County residents sign up for electric aggregation programs

Staff report

SIDNEY — Nearly 90 percent of eligible households have chosen to participate in the area electric aggregation programs, Affordable Gas and Electric Managing Partner Jeff Haarmann told Sidney City Council members Monday evening. As of May 2016, most eligible households were enrolled in the city or village electric aggregation programs that were approved by voters in November 2015. The communities of Sidney, Fort Loramie, Russia, Bradford and Botkins are seeing strong participation rates.

In Sidney, 89.43 percent of eligible households have chosen to save money by opting for the city-wide electricity aggregation rate. The average resident should expect to see savings of approximately $120 per year in savings measured against historic DPL utility supply rates, said Haarmann. Some larger users will see savings of upward to $300 to $400 per year.

The villages are seeing slightly higher participation rates. Botkins, Bradford, Fort Loramie and Russia are seeing levels ranging from 91 percent to 94 percent.

It is estimated that nearly $550,000 per year will be saved collectively by the residents of the five communities, with more than $450,000 of the $550,000 being saved by city of Sidney residents.

“The benefits of establishing a bulk electricity rate for residents to have as a competitive shopping option has proven to be a financial benefit for our community,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst said. “The residents will save money individually and many of those dollars saved are likely to be spent several times over in our local community.”

In November, the overall strength and negotiating power of the Sidney/Shelby County aggregate will likely get even stronger, said Haarmann. The Shelby County community of Anna has already approved placing the aggregation question on the November ballot. Residents on DPL service in the unincorporated areas of Shelby County may also be given the chance to approve electric aggregation.

Outside of Shelby County, the council members in Bellefontaine, Greenville, Covington, DeGraff, Quincy and West Milton and the trustees of Newberry and Union Townships have all either voted to allow their residents to determine whether to allow aggregation in November or have at least held discussions to determine the viability of participating.

Affordable Gas + Electric (AGE), the coordinating aggregation consultant for the approved and pending communities has indicated that if the November elections go as expected, the regional buying group will be collectively bid in subsequent negotiations.

“Essentially, the same bulk scenario that makes residential aggregation attractive for an individual resident, is the same scenario that makes the overall four to five county regional buying group an even greater benefit. To a point, our negotiating power simply grows with our overall volume,” Haarmann said.

Staff report