Energy suppliers intend to compete for electricity, natural gas aggregations


Staff report



SIDNEY — Sidney, Russia, Botkins, Fort Loramie and Bradford residents will soon be able to vote to approve another form of “electricity and natural gas choice” known as community choice aggregation. 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, the consultant who is handling the aggregation initiative for each of the communities. “Electricity aggregation has proven to deliver the lowest rates, for the longest term, from the most qualified suppliers.”

Industry leaders such as DPL Energy Resources (DPLER), AEP Energy, IGS, Constellation and Dynegy Energy Services have all responded to a Request For Qualifications packet, stating their intent to submit a bid in the competitive bidding process if aggregation is approved by the electorate.

DPLER is a subsidiary of DPL Inc., which also owns Dayton Power & Light (DP&L), the electric utility company who owns and maintains the utility plant which serves these communities. Whereas DP&L is responsible for supplying regulated service and default rates to those residents who have not made a choice in electricity providers, DPLER is a competitive supplier who competes in the “open market” to serve customers who choose to seek lower rates than that of the utility. DPLER has responded with its intent to bid if aggregation is approved.

Additionally, Constellation, a part of Exelon Corporation has also submitted a response stating their intent to bid. Constellation currently serves more than 1.3 million residential households and small businesses who approved aggregation referendums in Ohio and Illinois. Other suppliers who intend to compete for the collective load include AEP Energy, a subsidiary of American Electric Power Company, Inc. and Dynegy Energy Services, Inc. Dynegy recently purchased the Ohio generation assets and retail arm of Duke Energy, based in Cincinnati. Dynegy currently services more than 400 community choice aggregation programs, representing 830,000 accounts primarily in Ohio and Illinois.

“The response of the suppliers should give assurance to voters that if aggregation is approved, these very qualified suppliers will compete head to head to win their business. The opportunity to win thousands of customers at one time as opposed to conducting telemarketing, door to door sales and other marketing tactics makes winning community aggregation bids very attractive to suppliers,” said Haarmann.

Aggregation is a very resident and small business friendly form of “choice.” If approved, a bid process ensues. If an acceptable rate is bid, all eligible residents will automatically receive the lower rate. However, should a resident choose they do not want 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. Community aggregation is simply a means of establishing a “bulk rate,” but the majority of the community must first approve the ballot questions before a “bid” is allowed to take place.

For more information regarding the community’s aggregation vote, visit www.AffordableElectricRates.com.

Staff report