BRADFORD — As a way to prevent monopolies and give residents of Bradford competitive and cheaper rates for electric and natural gas, the upcoming Nov. 3 ballot will include the option to vote on an initiative called community choice aggregation for electric and natural gas through Affordable Gas & Electric (AGE) out of Mt. Vernon, Ill.
According to AGE, community choice aggregation has proven to deliver the lowest electricity rates in the competitive market due to the bulk nature of the competitive bidding process.
“When suppliers compete to serve the entire community or group of communities through a competitive bidding process, residents and small business owners win,” said Jeff Haarmann, managing partner of AGE and the consultant who is handling the aggregation initiative for the village of Bradford. “Electricity aggregation has proven to deliver the lowest rates, for the longest term, from the most qualified suppliers.”
Aggregation is a very resident-friendly and small business-friendly form of “choice.” If the village votes for its approval, a bid process ensues. If an acceptable rate is bid, all eligible residents will automatically receive the lower rate. However, should a resident choose not to participate in the lower community-wide rate, those residents are able to opt out without penalty.
At a later date, should a resident decide they want to opt in to the lower city-wide rate, that option exists as well. Residents and small business owners remain in complete control of their electricity and natural gas rates.
Village Administrator Roger Looker said the village will have the option to join the community aggregation for electric and natural gas or opt out and choose whichever vendor they please. There is no cost to get out of contract with the aggregation.
“It just makes sense to help people in the community to do this,” Looker said. “We are trying to make it better for the community to get a cheaper rate.”
Looker said having this option would be no loss to the residents and would only be an additional option for them.
According to an AGE press release, there are several companies that have shown interest to bid if aggregation is approved. The subsidiary of Dayton Power & Light, DPLER, is one of those companies as well as Constellation, of Exelon Corporation; AEP Energy, a subsidiary of American Electric Power Company, Inc.; and Dynegy Energy Services, Inc.
Reach reporter Amy Barger at 937-451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.