More than 15 Dayton-area cities are interested in joining a utility aggregation plan seeking more competitive rates for residents and small businesses, the leader of the regional effort said.
The coalition would involve cities in Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties, and proposes to be the largest area group targeting better prices for electric and natural gas customers, said Miami Valley Communications Council Executive Director Jay Weiskircher.
About seven to 10 cities — including Centerville, Englewood, Fairborn, Germantown, Kettering and Miamisburg — are interested in joining when the group is established this year, Weiskircher said.
Several others, which may come aboard later, have existing agreements or are communities where voters have not yet approved aggregation, he added.
“The more rooftops we can have, the more competitive prices we’re going to receive,” Weiskircher said. “So, while communities can certainly do this on their own, like so many things, there obviously economies of scale that you get” with a larger group.
“And that’s what we’re looking for. So, the more communities we get involved … the more competitive pricing we’ll be able to get,” he added.
The plan is to lock in rates for one-year increments up to three years, depending on the supplier, Weiskircher said.
Miami Valley Communications Council member cities include Centerville, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro and West Carrollton. The group also has more than 20 affiliate communities ranging from Sidney and Urbana to the north, and Middletown to the south, according to its website.
Cities start process
The MVCC is working with Toledo-based consultant Palmer Energy, a service provider for the Ohio Municipal League, Weiskircher said. Palmer addressed the issue with Fairborn in January and is set to meet with Vandalia in February, officials said.
An email survey by the Dayton Daily News indicates at least six cities expect to join the group when it starts. They include Centerville, Englewood, Fairborn, Kettering, Miamisburg and West Carrollton.
Brookville, Troy and Vandalia all have expressed interest, while Germantown and Oakwood will both consider it, the survey results show.
“Our decision on whether to join now or at a later date depends on the details of the contract offers,” according to Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch.
Beavercreek has had an aggregation program for nearly five years, according to City Manager Pete Landrum. Miamisburg and Kettering are among cities that expect to initially join the group for electricity only, the survey indicated.
“We’ve had several people in the community express an interest in seeing if they could get better utility rates through an aggregation program,” Miamisburg City Manager Keith Johnson said in the survey. “The proposed program will allow residents to opt out and pursue their own utility program should they choose.”
Kettering “is eager to offer residents options from which to choose … we encourage residents to research electric suppliers to find the one most suitable for their needs,” according to a statement from the city.
Late spring target
Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton recently wrote that the MVCC program “should pass on real savings” because “buying energy for large groups of consumers … gives these participating communities better bargaining power.”
Issues allowing Brookville, Huber Heights, Troy and Union to move forward with either electric and/or gas aggregation are set to be on the May 2 ballot, election records show.
Troy now has an electric aggregation contract and plans to extend it into 2024, when it wants to join with the MVCC, according to city Director Patrick Titterington.
Other cities — Germantown, Riverside and Vandalia, among them — will be addressing the issue in the weeks ahead, officials said in the survey.
The MVCC’s goal is to “go to market” for supplier proposals by the end of March and roll out the program before the end of June, Weiskircher said.
“It’s my understanding that the energy markets fluctuate a lot,” he said. “They can be very volatile. And so when you do get pricing … you need to lock it in rather quickly.
“Once we feel we get what we’ve identified as a competitive price, then we’ll do everything we can to lock it in right away,” Weiskircher added.
The Miami Valley Communications Council says the following cities have expressed interest in joining an aggregation group it is forming involving electric and natural gas.
Brookville, Centerville, Clayton, Eaton, Englewood, Fairborn, Germantown, Hilliard (Franklin County), Huber Heights, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Riverside, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, Union, West Carrollton and Xenia.
Source: Miami Valley Communications Council
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