUBER HEIGHTS — The City of Huber Heights will hold two informational meetings on the proposed Energy Aggregation Issue that is on the March 15 ballot.

Issue 1 will provide an opportunity for residents to vote on the possibility for energy aggregation. Issue 1 will allow the City to study all available electricity sources and negotiate with providers in order to obtain a bulk rate with the goal of providing a reduced cost to our residents.

Those meetings will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at City Hall.

According to an informational page on the City of Huber Heights web site, the City wants to look into how to lower energy costs for the community. One way is to join together as one large customer to negotiate and lower electricity costs.

A vote for Issue 1 allows the City to represent the Community as an aggregated buying group to negotiate reduced electricity costs.

The City is NOT mandating a supplier, controlling the utility, or creating revenue or profit.

The purpose of Issue 1 is to allow the City to investigate options to negotiate reduced prices for electricity for Huber Heights residents and Businesses.

In a presentation made at the February 8 City Council meeting, City Manager Rob Schommer said that hundreds of cities around Ohio have aggregated and saved their residents millions of dollars. He noted that locally, Springfield, Xenia, Troy, Bethel Township, and Jackson Township have entered aggregation.

He said the average savings around the state is 15-20%.

As an example, Schommer cited Troy where the residents have seen $1.1 million in savings to residents and businesses with a fixed price contract. The average residential customer saves around $225 per year while the average commercial customer has seen around $1,356 in savings to date over the past two years.

Some common questions listed on the page are:

Q: Is the City mandating or controlling who I get my electricity from?

A: No. Governmental Aggregation is an method to gather interested parties into a large buying group to negotiate the best electricity rates. While enrollment will be automatic if an aggregation plan is approved by voters, residents can opt out at any time and choose to not participate. Those who choose to opt out of the program will not pay a switching fee.

Q: Is the City using this as a method to generate revenue or profit?

A: No. The City Council has stated through policy and an adopted Ordinance and Resolution that there will be no fees, costs or capture of savings to provide any revenue or profit to the City. All savings identified are provided for and only for the member residents and businesses. Any cost from the supplier is billed directly from them, not the City; therefore there is no way the City can capture and fees or collect interest on billing, fees, etc.

Q: How is the consultant selected, how much will that cost, and how will that be paid for?

A: The consultant would be selected through an open, competitive bidding process. The cost will be determined through that process and only applied if approved and selected by City Council. The City can choose to pay outright for the consultant services fee or build it in as a small cost divided amongst enrolled users.

The language on the ballot will read:

PROPOSED ORDINANCE ELECTRICAL AGGREGATION CITY OF HUBER HEIGHTS

A majority affirmative vote is necessary for passage.

Shall the City of Huber Heights have the authority to aggregate the retail electrical loads located in the City of Huber Heights, and for that purpose, enter into service agreements to facilitate for those loads the sale and purchase of electricity, such aggregation to occur automatically except where any person elects to opt out?

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By Darrell Wacker

dwacker@civitasmedia.com

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.

Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.