Local governments may form a buying pool, or aggregated group, to purchase power for their communities.
To begin an aggregation program, the community must be certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to do so.
When a community considers aggregation it can be done in one of two ways:
- Without voter approval: opt in
- With voter approval: opt out
Under either approach, your local government would go through a process to select an energy supplier and negotiate a contract that establishes the price for purchasing the generation of electricity. That new rate would apply to the citizens who participate in the aggregation program. The major difference between the two approaches is whether or not you are automatically part of the program.
- If your community has opt-in aggregation and your local government has selected an energy supplier and established the price to charge its citizens, you will be notified by your local government and given the opportunity to opt-in to the buying pool.
- Residents and small businesses must opt-in or initiate an action to be part of the program.
- If you do nothing, you will remain with your current electricity generation supplier.
The opt-in program has fewer rules and does not require voter approval since a resident can elect whether or not to participate.
- If your community has opt-out aggregation and your local government has selected an energy supplier and established the price to charge its citizens, you will be notified by your local government and given the opportunity to opt-out of the buying pool.
- If you do nothing, you will become part of the program.
What happens after aggregation?
Whether a customer opts out or accepts his or her government's choice of a new generation supplier, the electricity is still delivered to the customer by AES Ohio, because the delivery of electricity continues to be regulated under Ohio law. The poles and wires in your community over which the power flows will continue to be owned by AES Ohio.
AES Ohio remains your local electric utility, delivering electricity to your home or business. AES Ohio will continue to maintain and repair utility poles and wires, as well as read your meter. If your power goes out, you will continue to call AES Ohio for restoration.
How do I know if I am part of a government aggregation?
Residents and small businesses will be sent a communication to opt-in to be part of the community's electric aggregation program. If you take no action, your generation supplier will not change.
First, community leaders put a proposal on the ballot for residents to vote on whether the city or village should establish a government aggregation program to buy electricity for the community. If the residents vote yes, the local government selects and negotiates with a generation supplier for the entire town's electricity. The chosen supplier then sends letters to all eligible customers explaining that it will be the alternative source for the generation of electricity for the town's residents and small businesses.
The letter will contain details about the new supplier, the negotiated rate and the length of the contract and will indicate that the resident or small business automatically becomes part of the government aggregation unless they opt out.
Once your government finalizes a deal with a new generation supplier, AES Ohio also sends each customer a confirmation letter giving the customer seven days to cancel his or her enrollment with the new supplier.
You'll receive a letter either way
If you get either a letter from a new supplier on behalf of your city or a confirmation letter from AES Ohio regarding your enrollment with a new supplier under an aggregation program, you are part of a government aggregation. What if I don't want to switch to the supplier my government chose?
You do not have to switch your electric generation supplier. Your supplier cannot be switched without your permission.
If you do not want to be part of your government aggregation, you must notify your government that you wish to opt out by the deadline listed in your notification letter. If you do nothing, you automatically accept the supplier chosen through government aggregation. You have seven days from the letter's postmark date to cancel your enrollment with the new supplier.
If your service has been switched without your authorization, notify the PUCO at 800-686-7826.
You may also request to be placed on the DO NOT AGGREGATE LIST by calling 800-686-7826 or going to the PUCO website.
How do I decide what to do?
Because energy market conditions and low wholesale electrical prices in this region have prompted competition, you may be receiving multiple offers from different companies, including the government aggregation supplier.
You should examine whether a government aggregation rate with a "one size fits all" offer meets your needs and usage. Some customers may end up paying more. Some suppliers may offer add-on services; however, purchasing these services are not a requirement to be included in the government aggregation.
You should carefully evaluate all the offers to determine which gives you the most savings for the amount of electricity you use before locking into any long-term commitment.
The PUCO offers the Apples-to-Apples website to help you compare offers available to you and learn more about choosing an electric supplier.