Aggregation participants protected from higher energy costs

Staff report

DARKE COUNTY — AES Ohio energy supply customers are going to see significant increases to their energy bills starting this summer. However, many residents in West Central Ohio participating in municipal aggregation programs will be insulated from these soaring energy supply prices and higher energy bills.

Affordable Gas & Electric (AGE) serves as the consultant for 20 communities in West Central Ohio that have active electric aggregation programs. Under these programs, residents’ electric loads are pooled together and shopped in bulk to retail electric suppliers. Residents are enrolled automatically with the winning electric supplier unless they choose to opt-out of the program.

The participating West Central Ohio communities contracted with Energy Harbor to offer residents a fixed electric supply rate of $0.0499/kWh through December 2024. AES Ohio’s price to compare will be $0.1091017/kWh effective June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023. The utility’s price to compare increase is over double the previous price to compare due to rising energy prices.

“Energy markets started rising sharply throughout 2021 and have continued to take off in 2022,” said Jordan Haarmann, VP of Procurement for AGE. “Our communities locked in a long-term fixed rate just before the market shot up and participating households are going to be protected over the next couple of years from these higher rates.”

The West Central Ohio communities represented by AGE are Anna, Ansonia, Belle Center, Bellefontaine, Botkins, Bradford, Coldwater, Covington, De Graff, Fort Loramie, Fort Recovery, Greenville, Jeffersonville, Lockington, Newberry Township (unincorporated areas), Quincy, Russia, Sidney, Urbana, and West Milton.

Residents in these communities are advised to check the “Supply Charges” on page two of their AES Ohio bill to confirm Energy Harbor as their supplier at $0.0499/kWh. If Energy Harbor is not shown as the electric supplier then residents can join their community’s aggregation program by visiting Energy Harbor’s website (https://energyharbor.com/en/community-programs/find-your-program) or calling 866-636-3749 to enroll.

“Most households were enrolled in the electric aggregation programs automatically last fall,” said Haarmann. “However, there is still time to get enrolled if a resident opted-out previously or has a different provider.

Greenville Safety Service Director Ryan Delk said recent energy developments have also caused natural gas rates to go up substantially over the past few month. However, he stated the city will attempt to lock in the best rate possible for Greenville residents.

“Fortunately we are in a time of year that the demand will start going down which will drive the cost down,” he said. “We plan to hold out until August or September time frame. That is when demand is normally at it’s lowest and the natural gas reserves are at it’s highest. At that point our consultants will negotiate a new bid for our residents that we can lock in for two to three years.”